The internet is full of competition for attention. It’s at an all-time high, actually. The fight to keep your followers and customers engaged with your brand’s social media accounts are a constant struggle. With that predicament in mind, what’s the maneuver that most brands are turning to keep drumming up interest?
The answer comes in the form of a social media contest.
Everyone loves to win, don’t they? And there are people in this world who are just naturally competitive.
Social media contests have been proven to:
- Build an email list: Contests are good for lead generation. Convince your customer or follower that they get something out of giving you their email address, and they are more likely to comply.
- Create viral tendencies: Your followers are huge fans of experience. And if it’s something fun and exciting, then it’s something they will latch on to. They will share that experience with their friends. And the more people who know, the more likely your posts and contest will go viral.
- Improve online engagement: Customers also want deeper connections these days. By running a contest, you encourage your consumers to make the first move — by reaching out to you first and interacting with your brand.
A social media contest speaks volumes to a broad spectrum of your audience. In running a social media contest, you have the perfect opportunity to amplify your brand, your services, and your products. With minimal promotional budget, you can grab your audiences’ attention, all while gaining new followers and customers.
Yes, we all know that social media contests are useful and any brand ought to hold a contest once in a while, but what exactly makes a popular and successful social media contest?
What are the ingredients to a social media contest that converts contestants into returning and paying customers?
10 Ingredients of a Successful Social Media Contest
Winning social media contests need sufficient planning and carefully strategic execution. There are mechanics, rewards, registration, and the actual run of the contest to think about. And any misstep can result in unsavory consequences that may or may not affect your business negatively.
So, here is a list of things you need to account for before the planning and the execution of the social media contest can actually begin.
#1 Sufficient budget and clear goals
One of the staples of any social media contest is to ensure that you have the budget laid out and attainable goals to match. Your goals need to be measurable, relevant, specific, and time-bound.
Keep in mind that social media contests are aimed at providing value to your business through:
- Growing the email list
- Increasing your number of social media followers
- Encouraging user-generated content
- Boosting engagement with the product and brand
[bctt tweet=”One campaign can accomplish your goals, but be sure to prioritize the goals that you want to focus on the most.” username=”relevance”]
Making your contest far too complex will deter people from entering, and you defeat the purpose of attracting engagement in the first place.
And when it comes to determining the right budget, take note of the promotional costs, the prize, and if you’ll be needing any paid services.
#2 Valuable prizes
Running a successful social media contest calls for consideration on both the premise and prizes to be delivered. They need to be intriguing enough to drum up interest, and consequently, get your target customers on board. You can even have the prize itself be the central focus of the contest.
Remember that you don’t just want people entering to win. You want these contestants to turn into returning customers. In addition, you also want to attract people who want to be involved in your business, and not just the ones who constantly hunt for contests to enter into.
So if you’re a brand that sells lawn mowers, then give lawnmowers away as prizes — not a smartphone, no matter how much it’s tempting to.
Of course, you shouldn’t devalue these other prizes as well, such as:
- A vacation getaway, or something equally unique
- Other products related to your brand
- Your exclusive services and products
- Money and gift cards
#3 The proper social network
It’s a social media contest, so think about where it’s going to take place? Will you host it on Instagram? Perhaps Twitter or Facebook? Or maybe even Snapchat. The more social media platforms you’ll be using, the bigger your scope of responsibility is.
There’s no rule that says you have to strictly stick to one social media platform only. The best practice here is to promote your contest heavily on the social media networks where your target audience is most active.
#4 Registration mechanics
Having the social media networks in place, you can proceed to figuring out the registration mechanics — or the entry requirements.
Remember to keep entry requirements simple. You don’t want to discourage your audiences from entering because of an overly complicated entry scheme.
[bctt tweet=”Entering social media contests can be as easy as sharing a Facebook post, retweeting someone’s Tweet, or encouraging people to tag you on Instagram.” username=”relevance”]
You might also want to think about using hashtags to track your entries. In addition, your contestants can fill out a form, so you get information in exchange of their entry into the contest.
The method of entry must be integrated with the goals that you’ve set for your contest.
#5 The right software
If your social media contest is straightforward, you may not need software. But if data collection is part of your contest, you’re going to need software to help you manage and build the entire thing.
The good news is that you have numerous software packages to choose from, and to help you accomplish exactly that.
Convince&Convert has really good suggestions that are well-worth looking into before you start the contest:
- Rafflecopter: Great for bloggers and sole entrepreneurs who run simple giveaways with multiple entry points.
- Woobox: Designed for medium-sized companies and other large brands that prioritize social media marketing on Facebook.
- Strutta: Also good for medium to large companies holding contests on Instagram, Facebook, or in their own website.
- Wishpond: Tool that works best for medium to large companies that hold contests connected to generating leads.
- Wyng: Good for medium-sized companies. The software has loads of campaign content templates and ideas.
- Shortstack: Great for small to large agencies, and good for contests that will host on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
#6 Duration of the contest
In deciding the timeline of your social media contest, take note of the important elements. Experts advise that you work backward – from the date where you want to announce the winners.
Figure out when the decision making for the winners starts and ends. When are you going to shut down entry submissions? When will you open your inbox for entries? When are you going to start promotions?
Think about the time you need to develop the campaign and be as creative as possible. Seek approval for contest rules, along with other tasks you need to cover before the official launch.
#7 Rules of holding a social media contest
Don’t overlook reading up on social media contest rules that you should follow for each social media platform. Make legal requirements clear and conform to all of them to avoid running into hiccups down the road.
Breaking rules imposed by social media platforms result in unsavory consequences. So be sure to read up on the community guidelines.
#8 Having a promotional strategy pre-launch
Don’t launch a contest right out of the bat. Give your entrants time to prepare, and of course, build up the hype that will lead to more participation and lead generation.
In writing content for promoting your social media contest before it launches, keep your posts short but sweet. Stack up the exclusivity and the value of the prizes that you’ll be offering.
For the most part, you’ll be relying largely on social media platforms and your own website to boost your contest’s popularity. But if you have the budget to spare, don’t shy away from paid promotion either.
Every person who enters and shares the news about your contest to another has the potential to become a brand advocate and returning customers. Keep in mind that contests are not just for gathering new emails to pop into the lead list and increase follower count. It’s to inspire conversions down the road.
#9 Contestant management
You’re going to be dealing with a lot of people throughout this contest. Contestants and interested individuals will have questions and opinions to broadcast about your contest. Some would be a piece of cake to address, but others would be a bit more complicated.
Even for simplistics contests, managing your community of entrants is hard work and it’s critical.
For this reason, you need to have a concrete plan on the members of your team who will oversee and moderate the social media posts on weekdays. Think about how you’ll manage them during the weekend and during night time when you’re out of the office too.
#10 Damage control plans
If you don’t have one yet, now’s a better time as any to create a solid plan for handling a social media crisis. When all goes well and you’ve got everything managed splendidly, there won’t be any crises disrupting the flow in the foreseeable future. But in the case of incidents you can’t predict, and a crisis happens, you won’t be running anymore contests in the future.
Social Media Contests that Convert
Social media competitions are like the exclusive parties you went to. There are parties that make you want to stay and do a whole lot more than just a dance. And then there are parties that make you want to get the heck out of there for good.
And similar to a party if you’re the organizer, you would want to do everything in your power to make the event as enjoyable as possible; not only to leave great impressions on your guests to but invite them to come back should you hold other parties in the future.
[bctt tweet=”Running a social media contest is similar. There’s always something to learn from every experience and mistake.” username=”relevance”]
But when you do your social media contests right, you not only reap all the benefits of engagement and lead generation, you get customers that are more likely to convert into returning clientele as well.