Constructing the Perfect Social Media Contest

Competitions are a great way of not only increasing your social stats, but also a great way of rewarding current followers. Social competitions are proven to be effective in drawing more attention to your website, but once the competition closes it is keeping the followers and getting them to re-engage with the page that is often difficult. This task is not impossible; it just takes a bit of planning. Here are some great tips on putting together the best social media competition:

Before you start

Planning is a necessity when putting together a social media contest. You need to think about why you want to run it, ie; what do you want to gain from the competition? Gaining more followers is an obvious target, but also one that only offers a false perspective as many of those followers lose interest once the contest has ended. Therefore, a far more achievable goal would be to produce a higher return on investment ie; money or to gain research on the types of followers your page attracts for example. The point is, you need to formulate a clear plan with an achievable target that will ultimately benefit your company or website.

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Putting together the contest

Picking the correct prize is essential in ensuring that your contest will be a success; the best prizes often relate to the competition, but this isn’t a necessity. Whatever the value of the prize, the most important thing is that the prize is desirable. The contest itself needs to be accessible for an audience, with clear instructions and very easy to participate in. You also need to think about what social media sites you will utilise. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are the obvious sites, but apps such as Instagram are increasing in popularity so you must tap into the current market; doing some research beforehand is the best way to find the current social media trends. The competition itself can vary in difficulty and participation; some opt for creative contests, others are very straightforward and simple. Some contests require their entrants to make a video submission for example, whereas others simply require the participant to re-tweet a statement on Twitter. Whatever the competition, make it work for you and your website.

Promoting the contest

Promoting the contest ultimately helps to promote your site, and hosting the contest via social media means that promoting is has never been easier. Re-tweeting on Twitter, for example, is very easy and acts as instant promotion; so getting participants to follow the page and then re-tweet to enter the competition is an easy and effective way for promotion. With something like a video or photo entry, the winner could be selected by a poll of votes; thus the entrants themselves promote the competition to their own friends and followers in order to get more votes. The friends and followers then have to join the page to vote (on Facebook for example), thus the competition reaches many more people and promotes the website at the same time. It is essential that a requirement of the competition is that the entrant must be a follower of the page.

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Once the contest has ended

Tasks such as ensuring that the winner has been informed and that they receive the prize are key. A great idea is to get them to tweet once the prize has been delivered. This can be re-tweeted by your own page, allowing the other followers hope for future competitions, and it also makes the whole process seem more ‘real’. Enticing followers who didn’t win this time with future completions is also vital. Teasers such as “stay tuned for a new contest next week” are a great way of keeping interest.

The key then to the perfect social media contest is pre-planning combined with giving the consumer something they want, whilst making sure the contest works for you. As shown above, it can be done.


About the Author: Jon Dennis has been involved in online marketing for many years, and currently works on behalf of Ladbrokes Games.

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