June 11, 2020

Many brands nowadays have opted for social media contests not because it is the new trend but because it is beneficial in boosting social media engagement, brand awareness, helps in lead generation, increases traffic and helps to grow your social media following. Running a social media contest is not as easy as spreading butter on bread, it takes a lot of thinking and strategy and below i present to you the steps to follow when running a social media contest. 

Step 1: set your goals

It is important to know what you want to achieve from launching the social media contest. There are a very many reasons for hosting a social media contest. It could be for the sole purpose of boosting user engagement on social media, increasing followers, generating more leads, brand awareness, among others and all these require different social media contests. Determining the goal makes it easier for you 

Step 2: determine the type of contest to take on

Now that you know what you want to achieve from a social media contest, you can go on to determine the type of contest that you want, one that will be efficient in obtaining what you are looking for. If you want to increase your following especially on instagram, request entrants to follow your page or profile to enter. If you want to generate more leads and increase your email list, you can request that people sign up or enter their email before entering and also if you’re most interested in simply growing your reach and generating brand awareness, you can partner with other companies and both share the giveaway on your profile, or you can ask entrants to tag a friend as a form of entry and spread the word. All this depends on your goal and purpose.

social media contest

Step 3: make your budget and pinpoint the prize

Your budget is the determinant of everything. You can not do what you can’t afford or you can not opt for a prize that will leave you bankrupt. You have to know if your accounts can accommodate the contest/giveaway before you go for it. If you plan on doing these regularly, which by the way is a great strategy to keep your followers excited and engaged, always make sure you plan out a budget for the year. Make sure you know what prize you are giving out and have it ready and on standby. 

Step 4: know your audience

It is important to know your audience so as to keep everything relevant. It will enable you to understand what type of prize your audience will make sense of. Also, knowing your audience will require you to understand where they spend most of their time and what platforms those are so as to help you choose the platforms that should be your major focus. Remember that your contests should cater to your customers and target audience, not just potential entrants, so everything you do should stay as relevant as possible to their interests and needs.

Step 5:understand the contest rules on whatever platform you choose to engage

Before you run a contest, you have to first find out whether you can run it legally on whatever platform you choose to run it. Make sure that you read, understand and follow each of the rules for the platform you’ve chosen. When it comes to certain platforms like instagram or Facebook, you need to clearly state what the contest or promotion is and be sure to let your audience know that Facebook is in no way affiliated with or a sponsor of your contest. Also Facebook makes it very clear that you must provide the official terms, rules, and eligibility requirements for your contest. 

social media contest

Step 6: Run the contest

After all the above is ascertained, you can go ahead and run your contest on your desired platform. Run ads to increase your reach even further and cross-promote it on other platforms, your email newsletter and even your website to create more buzz. A successful contest depends on a well-executed promotion strategy that includes your paid and free efforts. Don’t forget to talk about the prizes and to set the length of your contest and watch as the entries pour in.

Step 7: announce the winner and measure the results.

Finally we have reached the end of the contest. It is time to announce the winner and measure the results. Make the selection process clear to your audience from the get-go. For instance, if you are running a photo contest, clearly mention in your rules that pictures should be relevant and unique. If the winner is determined by number of votes by the end of the voting period, take a screenshot of the winning entry with a timestamp.

In conclusion, when all this is done, you have to measure the results and ascertain if the contest did well for you to achieve your set goal. The results of your contest should be aligned with what your objectives were from the start.

Click here to learn more about social media contests

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