running a social media contestA technique used to create a viral social media marketing campaign is to run a contest. A contest is a great way for your business to reach new customers and engage existing ones. But if you’ve never created one before, putting together a successful social media marketing contest can be incredibly daunting, especially if you’re in the beginning stages and don’t yet have a clear picture of your target audience, platform, or contest style. So if you’ve found yourself stuck for where to start, here are five tips that will help you take the first steps to creating a brilliant and successful social media marketing contest.  


1. Determine Your Goals and Targets

A good starting point for your contest is to decide why you’re running it. Are you trying to increase sales? Do you want to launch a new product? Is your goal more Facebook likes or Twitter followers? Once you answer that important question, you can move on to the next one: who is your target customer for this goal? For instance, do you want to reach out to your loyal customers or branch off into a new demographic? Determining these things will help you design your contest and ensure that it’s going to attract the right people.

2. Figure Out the Type of Contest

Once you know the who and what of your contest, you can start to thinking of social media contest ideas and how you are going to engage these potential customers. There are a number of aspects to consider when you’re trying to decide the type of campaign, including:

  • What platform will you target (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.)
  • How long the contest will run
  • The type of contest (such as a quiz, social media photo contest, collect three, lottery, etc.)
  • How you’ll choose the winner

3. What Do People Get for Entering?

One of the main ways to get customers interested in a social media contest is with prizes, and the prize doesn’t necessarily have to be something that your business sells. For example, you may be a hair and aesthetics salon, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a new tablet for a grand prize. However, to avoid engaging people who just want to win something instead of potential customers, you should try to pick prizes that are related to your business.  

4. Work out the Logistics

Once you’re at this point, you’ve got the skeleton out of the contest, and now you have to get down to the nitty-gritty details to figure out how everything’s going to work. This includes coming up with the contest rules, checking all the legalities of what you’re doing, writing up privacy policies, determining how people will enter the contest, and announcing how winners will be announced.

5. Share it with the World

After the contest logistics are sorted out, you are well on your way to running one of the best social media contests. All you have to do now is let your customers and future contestants know about it This is the final piece of the puzzle, and once you figure it out, you can get your contest underway. Some of your options include paid social media advertising, cross-network advertising on other social media sites, in-store notifications, email blasts, and partnerships.

Social media contests have a number of benefits for businesses, but only if they’re executed properly. A lot of planning goes into these contests, and it’s important that you have everything mapped out long before you announce the contest. But with these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful contest, and before you know it you’ll have entrants and new customers knocking down your door for more information.   

Let us know if we can help set up a social media contest for your brand in order to grow your online engagement.