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How to Grow your Brand with Social Media Contests

How to Grow your Brand with Social Media Contests

Social media has taken up the charge of digital marketing game played by businesses to promote their brand and get success. This platform has become an integral part of marketing, especially for those who want to make a concrete presence in the market. The prime reason for social media Contests being such an important platform for businesses is its reach that no other platform has. Here, you can find people of all categories and interests, thus, it becomes easy for businesses to find their target audience. And once the target audience is found, they can further work to attract them and generate leads. 

Another importance of this platform is that it makes it very easy for brands and people to connect & contact with each other. Thus, queries could be easily solved and strong client-business relationships can be built. Social media gives you the leverage of trying different tactics to attract the target audience and build your brand. 

When it comes to trying different tactics, one of the best things that you can do on social media is to run a contest. Doing this will fetch you great attention along with better recognition. This post will tell you how you can grow your brand by running contests on social media. Let us start with why you need to create a contest.

Why it is important to run a contest on social media

  • Grow your followers

Running a contest is the best way to increase your following and visibility of your posts. Through contests, you can have more followers on your social media account which means your popularity will increase. How this could be done is by making it a necessity to follow the account to participate. Plus, you can also ask participants to use a particular hashtag in their post. Your contest rules could look like this:

How to enter

  • Follow @Abc (your account name)
  • Tag 5 friends
  • Add this to your story using @Abc and #Xyz (related to your post)

This is just an example of conditions that you can set accordingly for the participation. In this way, you are not forcing anyone to follow you & participate, they will do it willingly. Thus, you will get genuine followers through this and they will stay with you for long as well.

  • Create brand awareness

In the above point, you came to know that how creating a contests will increase your followers and your content is shared. Social media algorithms recognize when people start talking about a particular brand through their likes, comments, shares, and following. This creates a positive impact plus, gives you a chance to connect with other businesses for your promotion. To get the maximum attention, giveaways could be the best and you can ask the audience to follow your giveaway partners as well to create a strong relationship and increase brand awareness. In return to this, the businesses you connect with also introduce you to their audience. 

  • Grows email list

It doesn’t matter what we do to create a strong market presence in this competitive digital world, but we cannot forget email marketing, and for that, it is important to have a fresh & quality email list. Now, you must know that social media contests could help you grow an email list that has a high chance of delivering a better conversion rate.   

While running a contest, you can ask your target audience to sign up or fill a short form (having a column to provide email id) and in this way, you can build a list of email addresses of people who are interested in your brand. But remember, to convince people there has to be something exciting that you need to offer them. 

  • Better engagement

Businesses strive for high engagement on their social media accounts to make your brand trending. Engagement can increase the popularity of your brand and improve its recognition plus it ensures that people are talking about your brand. And, if you are popular among your target audience there has to be something important. 

Running contests can create a buzz on your social media account and your followers along with other people will start talking about you. In this way, you will see improved engagement and that will be helpful in building your brand’s authority. 

How to run a contest on social media to grow your brand

  • Be SMART

Before starting any contest, it is a must for you to first set goals you want to achieve through it and they should be SMART. What we mean by saying SMART goals is that they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Considering this will help you achieve better results and provide motivation to do well. 

Let us see how SMART will work:


Be specific with what you want to achieve through the contest, whether it is only followers, increased engagement, leads, or sales. If you are specific, it will help you strategize your contests accordingly and derive improved results.


Remember, you can only analyze how much you have achieved when you can measure your goals. If you cannot measure, it will be impossible for you to decide which of your efforts are working and which require changes. So, it is important to set goals that you can measure anytime to see the progress of your campaign.


Now this is something that is of most importance to keep your morale up. Let us clear this more. Achievable means that the goals you set should be on your radar and you can achieve them with your hard work. For example, if you set a goal to get 10000 followers in a month. Now that sounds a bit unreal, and having such a goal will only pressurize you up and will bring your morale down when you won’t be able to get that. While on the other hand, if you set a goal of getting 1000 or 1200 followers in a month, then it seems achievable, and getting some more will be the icing over a cake, plus it will boost your confidence as well.

So, keep it simple and set goals that you think can be achieved.


Relevancy is the key, this means that whichever goals you set must matter to your success. No goal should be without any purpose as it will only be a waste of time and effort. So, it is important to see the role that will be played by each of your goals while setting them. considering this will strengthen your strategies and ensure that you will reach there in lesser time than you have thought. 


Time is money and money is precious, thus, so does the time. So, it is must that each goal should have a deadline in which you need to achieve it. The deadline will make sure that you are not wasting any time and are focused enough on reaching the goal. Plus, it will also ensure that your daily tasks are not having any impact on your long-term goals.

Setting a time limit will keep everyone on track and this way, you will also be able to analyze which of your strategies are time-consuming and which ones are working at a good speed. Thus, you can optimize them accordingly if required. 

  • Define the type of contest you want to run

To decide the type of contest, your goals will help you a lot because the type of contest will depend upon what you want to achieve with that. For example, if your goal through the contest is to increase followers, then you can ask people to follow your page to participate in the contest, and this way you’ll be able to achieve your goal. 

Similarly, to generate more leads you can ask entrants to sign up or to build an email list, you can ask them to fill their details in a provided form. Plus, it could also be done by partnering with other businesses and sharing giveaways on your profiles to increase brand awareness. This will also increase your brand’s reach by asking followers to tag their friends to participate and win. 

  • Choose your prizes smartly

Remember, nothing is free in this world, to get something you need to give something. Similar is the case with contests, you need to create interest in your target audience to participate or in other sense, we could say that you need to grab attention by giving exciting prizes. By considering this, you will see active participation from the audience, and with that, better results will be there for you. 

At initial stages, the main focus of any contest is to get new entries in the contest because that’s how your reach will increase and you will get closer to your goals. 

One of the best prizes you can give is the products or services you offer, a great discount coupon either of your brand or your partner’s, cash prize, or a free subscription to your premium services for a defined period. You can set the winning prize according to your business’s niche and the budget you have. And hopefully, that’ll work. 

  • Know whom you want to target

To run social media contests, it is important to know who your audience is as that will define what strategies you need to adapt to convince them. So, before the contest, create a list of criteria of people who could be the right fit for the products or services you provide. The criteria could be based on gender, age, income, geographic, or interests. 

Considering this will not only help you pick your cards right but rather it will also help in deciding the right prize that will encourage the audience to participate. Knowing your target audience will also make sure that the content you use is completely relevant. 

  • Choose the platform for your contest

When we urge to do everything right, it is also important to choose the right social media platform to run the contest. What we mean by saying the right platform is to select the one where the audience with perfect match according to your criteria is present. 

Here’s a catch, the social media platform plays a vital role in defining the success of your contests, thus, it should be wisely selected. Another important thing to be considered while selecting the social media platform is engagement. A platform where you could get the maximum engagement from the audience will give you more success from one which doesn’t.

So, be smart and run the contest on a platform that suits your business’s niche and target audience the best.

  • Determine the length of your contest

Here’s a tip, your contest should not be so long that it will bore participants or they forget about it. Keep the contest long enough that you will be able to reach the participant count that you have thought and the same interest persists in all participants as it was during the time of entry.

Another key factor to decide the length of the contest is the prize. If you have set an amazing prize say $1000 cash or a vacation to an exotic place, then your contest could be lengthy to get more participation as people will wait to get such a bumper prize. While on the other hand, if the prize is a small gift hamper of your brand or a discount coupon, then smartness is to create is as short as you can like of 10-15 days or even less. This is because that the prize defines whether the same interest will be there in participants from start to end or not. Better the prize more will be interest and enthusiasm. 

  • Decide the frequency

Along with the length, it is also necessary for you to decide the frequency of your contests. As it is necessary to keep your target audience engaged to achieve long-term goals. Creating a buzz only once and then forgetting everything will not do it for you, rather you need to keep up the pace. 

Contest frequency could be weekly or monthly depending upon the prizes you are offering and the goals you want to achieve. For example, running two contests every month giving small merchandise like an engraved pen, t-shirt, or something related to your brand’s niche will ensure better loyalty from your followers and target audience rather than creating two in a year for similar prizes. While, if you tend to give grand prizes, for example, a car, then even running one contest every year will engage your audience. 

So, accordingly, you need to decide what should be the frequency of the contest to ensure success and get closer to long-term goals. 

  • Know the rules

While running the contest, you know what rules want to set but, before that, you need to know about the rules that have already been set by the social media platforms for running the contest. If any of your contest rules do not match the criteria of rules set by that platform, you will receive a warning and that might downgrade your reputation.

So, to avoid this you must have a thorough check of rules & regulations set by social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to know what you should do while running the contest and what not, as each platform has its own set of guidelines. 

Remember, if you change game rules later on when the contest is live, it will create a negative impact and break the trust of the target audience. Thus, don’t forget to study the rules of the social media platform where you want to run the contest.

  • Promotion is must

Once everything is set and you are all ready to live the contest, never forget to promote it. Make your contest exciting by disclosing the prize early on during promotion as that will fetch more participants and more engagement. Send personalized emails to your current subscribers or followers and post about the contest on your account as well.

It is important to know that starting the promotion a week or two before making the contest live will create a hype in the audience, and you might see better results. Without promotion, you might not be able to get even half the participation that would have expected. So, use the right tactics, right content, and the right time to promote the contest for getting amazing results. 

  • Make the contest live

Now, when everything is in the right place, it’s time to make the contest live. Post all the details about the contest along with rules & regulations in the simplest of forms. To get better results, promote the contest on other platforms as well after making it live. 

Once it is there, see the reaction and engagement of the audience, and that will give you an idea of how fruitful your efforts will be. 

  • Analyze the success

As we’ve mentioned in the first step, your goals should be measurable so that their progress can easily be measured. And now is the time to do that. Once the contest is over, take a look at what you’ve achieved, whether ROI is as expected or not, and whether you have been managed to create the brand awareness that you had in mind. 

The results will define both plus and minus of the contest and that will be helpful while running the next one to get better results. Measuring the results will also tell you what went wrong with your contest strategy and what hit the bullseye. You can create a list of all these for future reference and use it to a good effect. 

Summing It Up

Social media is a must for businesses and ignoring it could make you lost somewhere in the crowd. The popularity of this platform says it all that why it is so important and why you cannot keep it aside for your digital marketing campaigns.

Even when none of your marketing campaigns is live, social media can keep your audience engaged and on the same page. Plus, it also helps to make your audience ready for your new product launches. It won’t be wrong to say that social media is the savior as even small startups who don’t have their websites yet can promote their business here and even sell products/services. 

Getting engagement on social media means that you’ll experience improved web traffic on your site as well and that will show up with improved lead generation & sales. One of the best ways to increase engagement through social media is to run contests by giving some exciting prizes. Not only engagement, but contests will help improve brand loyalty, authority, and awareness as well. 

But creating a successful contest is not an easy task, as you need to make a lot of efforts and create strategies based on your goals. This post was dedicated to making you aware of why it is important to run contests on social media regularly and what you need to do to run a contest that converts and help you grow your brand. 

We hope that this post will help you in running a successful social media contest and getting the results you seek.