When it comes to contests, it is typical to see the reward as the one of the company’s best products. And who are we kidding, as consumers WE LOVE THOSE. So we go and like the page, share their post, like, comment, or do whatever else it takes to win that grand prize. But as soon as that contest is over we don’t have interest in that company anymore. So we proceed to unlike the page and delete the shares posted on our Social Media Flat Linetimeline (because we would hate for our friends to judge us for falling victim to this contest and not even have won our gift!) and maybe even in spite avoid the company all together. Now full avoidance after a contest is pretty rare but do you see where I’m going with this? The dangers of hosting a giveaway contest is the potential of flat-lining after it is finished.

So after the hopes of continuous growth after your bomb contest finished were shot straight out of the sky (ouch…) you’re now looking for another contest to run to once again get your fans and followers involved. However, you can’t afford to give away another arm and leg (or say, half of your inventory) to run another contest. Well I am here to tell you that there are other ways to hold contests without stripping your budget AND keeping your fans interested post-contest. I know what you’re saying, “say whaaaaaaat?!” So before you end up with an aneurysm, let’s get started.

Creativity Contest

This one can be used in so many different ways. So I will give you a few examples and ideas and you take away from it what you will and can create or use it however you please. One thing that social media is great for is boosting peoples confidence (okay egos, but confidence sounds kinder). That’s why people share their knowledge, their pictures, and whatever else they think came from their super creative and crafty minds. So what’s a better way to get your fans involved than giving them a chance to share their work!

For example, say you’re looking to create a new logo or timeline photo. (This is important) INVITE YOUR FANS TO DO IT. Hold a contest that goes along the lines of this: “Friends! We are looking to change our logo and would love your help. Submit your ideas to us via ____ and your work could be the new face of _____”. Now that was brief and only gives only a gist of what should be included (come on now, I’m not going to do ALLL your work) but you get the idea. Giving your fans a chance to really be a part of your company by putting their work on the front lines of your company really seems to excite people. But don’t just limit this method to logos because you only need a new logo every so often (if at all), use it for t-shirt designs, ad creatives, find new faces for commercials or your site… The options are endless.

Feature Contest

Now I don’t really know if you could qualify this as a “contest” but interacting with your customers and asking followers to engage is my broad definition of “contest” for now. Anyway, this one is fun because it can be used in thousands of ways… For example, say you want to see people using your product, simply ask for your followers to share pictures of themselves using your product or of the product being used and each week (or month if you want) you can post a “Fan of the Month”. Use your creativity on this one! Come up with a fun title and maybe even add twists to it each month (“Show us using our product while…” you’re on a hike, bike, mowing the lawn, scaring/terrorizing a friend… whatever it is make it fun and interesting so your fans will continue to stay involved).

Holiday ContestHoliday Contest

Rather than doing a typical “It’s Halloween, what are you dressing up as??” post, try engaging your fans with fellow fans. Hold a contest of who has the best “Elsa from Frozen” costume (the go to costume of 2014 right?) and have them compete with one another for a chance to be spotlighted on your website for the entire month of November. Or say there’s a local event going on, find a way to get involved then asking your followers to join with you in the fun. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: The options here are truly endless.

Keep in mind, a lot of these contests need more than just a few followers but these are post growth and giveaway contest ideas. Because you really can’t beat the involvement you get from a giveaway contest but you can sure avoid flat-lining and keep your involvement on an upward slope. And the potential of these contests is limited only to your creative ability (which we all know rocks), these ideas will just set you on the right path… So there you have it, contests of pure involvement. Because isn’t that what social media is all about, being social?

photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc

photo credit: somatic-studios via photopin cc

Jamie Bates