Creating an Engaging Social Media Contest
Social media tools make it easy for just about anyone to create a social media contest but not all contests are successful. The more engaging your contest, the better. After all, users will want to share the contest with their networks — which means more exposure for your brand. Use the tips below to create an engaging contest on social media.
- Choose the right platform for your contest. Does your contest involve sharing photos? Instagram or Facebook are good choices. Do you want to keep the contest on one site or extend it to multiple sites? If this is your first contest, it’s smart to start with just one social network as management will be that much easier.
- Determine contest requirements. What do you want people to do in order to join the contest? For example, you might require entrants to like your page, leave a comment, upload a photo, vote, or create content. Ideally, entrance requirements should be relatively easy for your users to do. Otherwise, some will opt not to participate because it seems too hard.
- Determine the prize. Why should users enter your contest? In some cases, bragging rights is incentive enough. In others, you may need to dangle an enticing prize in order to drum up excitement. In any case, your prize should appeal to your target audience and be relevant to your business. For example, if you sell dog food, consider offering a month’s worth of free dog food as a prize. This ensures that only those who have a genuine interest in your business and its products enter the contest.
- Plan your social media contest. This includes developing the contest’s rules, sketching out how it will look, developing a calendar, and identifying how you will market it.
- Use a social media contest management tool to create, manage, and promote your contest. Why start from scratch when software exists specifically for managing social media contests? For example, a third-party tool could make it easy to create professional-looking social media campaigns, promotions, and contests — and help ensure that your contest complies with Facebook’s promotional guidelines.
- Promote your contest. Finally, you’ll need to spread the word about your contest. Don’t wait until it’s live to start promoting it. For example, you can write a blog post before it launches, talk about the upcoming contest on Facebook, post photos of the prize before the contest launches, and more. On the contest’s launch day, consider paying for a promoted post to ensure that the majority of your followers actually see the post. Add contest details to your other online properties and consider issuing a press release. While you’re at it, send out an email or newsletter to your customers as well as post flyers at your physical location. Spread the word and ask your followers to do the same.
- Interact with entrants. Your active participation will encourage users to continue commenting, sharing, and liking your contest. Engagement breeds more engagement, so make sure you’re available to answer questions and encourage participation.
The more engaging your contest is, the more likely contestants will be to share the contest with others.