The Art of Running a Social Media Contest

Engage Your Audience With a Killer Campaign

Social MedIa Contests

The Art of Running a Social Media Contest

Summertime! The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and patio loving Canadians have almost forgotten what the dead cold of winter feels like. It is also the time for the big fun summer social media contests. A lot of businesses want to increase brand awareness or want to get people into the shop and think that running a social media contest is the way to do it.

A well run social media contest is a great way to get people to interact with your brand and gain likes or followers. On the flip side a poorly run campaign can actually alienate people and leave them with a bad brand association – clearly something you don’t want to have happen. Thankfully we’ve run a campaign or two in our day and we are here to help.

There are a few things you want to think about when planning to/running a contest on social media.

Consider Your Audience

If you think we’re starting to sound like a broken record, it’s because we are. That being said, considering you audience is the first thing you should do before you communicate externally. If you’re a company that sells vintage car parts, running a contest for a trip to the biggest show ‘n shine in makes more sense than a gift certificate to the Body Shop. Find your audience, figure out what they want and make it the prize at the end of the social media rainbow. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as a trip somewhere. A pie shop could offer something as easy as free pie for a month. You get the idea.

Create Your Rules

There are a lot of scammy “contests” that regularly float around social media. People tend to trust a contest more when they are transparent. Decide when the contest is going to end, how the winner will be notified and what specific actions people should take to get entered and then clearly communicate it to them. For instance, the copy could look something like this: simply like and comment on this post to be entered to win free pie for life. Do it soon, the contest is over July 14. Stay tuned to our Facebook page where we announce the winner.

Keep it Simple

Here is where most social media contests go off the rails. Don’t overcomplicate it. Yes, you have a cool prize and want to increase your social media engagement across all channels, but the more social platforms you add, the more complicated it is going to get. Try to stick to one or two channels, three at the most. You don’t need it run your campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pintrest, and LinkedIn, that’s just banana pants crazy! Develop a short hashtag that compliments the campaign and stick to it.

Get Graphic

This probably doesn’t need to be said but, your contest should have some high impact visuals to go with it. Change your cover photo to one that promotes your contest and create a few graphic pieces that are visually appealing that will encourage people to share your post and increase brand engagement amongst their friends.

There are many more things to think about when running a social media contest, for instance how you can capture and store entries, how to measure the effectiveness of your contest and just sticking to your brand in general. We are keeping these bits of knowledge to ourselves, we have to keep some trade secrets you know! If you don’t want the headache or hassle of running your own social media contest, consider letting us do it for you! Give us a call, come have a cuppa and we will chat about how you can help make your contest take flight.