4 Ways to Run a Social Media Contest

Person entering a giveaway on a tablet device

While browsing social media, it’s likely that you’ve participated in a “tag a friend to win” or “comment to enter” post. You may have even filled out a short form in order to enter a contest to win some sort of great prize. What you may not have thought about is what social media contests such as these can do for your business. These simple contests can go far in boosting your social following, creating meaningful engagement, and hopefully leading to new customers – talk about a win/win!

But how do you go about running a social media contest of your own? We’ll break down four easy approaches to help you decide what best fits your business goals.

1. Leads ads

If your goal is to gather potential customer information to use for future marketing efforts, lead ads are the perfect choice for you. With lead ads, you are able to target potential customers with ads that contain a form that gathers information that is useful for your business. How do you get people wanting to hand over their info? With a chance to win something, of course! Think of something relevant to give away (a one-night stay at your hotel or a free meal at your restaurant, for example) and craft a message about your giveaway. Make sure to run the ad for at least seven days and denote that it’s a limited time contest to increase the urgency to enter. After the campaign is over, you’ll have a new list of customer information to use for your direct mailers, eblasts, remarketing lists, etc.!

2. Tag-A-Friend

Grow your brand awareness and increase social engagement with tag-a-friend contests! These are super simple – make a social media post or ad requesting for people to tag a friend that may also be interested in the contest. This kind of contest is great to run when you want to add followers to your social media profile, as you’ll be able to reach an audience of potential customers that you may not have otherwise reached.

3. Share This Post to Your Story

Much like tagging a friend, contests that require people to share a story from your business’s social media profile onto their own allow you to reach a broader audience, with your entrants doing all the work in promoting your contest. Since stories are an increasingly popular and visual way to reach potential customers and followers, we recommend using them for your contest, since you will be able to interact on a more personal level through things like in-depth explanations and multiple stories. It’s important to note that entrants for this kind of contest will need to tag you in their story in order for you to see that they shared it.

4. User Generated Content

People tend to regard content which has been referred from their peers are more trustworthy and more authentic. By allowing users to create content for your business themselves, you are helping to create a sense of engagement and involvement in your brand, which helps to create a sense of community and loyalty as well. Encourage your customers to share content such as their favorite product of yours and ask them to use a hashtag or photo tag in order to enter your giveaway. Most are more than happy to share a photo they took without any incentive, but offering some kind of prize for the best photo, or most liked photo, will make your offer too good to pass up.

Note: When running any contest, be sure to post any necessary disclaimers, directions, or rules for your contest!

Need help launching your own social media contest? Contact the social experts at Midwest Marketing!