Create a Buzz with a Social Media Contest
We all like to win stuff right? Why not get a boost on your social media sites, increase your followers, drive traffic to your website, draw interest in your brand and grow your business with a competition!
Social media contests are a great way to gain some excitement about your business and grow your brand awareness plus, they are easy to launch and other than the prize you're offering, they don't really cost you anything. Easy, cost-efficient marketing? I think we can all "buy" into that.
Grow Your Social Media Followers
Setting the rules of entry for the contest to require people to like, follow or share your page will instantly increase the percentage of people that might see your content. For example, you might say:
Like this photo
Tag or share with three friends
Increase Brand Awareness
As people interact with your contest and begin to like, share or comment on your content, social media algorithms will recognize that and therefore make your contest visible to more people who will then learn about your business.
Partner with others to get involved in the giveaway. Partnering with other businesses that will help promote your contest and social media sites will gain exposure to your brand and an audience that is different and new. Requiring all entrants to tag and follow each of the brands involved in the giveaway will increase brand awareness for everyone involved.
Grow Your Customer Database and Engage with Followers
You can engage with your customers and generate leads by setting the rules of the contest to allow you access to those interacting with your content or entering your contest. Requiring people to enter their contact information, inclusive of an email address is a great way to grow your email database. However, I think it's important to not make this the only requirement for entering the contest, but instead an added bonus. Many people are hesitant to list an email address, as we all get tired of too many emails. So after you've requested they follow, share, tag, etc, you might say something like "sign up to receive emails to double your chances of winning". You might also request they refer a friend or friends and for each referral, they gain an even better chance of winning and you gain even more email addresses for your database.
Remember to follow up immediately with a thank you for joining our mailing list and then shortly after your contest is over, have a well-drafted and thought out email campaign to highlight your business, keep you top of mind, and encourage future engagement.
You know the many benefits of hosting a contest, now how do you go about doing it and making it one of the most effective marketing strategies you use?
Determine your goal of the contest - what do you want to gain? Are you trying to increase your social followers, grow your brand awareness, expand your email database and engage more with your customers, or maybe you want to accomplish all three?
Decide the best platform for the contest based on your goals - Instagram and Facebook are both great platforms when wanting to grow social followers and you could run the same contest across both simultaneously. If you are trying to increase traffic to your website and generate more leads, you might host the contest from a landing page that can be promoted and linked to from your social sites, this will give you both traffic to your website and engagement with our social media sites. Partnering with other brands will create a buzz with new audiences and is also a great way to grow your brand awareness while increasing your social followers.
Decide on the budget and prizes and make sure to build that into your overall marketing budget. Plan for multiple contests as it will get people excited about your brand and keep them engaged, so understanding the budget ahead of time for this will make sure you are prepared throughout the year.
As always know your audience and try out different contests on different platforms. Contests are a great way to gauge who your audience is and how they interact with your content. Your business and contest goals may be better for one site over another, if you already know this, don't bother trying out other platforms. However, sometimes it's beneficial to run the contest across multiple social sites, particularly Facebook and Instagram, which you can and probably already link. Also, pay attention to the rules of each social site. Each has specific guidelines for the type of contest you can run, and you don't want your contest to get denied or shut down because you fail to follow their rules.
You're All Set to Launch Your Contest
You've come up with your contest idea and prize, set your goals, determined a very targeted audience, determined which social site you will use, now you are ready to promote it. It's a great idea to add a little extra push with some social ads, announcements in newsletters and on your website. Stay on top of the entries as they come in and be diligent in gathering information about your entrants and engaging with each of them. And when the contest is over, and you've awarded and announced your winner, make sure to follow up with a thank you to all of the participants and keep them engaged by teasing another contest coming soon.
Now you are ready to measure those results, see if you met and hopefully exceeded your goals and adjust as needed. Make sure that your contest was successful with the right people, you want to award prizes and engage with an audience that will ultimately become customers. As you look at your results it's very important to pay attention to who participated and determine if you reached a group that are likely to stay engaged and interested in your brand and hopefully become loyal followers and customers who fall in love with your business and are willing to promote it.