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Grow your Brand with Social Media Contests

LinkedIn Influencer

July 12, 2020

Social media is ruling the world and it won’t be wrong to say that millennials cannot imagine their lives without social media. Not even millennials, generation Y is also actively engaged with social media. This has become an integral part of our day to day lives. We love to share our photographs, emotions, achievements, and many other things with our friends on social media contests. This platform has gained so much popularity in less amount of time that no one would have thought of. 

Over the years, social media has also evolved a lot that now, it is not only important for people to share photographs and memories, but it has also become a key part of businesses across the globe. Considering their popularity and importance, we must say that no business can think about digital marketing without social media. 

This post will be focused on telling how you can build your brand using contests on social media and improve recognition. Running a contest on popular social media platforms is a great way to attract genuine online traffic, build authority, increase user engagement, and boost traffic. Let us see how you can do it.

How to build your brand by running social media contests

  • Define the goal

Whatever you do, having a clear goal is a must because that will keep you focused and help reach it sooner. So, while running a social media contest, the first and foremost thing for you must be the clarity of what you want to achieve through that. 

Some of the common goals could be:

  • Increase in web traffic
  • Better user engagement
  • Genuine lead generation
  • Improved brand authority and reputation
  • Strong social media presence
  • Growth of email list

These all you can achieve by running an effective social media contest. But it is not necessary that every business wants all of them, some might look to achieve only a few and that could be different from the list provided above. Thus, to strategize which type of contest you should run, it is important to know your goals first. That will make it easier for you to move ahead. 

  • Know your audience

The next important thing you need to do is to understand the audience you want to target. This is necessary because knowing your audience will help you generate specific content for them to get the desired attention you want. 

Creating a contest according to their interest will ensure better engagement and to know what entices them, you need to understand them. Knowing your audience includes the age-group you want to target, their lifestyle, interest, and income. All of these parameters are important based upon the niche of your business and the products or services you offer. Whom you want to target must also be clear before running any contest on social media. 

  • The prize should be worthy

Deciding everything beforehand is always a good idea to prevent any last-minute hassles and ensure better results. Now when we are talking about a contest, there must be a prize as well for which your target audience will take part in. 

Based on your business’s niche, type of contest, and your target audience, you need to decide the prize you will give to the winner of the contest. 

Remember, the prize you choose must be worthy enough that tempts people to take part willingly and seriously follow all the rules & regulations set for the contest. For example, if you have a business of footwear than you can offer the winner with one of the premium shoes of your brand or a massive discount on the purchase on store or online. 

The prize is what people will participate for and if it is interesting, more and more people will participate for the contest to make it a big success. 

  • Set clear rules

Whatever contest you want to run, its rules must be clearly stated so that everyone can understand them and follow them. Try to keep rules simple and wherever possible include an example to make people understand better. 

If rules are not clear, it could become a problem for you at a later stage. Creating a bullet point list of rules is always better to ensure easy to read appearance. Including a link where people can ask their queries regarding the rules or contest would be a great idea. 

  • Use a predefined yet unique hashtag

Hashtags are becoming increasingly popular day by day on almost all social media platforms. With your contest as well, a predefined hashtag will be really helpful. You can include this in your rules that using the hashtag provided by you is a must for every participant. Doing this will make it easy to find contest entries and minimize any chances of missing even a single submission. 

Considering this will also make your hashtag popular and that will be of great help in the future. 

  • Choose the type of contest

Now when you have prepared all the essentials for your social media contests, it is time to decide which type of contest to run. This will hold the most importance in deciding the success of the contest. Choosing the right contest according to the business’s niche and interest of your target audience is vital. 

Remember, the contest must be interesting enough to grab the attention of the target audience and keep them engaged so that they reach the end of the contest.

  • Promote your contest

Be it a brand or brand’s contest, promotion is always necessary to reach out to the target audience and tell them that you are running a contest with amazing prizes. While promoting the contest, using the right channels is the key as that’s where you will drive participants from. 

We must tell you that never only rely on free promotions, considering paid ones also hold the key. A combined effort will get you a lot of participants that you want. Promotions can be done on popular social media accounts relevant to your business including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Plus, you can also inform the target audience about your contest and encourage them to participate via emails.

You can also create a hashtag for promoting the contest and use a blog as well. Another strategy that you can adopt to have a wider exposure is to promote it on other platforms as well similar to your niche, just like you do guest posting. Adopting these techniques will be a huge plus for the success of the contest. 

  • Find the winner

Once everything is done and you’ve got a good response with the participation of contest, you are required to determine the winner/winners. Here you need to understand one thing that the results must be transparent. An un-bias approach must be adopted while identifying the winner. Before announcing the result, tell everyone when you are going to declare the winner and how.

It is advised that while declaring the result, keep everything transparent so that all participants rely on your decision and find it fair. Plus, it also shows the criteria with the results of all participants to everyone. 

These are the steps that your social media contests must include and help you get the success you deserve. Doing proper research on each of these steps and implementing them in the right way will deliver amazing results. Let us now see the type of contests that you can run on social media. 

Type of social media contests

There are different types of contests that you can run depending upon your business and choice. We will tell you some of the best ones.

  • Video contests

Video contests are one of the most engaging ones as people love to watch videos more when compared to reading content. It could be done in several ways. You can ask the target audience to record an interesting video with your product and post it on the social media platform where the contest is taking place. 

You can announce that the most interesting and unique one will get an amazing price (that either you can reveal or keep it a secret). Set the rules for the video including the length, size, quality, etc. plus, you can also tell them the criteria for selecting the winners. It could be a random selection or through voting. 

  • Photo contests

Similar to the video contests, businesses can run a photo contest where you can ask them to submit unique photographs clicked by them. For this, you can set a theme like nature, life, or fashion that fits best with your business’s niche. This contest could also be a success for you as people especially those who are engaged with social media love to share photographs and Instagram is a platform that only focuses on photos and videos. Thus, if you consider this fact, then a photo contest could be the best for you to run on social media.

The popularity of photo sharing can be analyzed with the data that millions of images are being uploaded by people across different social media platforms on a daily basis. Hence, running a photo contest along with a unique hashtag could get you a huge exposure plus better recognition. Be clear with the size, format, and winning criteria. 

With the prize, either you can give a tangible commodity of relevance or use the image of the winner in your digital marketing campaign with some cash prize. This could be the best way for you to increase social media engagement. 

  • Voting contests

Another on the list is voting between your newly launched products. You can tell the features of your products and share them on social media to get the votes of the target audience. With this, you can ask your audience to share your product and get the maximum votes for the products they can. 

People will vote for the product they like and you will get huge exposure for your brand. The winner could be decided by finding out the contestant who brought the most votes by sharing the post. 

Remember, participants may use fraudulent activities to get the most number of votes. So, while using this strategy, it is important for you to prepare beforehand for preventing any malpractices. With this, you can also ask the target audience to tell what they like about your voted product the most and what they don’t for the product they ignored. This will ensure more engagement and you will get to know the positives & negatives of your product. 

  • Photo caption contests

Above we talked about the photo contest where you can ask your audience to post relevant photos according to the set rules. Here, with the photo caption contest, things are slightly different. With this contest, you can post a unique photo on the social media account and ask the target audience to write a caption for that along with your contest hashtag. The best caption will be regarded as the winner and will be awarded an interesting prize. 

To select the winner, you can take the help of most comments or most votes, or any other idea if you have. This is another tactic of getting engagement from your target audience by running a social media contest. To get comments, votes, or likes, people will share the link and that will organically increase your brand’s reach. 

  • Charitable campaigns

Staying up for a social cause is a great way to grab the attention of people and make them feel for you. This strategy could also work for your social media engagement through contests. You can ask your followers and your target audience to give funds as per their convenience for a social cause. It could be anything for orphanages, elderly homes, the welfare of poor, or for the education of children living in slums. 

This could help you get better recognition along with a strong client base for reaching your end-term goals. But you must remember one thing while running a charitable campaign that is genuine and takes every measure to ensure people that you are not any fraudster. Disclose any relevant document, registration number, or something to make people believe in you and your campaign. 

With this campaign, you can award a prize for the one who has got most of the fund along with the certificate by the trust for which you raised the fund. This will be great to maintain trust in people and help you with your future efforts for the social cause. 

  • Comments competition

You are no short of ideas when it comes to engaging people on social media through contests. Another interactive method is to create a competition of comments on social media. This could be done by posting an image on your social media account and giving the prize to the one whose comment is best of all. 

The criteria for choosing the winner could be decided as per your choice but it should be fair and transparent for all participants. One of the best ways is to create a point system based on the likes and responses a comment gets, and accordingly, the winner could be decided. 

  • Follow to participate

This a very straightforward strategy to increase your social media reach and get better recognition. Whichever contest you are planning to start, just make it a necessity of following you to participate. This will increase your followers plus you will be able to generate some genuine leads. 

 Remember, for this, you need to either create an attention-grabbing contest or the prize you are giving must be amazing. As people will only follow with a wish to get something in return. Here, your audience research will play a key role as you can organize a contest based on the interest of the target audience. 

  • Weekly or monthly draws

If someone follows you on social media, it is not a guarantee that he/she will not unfollow you in the future. It might be the case that once competition or contest is over, most of the participants unfollow you. 

To avoid this condition or the chances of being unfollowed, you can constantly run weekly or monthly draws for your followers to keep them engaged and positive. By selecting a random winner of your contest for your followers, you can give freebies or something exciting. This will not only maintain a loyal follower base but will also help you in getting new ones. 

These are some of the ideas of creating social media contest and getting engagement from your target audience. You can also try contests other than mentioned above if you think they could bring the results you are seeking. Few other contests that you can try could be play to win, sign-up to win, or a hashtag challenge. 

Wrapping It Up

Social media is something no one can ignore and when it is about businesses using it, the importance just multiplies. The prime reason for choosing social media over others is its fan base. More than half the world’s population is actively engaged with social media and businesses of every niche can find the right audience for them. Besides creating an account and posting, there is a lot more you can do on social media to promote your brand and engage people.

One of the best tactics to get the attention of a large number of people on social media is by creating contests and convincing the target audience to participate by giving gifts and prizes. This way you can get desired engagement from your target audience along with the trust, plus also ensure a wider reach of your brand. Creating a social media contest is also a good way to increase lead generation and sales. 

In this post, we have tried to include everything that’ll help you out in running a successful social media contest. It also covered some of the ideas of contests that you can try to create a strong hold in the digital world.

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