Contests, giveaways and sweepstakes have been cornerstones of old-school marketing, but have experienced a recent resurgence thanks to the boom of social media.
And why not? Contests represent low-hanging fruit for brands looking to drive traffic to their businesses, grow their lists and increase engagement with their content.
The beauty of contests is that they’re fair game for just about any social network, although Facebook and Instagram are where most brands are putting their focus.
If you’re looking to get your feet wet with social contests as a quick way to grow your business, take a look at our quick four-point guide to get started.
Sort Out the Legalese First
Running any sort of contest requires a bit of legal legwork for businesses. The experts such as Reciprocity Labs note that regulations are overlooked by businesses dealing with ecommerce and products online: similarly, these same legal points for contests are easy to overlook.
For example, any contest needs a specific terms and conditions page for entrants to reference. Additionally, entry and winner parameters must be crystal clear, especially when it comes to collecting a prize. Trying to run a contest without outlining these terms can be a headache, so make sure you’ve got your legal bases covered first.
Figure Out Your Perfect Prize
You can’t have a contest without a prize, can you?
Simply put, you need something that’s going to entice entrants. For example, a $5 Amazon gift card isn’t going to get many people excited, but $200 in free swag or digital products will.
It’s all about finding a balance between buzz and value. Ideally, you can give away a prize that’s digital or subscription-based so you eat little or no cost as a result of running the contest. Regardless, a big-ticket prize is going to drive more entrants regardless of what you’re selling.
Give Your Contest Some Purpose
You shouldn’t just run a contest at random. When you have a goal in mind for your contest, it’s much easier to target your campaign and also measure results in terms of how much you were able to engage your entrants.
For example, some smart goals behind a contest might be…
- Building your email list, requiring entrants to opt-in to win
- Establishing social proof, encouraging people to share user-generated content and show off your brand to the world
- Beefing up your social following, ultimately turning one-time entrants into long-term followers.
Pick and Promote Your Winners
Depending on your contest, you can either use a randomizer tool to pick winners or judge a winner for yourself (in the case of a caption contest, for example). Either way, a crucial point of your contest is to announce and promote the winner after it’s over by sharing the results with your follower or email list. This shows people that your contest wasn’t a scam and likewise frames the fact that they could indeed be winners next time around.
Oh, and once you’ve ironed out the specifics of your first contest, it’s exponentially easier to repeat these steps and replicate the results time and time again.
Social media contests represent a fantastic way to build buzz around your brand, granted you know the fine details of how to run them. With the help of this list, you can get started on your first contest campaign sooner rather than later.