March 27, 2018

Tips For Running Successful Social Media Contests

7 out of 10 people play a contest on social media run by a brand. Social media contests are like a one-stop solution to gain new followers, increase engagement, get people excited about your brand, boost organic promotion and convert leads into customers. Moreover, it is also a great way to make existing customers happy, turning them into loyal fans. Over 70% big companies run social media contests for user engagement. However, coming up with a contest idea and running it on social media is not enough to make it a success. Social media success requires meticulous planning and execution. Here are some tips to help you run a successful social media contest:

1. Be clear of your objective

The first thing you should be sure of before starting a contest is your objective of running it. Contests can be run to attract new users and increase followers, increase brand visibility, reward loyal customers or promote a new product or service. When you know the objective, you can accordingly plan your contest. If the target is to just increase likes and followers on a social media page, a sweepstake or Like to Win or Comment to Win contest works well. If you want to create a buzz around a particular product, a contest like uploading pictures with the product can help make it go viral. [caption id="attachment_8142" align="aligncenter" width="369"]facebook social media contest Source: Facebook[/caption]

2. Choose a single platform

Choosing which platform to run the contest on is the next important thing to decide. It is always better to choose one platform and stick to it rather than running a contest on multiple platforms, and losing track. However, you can promote the contest on all networks. Hosting a contest on a single platform leaves no room for uncertainty and there will be no need to modify your contest to meet the rules of different platforms. Moreover, analysing the results and selecting the winner also becomes easier. [caption id="attachment_8145" align="aligncenter" width="526"]tips for running social media contests Source: Donna’s Promo Talk[/caption]

3. Decide on the type of contest

The easier it is to enter the contest, the more people are likely to participate in it. Decide on whether you want the contest to be a sweepstake contest, a like and share to win, photos/videos, guess or quiz and others. Sweepstakes are the easiest to participate in, but have  low engagement rates. Photo/videos can go viral, although they demand quite a bit of effort from the users. Choose a contest based on your objective, but refrain from including too many steps like filling up lengthy forms and make it less complicated. Ask only for relevant information because if you ask for too much, the participation rate will be low. A contest should always have clear instructions, established rules and be easy to participate in. [caption id="attachment_8144" align="aligncenter" width="458"]Apollo contest social media Source: Facebook[/caption]

4. Set clear contest rules

The bigger the prize, the more will be the participation. In case you’re offering a big giveaway, there are chances of cheating, complaints about unfairness or remarking that the winners were chosen in a biased manner. To avoid such situations, it is important to have a set of crystal-clear rules for the contest from the very beginning. Include the dates of entry and the closing date, the steps that need to be followed, the company policies, the way the winner will be chosen and then contacted, the duration by when they will receive the gift and so on. It will protect both you and your participants and avoid any unnecessary complications afterwards.

5. Pay attention to the contest length

Focus on the time period of running the contest. A very short timeline can diminish the chances of getting a decent number of entries and too long a time period can make users disinterested. If your contest is a simple ‘like to win’ or solve a puzzle, run it for a shorter time. However, if the contest requires participants to click a photo or video and upload it, make sure that you give them enough time. Timing your contest is also very important. For instance, if you are giving out tickets to a concert or event as a prize, make sure that the winner/winners have sufficient time to collect the prize. [caption id="attachment_8143" align="aligncenter" width="289"]contest timing Source: Wishpond Blog[/caption]

6. Keep promoting and monitoring

Just like everything else, even your contests need promotion. Pin the contest details to the top of the page apart from promoting it on all other social channels. You can also ask participants to share the post or tag their friends and in return provide them with a small advantage like allowing them to participate in the contest multiple times. When the contest is live, it needs to be monitored everyday to keep a track on its performance. Make sure to answer all questions and doubts that participants may have regarding the contest.

7. Know the rules yourself

Remember that every social media platform has their own set of rules to run a contest. Be familiar with those rules before starting a contest, or there may be a possibility of getting banned from the channel. With proper planning and execution, social media contests can be a great way to get new followers, get them excited about your brand, go viral and generate new leads, all in the process of having fun. To know more about such contests and how it can help your business, leave us a message and we will get back to you soon!