Fans and followers these days have become accustomed to giveaways and contests from the pages they follow. In fact, I just scrolled through my own newsfeed, and it only took about a minute and a half to find the first giveaway. Every time I see one, I ask myself a few questions:
What are they giving away? What do I have to do to enter? And finally, do my time and effort compare to the odds of winning and the value of the prize?

 

These are questions that many consumers use to justify their entering into a contest. Knowing these, let’s dive a little deeper and look at some of the specifics of running your own social media contest.

Know What You Want

So you’ve decided to run a contest, now it’s a matter of what and how. First things first. What is your objective? Are you tying to increase brand awareness? Start a word-of-mouth spreading? Make content go viral? Get likes? Encourage engagement? Nobody can decide this for you. After you’ve chosen an objective, the rest will be a lot easier to manage.

 

After deciding on an objective, next you’ve got to choose what kind of contest you’d like to run. Will it be a sweepstakes? Photo/caption contest?

 

Where should I host a social media contest?Next, how long will it run for? This will vary depending on the end-all objective, but it can affect the contest greatly. A common mistake that company’s make is running a contest for so long that users forget about it. The initial hype is created, then it fades away into Nevernever Land.

With all these ideas dialed in, it should be about time to put your ideas onto paper.

 

Interaction is Key

Targeting your contest will be the next step that should take a decent chunk of time. If you’re asking for emails so that users can enter, make sure the prize is worth it to the user. An estimated 10-20% of people dropout of the contest once they see that their email is required, so feel confident that the fruits will show!

 

Those who enter the contest immediately become ‘brand ambassadors’ in a sense. You will rely on them to share the contest on their social media pages, and invite their friends to enter to win. But before you can rely on them, you’ve got to make it fun, engaging, and something we like to call STICKY. Here are few examples of people who got it right!

Sharing is Caring

 

If users don’t see a personal appeal, attraction, or anything that they think is worth sharing, then you guessed it…they won’t share it. Think about the last thing you shared. Once you identify it, think about WHY you shared it. Most people want to share because it helps their social image become that much more credible. They are working on their own persona, so if, and only if, they like what you produce will they share it.

 

 

While depending on these people to spread the word, it’s more than necessary to do your part. Don’t overlook the paid options that many platforms offer, as they can be very useful to target the people you want and need. Be sure to keep people updated. Remember how I mentioned that company’s get the first wave of hype, then it dies out? Here’s where you’ll need some extra design, copywriting, and patience. Make sure you have enough content to remind people about the contest, as well as keep people engaged.

 

Oh, and don’t forget to pick a winner!

Jamie Bates