How to Launch a Social Media Contest

Anthony Yodice, Digital PR Specialist at Blue Fountain Media suggests marketers how they can increase customer engagement through social media contests

Social media campaigns today are no longer solely measured by follower growth, but rather by individuals who engage with your client’s brand throughout the duration of the campaign. It wasn’t too long ago when a typical social media campaign consisted of spam-filled promotions where companies offered giveaways to get the attention of their customers. Today’s social campaigns have grown into omni-channel marketing opportunities for businesses to grow their company online, increase brand recognition and have a deeper conversation with audiences.

Why Launch a Social Media Contest?

If your client’s brand has yet to take part in a social media contest, or maybe they just can’t seem to get it right, then take a look at some of the major benefits to executing a successful campaign.

1. Engagement

Brand engagement has become the most important metric when running a social media contest. The amount of likes and the people doing the liking no longer carry the same weight as the amount of people your posts reach and how they engage with your content.

2. Remarketing

By asking for the e-mail addresses of the users who participate in your contest, you will be able to easily remarket to them in the future.

3. Subscriptions

If your client’s brand is one that warrants subscribers, a social media contest is a great way to gain new subscriptions. Encourage users to “subscribe” or “join” in order to be entered into the contest.

4. Increase Sales

A social media contest will get users more involved with your brand, which is likely to drive them to your site. If your client is a consumer brand, the hype surrounding a social media contest and new or “hot” products may result in an increase in sales.

5. Multi-Channel Promotions

The goal of your campaign is to increase brand awareness by extending the reach of your business to both new and existing customers. In order to get the most out of your campaign, you should involve your public relations and marketing teams in your efforts. Syncing efforts across social and PR is crucial to getting the most out of your campaign. While your PR team will be handling media outreach and facilitating pre and post launch strategies, it’s important to be aware of their timelines and objectives.

In order to execute a seamless omni-channel campaign you will need to promote it across multiple, if not all, marketing channels. If the contest lives on Instagram, make sure you alert followers on Facebook and Twitter to the contest as well. This will navigate your followers through various social pages, and get them to interact with your brand on multiple levels.

Implementing an Effective Strategy

Before diving into your campaign, you will want to plan a well thought-out strategy detailing all of the components involved.

1. Prize

As with any contest, there needs to be a prize for the winner and with today’s highly saturated market of spam-filled promotions, it needs to be a good one. Users are no longer as interested in irrelevant products that have nothing to do with your brand, like the chance to win an iPod. These types of giveaways are often lumped into a category of junk, and fail to get any actual engagement or participation. What can you offer that is compelling to your business and will actually make users want to participate? Is it an experience, like meeting a celebrity who endorses the product or an exotic trip? On a smaller scale, you can offer a collection of some of your brand’s most popular items.

2. Goals

Ask yourself what the goal is with launching your campaign. Most social media campaigns aim to increase brand awareness, not just the one-off contest. If there are other objectives you are hoping to accomplish, make sure they are outlined so that you can incorporate how to execute them into your marketing strategy.

3. Assets

What kind of assets do you need for your campaign and do you have design and content teams available to produce those assets? If you need graphics and have limited resources, perhaps your campaign should emphasize user-generated content and a branded hashtag. By having content prepared ahead of time, you can avoid running into any time-consuming problems after you have launched.

4. Legalities

Before you move forward any sort of contest, you will want to look into the policy restrictions of different social networks that you plan to launch your contest on. Checking on this before launch is crucial as it won’t affect any of your efforts mid-campaign and you will be sure to avoid any violations.

This article was originally published on MarTech Advisor