How to Run a Successful Social Media Contest

Giving something away for free is a great way to engage your followers on social media and to generate buzz for your brand.

Everyone likes to get something for free, even if it’s just a cup of coffee. Of course, if you offer a bigger prize, you’ll attract even more people and get even more results.

Holding a contest on your social media channels can help you leverage leads and make followers feel more engaged. Here are some tips for how to run a successful social media contest:

Choose a Creative Format

A simple contest that asks users to submit an entry by doing something like sharing your tweet or pinning your product on Pinterest can generate plenty of buzz. But if you really want to make a splash, you should do something a bit more creative.

Ask your followers to submit a photo of themselves using your product or doing something related to your service. For example, if you run a painting business, you might ask your followers to post a photo of a drab space that they want to renovate. Or you could ask them to post a photo of themselves next to a color wall that they want in their home or some other color inspiration.

Be creative with your contest! You can ask your followers to write a poem, to submit a funny jingle, to come up with a new name for a product, or to get the most repins on a post.

The more creative your contest is, the more likely followers are to be engaged.

Set Clear Dates

Everyone who enters your contest is going to want to know the deadline for entry and when the winners will be announced.

Make these dates as clear as possible.

Make sure that you set a date to announce the winners, and stick to it. People want to know that the big win isn’t too far into the future, and they are going to want to be on your page to see the reveal and find out if they are the ones who won.

Create Promotional Graphics

A great picture can make a big impact and get people excited about your contest.

Choose or take a great photo and make an exciting promotional graphic to share across your social media channels. Include a fun name for the contest, the deadline to enter, something about the prize, and – of course – your logo.

You want to give people just enough information so that they want to click to learn more, but you don’t want to overcrowd the graphic. Let it give people information at a glance but also entice them enough to click through.

Use a Hashtag

Make it easy for your followers to share information about the contest or to follow news about it by creating a special hashtag for it.

You can use the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. You can use the hashtag to promote the contest, even if you aren’t sponsoring the contest primarily on either of those channels. The more promotion you get on social media, the better.

Share regular updates with the hashtag attached, and always use the hashtag when responding to followers.

Give Incentives for Sharing

The more people share your contest, the more buzz it and your brand will get.

Give people incentives to share by offering them extra entries for the contest when they do. For example, when you use a service like Rafflecopter, you can give people options like sharing the contest on Facebook or tweeting about it on Twitter, and you can set the number of entries they get. You might want to give more entries for shares on sites you want to get featured on the most.

Use a service that verifies the share. Otherwise, people can just say they shared when they really didn’t.

Offer a Great Prize

The better your prize, the more excited your followers will be.

Offer the best prize you can, whether it is one of your own products or services or it is something else of interest to your followers. Technology is always a winner, such as an iPad or a gaming system.

Try to find something that’s either related to your niche or that has universal appeal. You don’t want to attract audience members with your prize who won’t be interested in your site. Otherwise, they will come for the contest and then leave. You want them to stick around after the contest is over.

Run a great contest on social media and you can easily grow your following. With smart marketing, you can increase your sales and build your reputation with those followers.

Use these tips to run a great contest on any social media network and get tons of new followers. Run a new contest as often as you can to keep getting results.

Marketers Valley Team

Marketing Industry Experts >

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