11 Tips for running an incredible social media contest

Contest on social media is an incredible way to induce enthusiasm in your followers as well as increase the number of followers you already have.

It is the best way to enhance your online profile and engage with your customers. When businesses use antics like contests and competition, they see a great increase in likes, email subscribers and views.

Plus, contests are fun, and customers tend to appreciate them, so it’s a win-win. And there’s nothing worse than having your contest sink into oblivion.

So, here are the eleven tips for running successful contests on social media at your disposal.
1. Consideration for hosting a contest:
When a business decides on hosting a successful contest, there are several things that has to be considered.

It is a given fact that almost all business benefit from a well-designed contest, so it becomes the responsibility to encourage everyone to take advantage of this free marketing antic with appropriate preparation and strategy.
2. Set a clear goal:
Businesses don’t run giveaways for no reason. There has to be some return on investment on the products or services you are giving away, for it to make business sense.

The first step to host a successful contest is to identify the motive, goal and what is the best avenue to accomplish that.

The goal for businesses may vary from increasing the number of followers, more email subscribers, or increase in daily activities on their social media channels.

You should set a goal that’s specific, attainable, measurable, timely and relevant. Make sure you define your contest’s goals clearly before you even start planning. 

Entrepreneurs must also target specific platforms, say those who regularly engage on Facebook, which is a more of an adult demographic are likely to expect a different kind of contest than the ones on twitter, Instagram or snapchat.

To get your business in notice on a platform, you should consider creating a contest geared to the users of these platforms.

For an instance, Facebook and Instagram are a visual medium, so the users of these platforms would love a photo contest. Twitter users are most likely to engage with polls.
3. Determine the type of your contest:
Once you have determined your goal, you must figure out what kind of contest would help you in accomplishing it.

Sweepstakes are popular form of content because they are easy to enter. For say, most pages only require a follow or like with a retweet or share, making it simple for fans to join advancing more entries in your favour.

You can also consider other contests that require higher levels of engagement from viewers. It engages them to participate and makes them to share the contest with their friends.

You can consider running photo vote, video vote and picture competition. For instance, the image that receives most likes wins, and people are more likely to share their own entry among their friend list to boost it.

“Caption” contests are another type of engaging contests. But what you should always remember is that your goal is to collect user generated content.
4. Time the contest relevantly:
Different types of contests are suited for different time frames. Decide for how long your contest will run and let your audience know.

Say, sweepstakes can be done with in a couple of weeks. Picture voting, on the other hand, can be generally wrapped up with multiple rounds of voting.

It is onto you to find that balance. Some businesses even do a weekly or monthly contest and giveaway.

Many offering valuable prizes like a trip to some places, tend to run contest for a longer period of time than those offering small prizes.

Just remember that you make sure you share the time frame in all of your promotions otherwise participants can get restless if results are not announced fast enough.
5. Have a specific audience:
Distinguishing your brand with a targeted audience is as evident for developing a social media marketing strategy as it is for creating a contest for social media.

Make sure you keep the audience in mind and are able to distinguish who can enter your contest.

There is no denying that not everyone would be interested in winning the prize you are giving away, so your contest needs to tailor to that as well.

It is often analyzed that when a business incorporates audience-specific interests in a contest, it is likely to see more response.
6. Decide on the rules:
The bigger the product or service you put at the display, the more people are likely to take interest in your contest.

Hence, it is important that you define rules in the beginning to abate trouble. It becomes crucial when you have intentions to use any content after the contest is done with, it can be a picture, caption or even a video.

For instance, you can consider a rule stating that voting is only a part of the process, and a judge would only determine the final winner.

You should take time to consider a way that the sweepstake could be counterfeited. If there are any ambiguities, they need to be stated clearly and sorted quickly.

Many a times application is not even required. People are less likely to make an effort for cheating if they believe they will be caught.
7. Choose the right platform:
This goes back to steps when you setting goals and choosing contest types. Once the time frame, motive, and method are established, it’s time to decide which platform is most effective for a particular contest.

Many contests are shareable across different platforms but are coordinated with only a single giveaway.

It is not necessary to choose a platform because many businesses allow viewers to participate in the same contest on various social media channels. It can be one of the options for you, depending on the contest.
8. Choose a relevant prize:
Picking a relevant prize that will appear tempting to your target audience and ideal customer rather than one that will be generically enticing.

However, you can’t say that the people who are attracted to your prize are attracted to your brand. Offer a prize that appeals and is relevant to your audience rather than something expensive that is not even related to your business.
9. Build an audience as you run the contest:
It is often seen that most contests require a little information from the participants. For say, if the contest is to meant to be run on Facebook, the user profile provides the necessary details.

However, it is a good practice to ask the entrants for their email, considering the participant will be then exposed to future marketing.
10. Promote the contest wisely:
One of the easy-going ways to increase visibility of a contest is through a built-in ad promotions.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow businesses to pay for increasing their views. The more people the will see the entries, the more exposure it is going to get.

Entrants can also promote the contests. Say, many events and contests require the entrants to share or retweet before they make their entry valid.

Some businesses follow a different route by offering an additional entry for each time their audience share their posts.

This method is effective, as it allows people to choose how much they want to spread information regarding the contest. If the contest is promoted in this manner, you can easily win number of followers and viewers.
11. Produce fresh content constantly:
It is analyzed that the fate of a business page can be determined in the first few weeks of following, concluding if the viewer will stick around or abandon it.

Hence, it becomes very important on your part to produce engaging and relevant content during this crucial time.

Promoting and posting about the contest repeatedly is a practice that you should really avoid during this time. Instead the focus should be on making the page seem as important and useful as possible.
In conclusion, social media contests are one of the best combination of something that is fun, informational and relevant.

With proper precautions and preparation, they’ll inebriate lots of publicity for your business while making a lucky individual very elated.
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