Hosting a Social Media Contest: Top 5 Tips

Aug 14, 2017

If you want to rapidly increase your social media engagement and build your presence and influence, one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to host a social media contest. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a winner? There are a couple of important details to remember while you are developing your contest, and we are going to cover those in this post. Let’s get started.

5 Tips for Hosting a Social Media Contest

Related post: How to Host a Contest

Ask Yourself: What Do I Want to Gain from Hosting this Contest?

Hosting a Social Media Contest: Top 5 Tips - RedMoxy CommunicationsLet’s be honest, you aren’t hosting your contest to simply make people winners. You are also using the contest to do something for yourself. Don’t feel bad about that. There is nothing wrong with trying to reach more qualified leads. So, figure out how to do this. Why are you hosting your contest? Do you want to grow email list? Do you want to increase the number of followers you have on a specific social media platform? Can you draw awareness to a certain product or offer? These are critical questions to ask yourself before you begin.

We recommend that you have one main goal that you can focus on, as opposed to multiple goals. This is because it will be difficult to measure if you were successful or not if you have multiple goals.

Example of what not to do: John wants to have an Instagram contest so that he can gain more followers on Instagram and Facebook, increase his engagement rating on Twitter and draw attention to the blog on his website.

Your contest is going to do a lot of good things for you, but if you overload your audience with information or give them too many hoops to jump through, they will likely lose interest in your contest.

Example of what we mean by “too many hoops to jump through”: To enter our contest, you must ‘like’ this Instagram photo, tag two friends, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to our email list.”

That is just too much. Try to keep it simple. Asking your audience to do one or two related things is a good choice for increasing engagement. (Related meaning: stick to one platform!)

Mind Your Platforms

We just told you that for setting up “entrance rules” for your contest, you should only use one platform. That is true. Stick to that. Your contest should be limited to one platform.

Example of what not to do: “You can enter our contest on either Instagram or Facebook. To enter,  simply…”

However, it is a good idea to cross-promote your contest on various platforms. If you have a large Twitter following, leverage it to draw attention to your Facebook contest. If your Instagram followers are highly engaging, make them aware of your Pinterest contest. See, no matter how fabulous your prize is, your contest isn’t going to promote itself. Leverage your social media presence.

Offer Prizes that Relate to Your Company

OK, yes, if you offer a brand new car as a prize, you are going to get a loooot of entries. We won’t argue with you on that point. Remember the point of hosting a contest in the first place, though. You want to gain qualified leads. Emphasis on the “qualified”.

Your contest entries are much less likely to drop-off and disappear if your contest prize is directly related to your company or your company’s ideals. Examples: If you have a fashion boutique, give away a piece of jewelry or a scarf. If you have a running company, give away a free entry to your next fun run. Keep it related so that you can effectively build your brand.

Yes, engagment is going to spike as the contest is going on and then drop when the contest is over, but if you can minimize the drop-off as much as possible, that is a great thing.

Engagement is Key

If you want to create buzz about your contest, you are going to need to do a little buzzing of your own. It is time to climb to that Queen Bee status and get involved on social. Ask your followers what they would do with your prize. Post a “Thank You” to everyone who joined your contest and supported your organization’s cause. If you are doing a photo contest, share some of the runner-up entries. Just be as active as you can with your followers. It makes the contest more fun and exciting.

Measure Everything

This is huge. You are not going to know if you reached your goal unless you have kept track of your progress throughout the contest’s lifecycle. After the contest was all said and done, and those who were going to drop-off have, did you reach your goal? Did you gain more followers? Increase traffic to your website? Build your email list? Whatever the goal was, you need the numbers and the data to quantify your progress.

Important Note: With all contests, be sure that you are in the know about all the rules of each social media platform you are utilizing. You will need to disclaim the platform by stating that it is not sponsoring your contest. Most platforms have rules beyond this one, as well, so, keep this in mind as you are creating your contest. Legal problems would definitely put a damper on your whole contest shindig.

Related posts: How to Create a Social Media Calendar, The Ultimate Guide: Creative Social Media Content Ideas, Using Social Media to Sell Your Products

If you have questions about hosting social media contests, digital marketing or anything in between, reach out to us here.