Social Media Contests

Social Media Contests

Looking for a relatively inexpensive, non-laborious and exceedingly rousing means to grow your brand and your sales online? Consider the phenomenon of social media contests. The affordable, measurable way to grow your sales, your business, your brand – the all-embracing enchilada.

Social media contests engage consumers with your brand in a personal, agreeable and – if you get it right – meaningful way, while delivering valuable info, preferences and feedback you can put into play to enhance your business offering.

Keep it creative, funky and easy

Launching a contest isn’t that hard, but your positioning must be tailored to your market – not lame, corny or pushy – and prizes must have sex appeal to a wide audience. They can range from must-haves like iPads, gift cards for your business or ‘exposure’ prizes such as posting / publicizing winning videos. Your contest must be fun, require some creative sweat and be uncomplicated to join – or few will.

FB likes can’t be deposited in your bank account

You’ll like the inexpensiveness of conscripting humanity’s naturally competitive, creative instincts, not to mention seeing the range of entries (crazy to brilliant) that pour in. But you’ll definitely love how contests – at least the way we run’em – don’t just deliver you ephemeral Facebook likes, but actual new traffic to your site and measurable sales growth.

Here are five proven, free, strategies for launching and running contests on social media, and also turning them into a torque-y power tool with real business value.

social media contests

1: Set a pragmatic marketing goal

Trying to encourage awareness of a new brand, product or service? Compiling a list of prospects interested in a product? Inviting new participants to engage your company’s social networking assets? There are tons of reasons to kick off a contest, but know beforehand what it is you’re aiming to bring about.

contests on social media

2: Let invention reign

This is where it gets fun, and limitless. You have choices in abundance as to the type of contest you might launch. Some ideas:

  • A video challenge inviting people to produce a commercial for a new product or service
  • A call for user-generated content with awards going to the top personal experience story
  • A photo contest related to your business – eg., best shot of your product in an ‘extreme usage scenario’ wins
  • A new product invention challenge with a whopper of a cash prize

3: Leverage your social channels

One exhilarating aspect of online contests is how readily they can go viral. This, exponential draw of more participation and people into your social marketing universe is also a massive energy injection into your staff’s day-to-day. And much of what’s needed is already standing, ready to deliver: Facebook, Twitter, your blog and other social media you use, plus older-school channels like print, e-mail and POS signage.

Bunch of raving socialists

Search contest on Twitter and see hundreds of them in play on any given day. The most successful are ultra-social in nature. Why? Because people like to compete in games and contests together, and who doesn’t love sharing a go at winning a tasty prize with friends and family? You can encourage all that by embedding ‘share this’ links to your contest site on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and anywhere else people encounter your competition.

contests on social media

Monitor the engagers

Social media tracking tools like Meteor Solutions show you which users and sites are sharing your contest, and in turn promote it more intensively to those groups. You can boost that virulence with easy copy / paste sharing via the URL shortener for the links to your contest. Be sure to allow participants to vote and choose the winner. It keeps your audience talking long after contenders have submitted entries.

4: Finish it fast

Contests on social media normally run about four weeks, but can be extended if participants need extra time for creative application, inventing a new product, etc. Once the winner is chosen, unleash a substantial announcement blitz via Facebook and Twitter to publicize the victor/s. Use your social media tracker to learn which people and social venues are talking most about the winner. Add to that chatter, posting comments on those networks to engender still more interest.

5: Measure the puppy

Your contest was jolly good excitement, but did it achieve your marketing objective? Use your social media tracking tool to measure its impact on brand engagement, clickthrough to your site, conversion and sales. Did the contest bring the extra traffic to your site as hoped? Did this traffic translate into purchases, newsletter subscriptions, Twitter followers, whatever?

Or bugger all that, and let the contest cowboys handle it. You might be too busy running a marketing department or a company to do all this yourself. That’s why we were born. Our social media contests start at $5,000.

That gets you full ownership of a hosted turnkey or independent contest site customized to your needs and tastes, plus promotability on your company web site via the widget we design that seduces users onto your contest site. In all, we provide the big fat idea, ingenious mechanics, superb-looking design, along with conceptually wicked ad and promo campaign, and of course start-to-finish contest management, prize fulfillment, judging and full reporting.

Ask yourself this:

When was the last time I dropped five grand on an ad and got anything out of it, other than an unpleasant burning sensation?

See our success.

We ran a social media contest for Kingspan and even won an award for it. You can read about it here.

jib strategic is a marketing agency in Toronto. We are graphic design specialists. We are also adversiting experts. Kings of branding and identity. Champs of social relevance and seo.