Companies and brands have been doing contests for years, it’s not new, but thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, any business can run a contest!
Where do you begin . . .
Pick your social media platform-
You can use almost any social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram are some of the most popular ones. Choose a site your business is most popular on. If you choose Facebook, you must have a Facebook Page. Facebook allows you to ask for “Likes”, “Comments” and “Send Your Page a Message” in order for folks to enter your contest. Personal profiles cannot be used to collect contest entries.
- Decide what your goals are. Why are you running your contest? This will help you design a contest in a way that will make it worth your time and be successful! Create measurable goals like:
- Keeping track of Facebook “Likes”
- Time on you site
- Unique Visitors
- Getting unique usable content for your site from contestants
- Create a Landing Page on your website to promote and sign up participants. The only clickable link on your landing page should be the sign up for your contest.
- Make sure you include Social Share Buttons so participants can share your contest on social media.
- Give your contest a name, keep it simple, easy to understand. Anyone should be able to understand what kind of contest they are entering and what the rewards are for taking time to participate.
- Use action words in the title – what you want someone to do – vote, like, share, enter their email address
Now the contest details to figure out . . .
- Figure out what the reward is for entering your contest – do they receive a free product, coupon rewards, chance to make a video and have it run on your channel? Choose a reward that relates to your business, what would your target audience be interested in? You want to attract people who are interested in your products or services, not just folks who want to win an iPhone. Keep in mind, one of the reasons for running a contest on social media is to increase your brand following, to attract quality followers and serious buyers.
- Set a time limit – you want to give enough time to get the word out and be fair to contestants. If this is your first attempt, 30 – 45 days would be a place to start. You will need time to attract people and organize incoming contestant data.
- When viewers sign up, do they have to be followers to enter or can anyone participate? Is to goal to build your follower list? Decide who can participate.
- You should have participants to fill out a short form to collect marketing data. Keep your form short, 3 to 8 questions relating to your marketing data. Always remember to ask for an email address.
- Are participants submitting videos, content? This is a great way to generate user content and chances are participants will promote their submissions on their own social media sites. If you are asking for videos, you should have a complete list of video guidelines for participants, such as:
- Max time limit for video
- Type of acceptable content
- Format to use- Vine? YouTube?
Click Here for link to sample video rules used by Friskies Company in a 2014 video contest they held.
- How will you notify winners and losers? By individual emails or a message on your website?
Time to Promote . . .
- Create a calendar with your start date, end date, promotion dates, type of promotions and where these will be shown. Include information like when, where and how you will announce winners.
- Link other social media accounts to your contest. For example, if you are running a contest on Facebook and have an Instagram account, add your feed to cross promote.
- Lay out clear and concise contest rules! Make it easy to access and understand. There are some free legal advice sites for contest rules and good templates like this one from ShortStack.
- When promoting your contest be sure to include a great visual of the prize or rewards.
- Promote by posting contest announcement on your Blog, send out emails, use your social media to share, choose industry specific Forums to share your contest promos.
- Try promoting your contest by having participants receive awards for the most likes in a week or times they retweeted your contest promo tweet, or for having the most pins in a week.
When you do pick a winner, don’t forget about them! Interview them, create a YouTube video to show, write a post about them, promote your winner to engage further interest in your brand.
Conclusion – Successfully raising awareness of your brand, product or services by running a contest on social media is a fun way to engage your followers, help spread the word about your business and develop solid marketing data.
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