Social Media competitions, where to start? Sometimes perceived as lazy marketing, we’d have to disagree. Who doesn’t get excitied about winning an ipad or a year’s supply of chocolate? Get it right and your fans will click, like and engage away but as with all seemingly simple ideas, running a great social media competition comes with unique challenges.
First of all how do you stand out from the crowd when every Tom, Dick or Harry is offering freebies for retweets and secondly, how do you create genuine engagement for your brand when there are so many @CarolineCompers who are addicted to winning and aren’t your target audience?
Here’s my take on 6 key things to think about when running a social media competition:
What do you want to get out of it? Are you looking for increased reach of your facebook page? More likes? Or more site visits? Increasing your reach and likes is simple with a bit of advertising, however you should still make sure your competition is compelling enough for people to share. If you’re looking for increased traffic to your site, then host the competition there and use social media to drive traffic to it. However, if you choose this route, don’t forget that less people will click away from Facebook or Twitter, purely to enter a competition.
If your audience is to trust your brand and believe that the competition is not a cheap marketing ploy, make sure that the overall message is on brand; this includes the wording of tweets and any graphics you choose to create to promote the competition. People will see your brand as genuine thanks to the fonts and colour schemes that you use and will believe they can win. Using sites like Canva, is an easy and free(!) way of compiling a suite a relevant content.
How will you allow people to enter? The more information you ask people to provide, the fewer entries you will get. It’s all about that end goal we mentioned earlier; if you’re looking to increase likes and followers, start with a simple ‘hashtag to enter’ dynamic and build up a loyal fanbase. This way, if you want to start adding in more steps, they already trust the brand and are more likely provide more information instead of dropping off halfway through. On the other hand, if you want to focus on true customers only, make it harder for shameless freebie hunters to enter by making them answer a question or getting them to take a picture.
Are you going to manage the competition entries yourself or do you want a helping hand? Don’t underestimate the time it takes to acknowledge and monitor entries and whilst it’s 100% feasible to do this yourself, your audience size or time constraints may mean that a 3rd party app could help you run it smoothly. We’re currently running a competition on one of our clients social media accounts, Pets on Camera, and using WooBox to monitor the entries across a selection of social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, meaning we have even more time to engage and interact with our followers.
Remember, this needs to compel people to enter; apart from being relevant and on brand it should also have the right value e.g. If you’re a restaurant and want to offer a holiday, try and find a menu tasting/food experience that links it back, otherwise your audience probably won’t be interested, after all they’re following you because they like eating out.
Think about these carefully, as once they’re in the public domain there’s no going back. Think Age, Location, Deadlines and Entry Requirements. It’s important to spend a bit of time working all of these out, as it could cost you if you forget to mention something or make it too ambiguous.