How to Launch Successful Social Media Contests

How to Launch Successful Social Media Contests

Social media contests allow you to invite people to follow a certain call to action in exchange for a reward.

There are many benefits to running a social media competition, such as:

  • Building a big, engaged audience. Most social media contests invite participants to perform tasks such as upload pictures, share the social media competition or submit answers to questions and therefore attracts more engagement than standard posts.
  • Increasing brand awareness. Most social media contests include a “share” tab allowing brands to benefit from word-of-mouth. Plus, people tend to share a social media giveaway more than standard posts.
  • Building a mailing list. Most social media contests require participants to submit their contact details and therefore enable brands to grow their subscribers list for future marketing campaigns.
  • Increasing sales. Running a social media giveaway is a great way to generate sales leads or generate interest for the brand because you can follow up with participants who didn’t win, through email marketing campaigns, or even retargeting campaigns. The participants will be very qualified to buy as they’ve already expressed an interest in your business.

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The first step before coming up with a Facebook contest idea and setting up a social media competition is deciding on a goal. Goals can vary from business to business, but usually involve:

• Audience building
• Enquiries
• Website traffic
• Brand awareness
• Database building
• Increase engagement
• Word-of-mouth marketing
• Enquiries

The second step is deciding on the social media giveaway. In order for people to happily participate in social media contests, the offer has to be appealing, unique, have high perceived value, be difficult to acquire outside the competition and relevant to your business.

Giveaways that are irrelevant to your business will only attract people wanting the item being offered, and not turn into a lead or customer. For example, if you’re a fitness coach and the prize of your contest is an iPad, you run the risk of only attracting people who are interested in the iPad and not in fitness.

When you come up with a Facebook contest idea, it is also important to set a deadline for it. A social media giveaway should never drag for too long, but should give you enough time to achieve the desired outcome.

Setting a 2-week deadline to participate for example, will increase the sense of urgency, and therefore increase the number of participants.

Where and when the winner will be announced is also important to emphasize. Many Facebook contest examples fail to announce the winner or winners publicly, and therefore all the momentum built during the competition fades away.

Lastly, the rules of your social media competition should be stated clearly and should include the following:

1) How to enter the competition
2) When the competition starts and when it ends
3) A description of the prize
4) Where and when the winner will be announced
5) The selection criteria for the winner
6) Who is not eligible to enter the social media competition (optional)

It is important not to go overboard with rules and make it difficult for contestants to participate as this can turn people away and create the opposite effect. Rules should be easy to understand and even easier to follow. Single calls-to-action such as “submit a picture” perform better than listing various tasks to execute in order to be eligible to win.

It is also important to heavily market your social media contests. Don’t rely just on a single social media platform, cross promote your contest using all your social media accounts. You can also use your other touch points such as your newsletter and blog to market your contest or even set up a paid advertising campaign.

The key when planning social media contests is to be creative. The more unique and original your social media competition is and the more unique and valuable your social media giveaway is, the more likely you are to experience your desired outcome.

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To come up with a Facebook contest idea, you can either survey your audience by asking them which contests they have participated in, and why. Alternatively, you can monitor brands who run social media contests regularly and who attract a similar audience as yours.

Good Facebook contest examples include Corona’s contest. It was the shining example of creativity. Their social media competition which involved giving the opportunity to anyone who liked their page to have their picture shown on a billboard in Times Square became a big success.

Not only was the prize unique and hard to acquire outside the competition, it also appealed to their target market.

Once your social media competition has been carefully planned with the end goal in mind, choose among the different tools available such as woobox.com or pagemodo.com to put it together and manage the entries.

These tools have a wide range of ready-made Facebook contest examples you can choose from, all you need to do is fill in the blanks.

There are many different types of social media contests. There are sweepstakes which invite people to submit their contact details and where a random person is selected as a winner.

Then there is a “text submission” type of social media giveaway, where participants are required to provide information in text format such as answering a question or submitting information such as a recipe.

There is also the “photo contest” type which invites contestants to upload pictures based on the criteria described in the contest.

Lastly, there is the “video contest” type which requires participants to record and upload videos based of course on the rules described in the competition.

Sweepstakes usually have the lowest barrier to entry and therefore will attract more participants whereas video contests have the highest barrier to entry. You can expect a lower participation rate but more engaged and committed contestants with video contests.

But before launching social media contests, it is critical you follow the contest rules of the social media platform you plan to launch the contest on.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have contest rules you need to follow, such as:

  • The obligation to offer terms and eligibility requirements in your contest
  • Acknowledge that the contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with the social media platform
  • Fully comply with rules and regulations governing the contest

If you’d like to take your Facebook marketing to the next level, and increase the results you’re getting from your current Facebook marketing efforts by 10, click here to download my FREE Facebook marketing report. Simply enter your name and email and I’ll instantly send you the report.

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