Social media contests all over the place. With the competition for attention on social media at an all-time high, the struggle to keep your following is real. Consistently posting content may not be enough to retain your current users, but Tweeting, “Who wants to win an iPad?” will surely get you a few new followers and clicks to your website.
Whether you’re starting off with 100 followers or 100,000 followers, hosting a contest can offer a leg up to increase your following in a saturated marketplace.
Why Social Media Contests Work
Social media contests are effective tools to integrate into your marketing strategy because it’s an opportunity to reach an untouched audience. With consumers looking to establish deeper connections with their favorite brands, contests initiate that connection with your brand.
Contests and promotions allow consumers to do your marketing for you by spreading awareness not only about the contest but about who your brand is. If your contest includes rules like sharing the post or forwarding the email for entry, participants are then sharing the message with their friends and family, amplifying your reach as a result of consumers marketing to other consumers.
So, do social media contests work? Of course – only if you use them carefully! A few key components for hosting a successful social media contest include:
Understanding Your Audience
When it comes to developing any social media marketing strategy, the main key to success is knowing who your audience is. Would your audience appreciate a gift card to a local restaurant or a day spa, tickets to an upcoming show, or an iPad? Your contest should cater to your customers, not just potential entrants.
Experimenting with Different Platforms
You want to reach as many of your followers across the board as you can, but what may appeal to some followers on platforms like Facebook might not appeal to your email subscribers. Decide what platform you want to see an increase in following, or decide what platform will work best for the type of contest you want to run.
Knowing What Kind of Contest to Run
Once you know your desired audience and what platform you plan to use, now is the time to consider the type of contest you want to run. Some contests that can spark engagement include:
- Surprise follower giveaways
- Hashtag contests
- Photo contests
- Video contests
- Biggest fan contests
- Form submissions/feedback contests
- Trivia contests
- Fill-in-the-blank contests
While social media contests are a sure-fire way to increase engagement, you still need to convince your followers to continue interacting with you. Be sure to continue producing engaging content to not only gain a new following but keep the ones you already have and watch your numbers grow.