"Like this post and comment below to be entered to win!"
We've all seen these types of posts all across the different social media platforms, and heck, you've probably even entered a few of them yourself in hopes of winning a fabulous prize. While most will eagerly comment 20 times in efforts of winning the contest, there's a 99% chance the host (whether it's a company or an influencer) has an ulterior motive for this contest.
No, I'm not saying they're going to rip you off and never follow through with the prize. I'm saying the host likely isn't hosting this contest for the sake of giving something away. Why do I say this? Well, let's think. Many social media contests will require you to either:
a. Follow their profile
b. Like their post
c. Comment on the post
d. All of the above
More times than not, social media contests will have you do all of the above. Why? Because they're looking for higher engagement on their posts, more followers, and even more so, NEW followers. And from a business perspective, that means more potential customers!
But to run a social media contest, consider these tips:
Determine Your Ideal Entrant
The first step towards building a successful social media contest is to determine who you want to appeal to. The majority of the time, this will likely be your target market - because ultimately, you want your entrants to be potential customers, even if they don't win.
Make sure you're marketing your contest to the right people by adding labels and directly addressing your target audience with copy. Additionally, choose a prize that they will thoroughly enjoy and make them want to enter multiple times.
For example: a furniture company might start their copy off with "Attention all home decor enthusiasts!" and continue to state that the big prize is a $1000 gift card to their store.
Determine Your Method of Entry
As I mentioned above, the most common social media contests revolve around the "engagement" method these days; which requires entrants to either follow the profile and/or engage directly with the post through likes, comments, and shares. This method is the easiest to enter and will also get more entrants overall because it's so simple to participate. This will ultimately gain you higher engagement and follower numbers.
The second most common method is slightly harder to enter because it requires a little bit more work from the entrant. We'll call this one the "photo" method where uses are required to, for example, post a photo to their Instagram and use a branded contest hashtag. Companies tend to use this method when their end goal with the contest isn't to gain more followers or engagement necessarily, but to obtain more user-generated content.
Think about it - they're basically doing the work for you in return for a chance to win a prize. But before you go an use their photo in your next ad campaign, make sure you have the users' permission!
Determine How to Convert Entrants into Customers
Let's be honest - not everyone will win. In fact, most won't. As a business, once the contest is over, you need to be able to retain those entrants and convert them into customers. You're already on their radar, so the easiest method is to send a quick message to them once the contest is over. We recommend creating a specific coupon code for those who entered the contest and sharing with them via Facebook or Instagram messages.
A quick little "Thanks for entering our contest! While you didn't win the grand prize, we didn't want to leave you empty-handed. Here's a coupon code for 20% off your next purchase!"
Not only does this keep your business on their mind, but also incentivizes entrants to convert and portrays your company as customer-friendly.
So as you can see, while a social media contest is a great method of obtaining new followers and greater engagement, there are a few tricks to really get the best outcome of your efforts. And with the holiday season among us, it's the perfect time to put these tips into play! Host a holiday social media contest and watch your engagement (and sales!) soar.