Insights & News

Simple Steps To Ensure Your Social Media Contest Is Worthwhile

Earlier this week we saw blogger conducting a social media contest for a $100 supply of one of our favorite products. Do you ever see one of those contests that you REALLY want to win? This was one of those contests.

The call to action:

To enter: Follow XXX on Twitter, Pinterest, like our Facebook fan page, link to this contest via your Facebook or Twitter page, and log-in to our site and leave a comment below with your name, city and state!

Would you like my first born too?

Social Media ContestThat’s a big ask.

The barrier to entry is high for this contest, and the low number of entries, follows, and mentions reflected the lack of strategy. The confusion factor of entrants was apparent, too, as many people were leaving their email and home addresses in the comments section. Yikes!

Unfortunately, this contest entry technique is too familiar. We believe contests without strategy are a waste of everyone’s time. However, when contests are strategically planned and utilized, they can be very beneficial for brands.

Simple steps to increase the quality of your social media contest:

When you’re working with bloggers to promote a contest, it’s important to have a well-defined objective, strategy, clear messaging, and a simple consistent call to action.

Have and define the goal of your contest

What are you hoping to get from this contest? Brand awareness? Product awareness? New followers? Newsletter subscribers? Determine what you’d like to gain or learn from the contest, and create messaging to support your goal.

Make entry easy

Keeping things simple is always a good rule of thumb, but especially with contests. You want people to enter your contest, not to be scared away. Select one or two calls to action and make them dead simple to execute. Some possible calls to action to pick from include:

  • Leave a comment and answer a question.
  • Follow us on Facebook.
  • Tag the brand in a Facebook post.
  • Follow us on Twitter.
  • Tag the brand in a Tweet.
  • Follow us on Pinterest.
  • Pin this picture.

Feel free to be creative, as long as your instructions are easy to follow.

Disclose sponsorships

The FTC released updated disclosure guidelines this week. The FTC requires bloggers to disclose any sponsored or paid relationship they have with a brand. If you are paying bloggers to post, or if you’ve provided them with samples or product, the bloggers must say so. It’s the brand’s job to ensure that this disclosure happens. We recommend that you bounce your contest of your legal team before it goes live.

Select and widely announce the winner

Use a recognized tool like Rafflecopter to select a winner. Share the name of your winner on contest blog posts, and related social networks.

Develop a post-contest engagement strategy

Once you’ve reached your goal, take steps to determine what you want to do with your new connections. If your goal was simply to increase social media subscribers, that’s fine! At the end of the contest, you could go say hello to your new followers and engage with them. If your goal was to collect email addresses to increase your newsletter subscriber list, that’s great too! After the contest, you could drop your new subscribers a welcome note with a discount, or a link to your latest whitepaper.

Remember, a contest is a great way to find and engage with new people. Entries shouldn’t be the end of the road.

By following these simple steps, you’ll lower the barrier to entry for new entrants, and potential customers, and increase the likelihood that your contest will yield positive results for your business.

Have you seen a particularly well-executed contest? Share it in the comments!