How to Create Impact with a Social Media Contest

By on October 19, 2018

In a world driven by social media, it is the duty of every growth-oriented company to lead active social media accounts across a multitude of relevant platforms in order to raise brand awareness, boost engagement, and drive people to their online presentation. After all, if you’re not trying to win over the hearts and minds of a three-billion-strong social media audience, you can rest assured your competitors are.

Assuming you already have an account on every relevant platform and that you’re disseminating your content on a regular basis, the time has come to boost engagement and drive people to your website with the help of social media contests. It’s a great way to get people talking about your brand, improve lead generation, and, of course, boost conversions. With that in mind, here is how your social media contests can make a real impact on the industry.

Study the platforms and their guidelines

Before you even start devising your ideal contest structure, you need to do your research and study the platforms you’re considering using for this purpose. Quite simply, it would be a terrible waste of resources and your team’s collective brainpower if your contest didn’t align with the guidelines of the social media network in question.

All social media platforms have very strict rules when it comes to business accounts, their promotions, advertising, content, and, of course, the contests they can and cannot effectuate. If you don’t familiarize yourself with the contest rules and guidelines, you’re not only risking getting banned from the network entirely, but you also risk getting a negative backlash from the audience.

Define your goals and set a budget

Much like you would do for every other marketing campaign, you should define the essential KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your contest. You can determine the KPIs by setting SMART goals for your campaign, making sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For instance, your goals could include boosting your social following, improving engagement, increasing brand awareness, improving lead generation or creating a better understanding of your customers’ needs.

When it comes to defining the budget for the contest, things tend to get a bit more complicated. You will have to factor in numerous variables such as the cost of the prizes, the software and tools you will need to use, the cost of advertising to promote the contest, the postage and shipping of the prizes, as well as any unforeseen expenses. In the end, your contest should generate a positive ROI, so make sure not to overspend on this marketing campaign alone.

Choose exciting prizes people will want

By far the most important part of your contest that will define its success is choosing prizes people will actually want to win. Keep in mind that the prizes you choose will generate contest participants or even long-term brand followers, so you will need to choose carefully. The right prize has the power to generate social media buzz all on its own, but in order to do that, it needs to be meaningful and truly valuable.

Consider prizes such as your own products or products related to your brand – these are always good options. Aside from offering a concrete product people may or may not want, another excellent idea is to offer a branded Visa prepaid card that will give your customers the freedom to spend the money however they want, while boosting brand awareness with a personalized design at the same time. Don’t forget to diversify your prize offering in order to incentivize more people to join, but also minimize costs with more affordable gifts.

The numerous types of contests

The amazing thing about social media is that there are many creative and exciting types of contests to choose from. What’s more, you don’t even have to limit yourself to a single contest structure, as you can choose a unique type to appeal to a specific audience as well as the platform. Allow people to enter your contest on numerous platforms for maximum engagement and brand reach.

When it comes to choosing the type of contest, consider photo or video entries, sweepstakes, caption or creative comment entries, or even a vote-to-win system. In case none of these appeals to you, you can always encourage participants to simply like and share your photos or posts to enter the contest. You can choose the winner at random, which is oftentimes the easiest way to avoid negative feedback and hold a fair competition.

Monitor engagement and improve

During your contest, and especially afterwards, it’s important that you gather the insights necessary to make your next contest better in every possible way. Firstly, be sure to thank everyone for their participation and adhere to a comprehensive follow-up email campaign.

Be sure to catch up with all the people who participated, especially those who did not win – these are your new leads you can nurture into becoming your loyal customers. In order to bring them back to your website, you can offer exclusive post-contest promotions with special deals and giveaways.

Social media is a powerful marketing tool every growth-oriented company should use to its advantage. With these key steps, you can craft an engaging social media contest that will drive customer engagement and help you make an impact on the industry.

About Keith Coppersmith

Keith is a business consultant with experience in numerous small businesses and startups. He is a regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog.com, he enjoys sharing advice on both traditional and digital marketing.
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