Five Ingredients For The Perfect Social Media Contest

With the increasing competition for attracting attention online, the struggle to keep followers engaged with your company’s social channels is real. In addition to the smart use of visuals, businesses often turn to social media contests and promotions to create excitement and drive activity from their audience. Exceptional social media contests require prior planning and graceful execution. They have many moving parts and possible points of failure.

Here’s a checklist of 3 ingredients that you need to know before launching the perfect social media contest:

1.    Prizes

What will the winners get? This is a place for marketers to be creative, and most social media contests are far too obvious here. Remember, the prize itself can become the theme for the competition. The most excellent contests have titles that tie directly back to the company itself. This becomes predominantly important when you consider the downstream results of this effort. You want to engage and attract folks who are genuinely interested in your business, not just “contest hunters” who enter everything they can find.

2.  Editorial Calendar

Here’s where you map out all the social media posts, email messages, advertising support, and other communications about your advertising. You don’t necessarily have to write all the words priorly—although it’s not a bad idea, and your legal team may require it. Always remember that your social media contest (and corresponding communications) has five phases: pre-launch, launch, last chance, completion, and winners. You need to plan different messages across multiple platforms for each stage.

  3.  Seeding Strategy

This relates to the pre-launch and launch phases of your social media contest. This is where you can analyze how to give your promotion the best chance of lift-off in the crucial early days of the advertising. What you’re trying to do here is make sure that the people who already follow you, and the people who have a disproportionate number of social connections, are fully aware of the contest and are ready to participate and spread through word of mouth, the minute the promotion begins. This could include exclusive headlines like “Shh, Coming Soon” emails to crucial customers and social influencers, making sure all employees have received the alert of the event and other opportunities.

4. Venue

On which social media platform will this contest take place? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Or will it be present in multiple social media platforms, like a photo contest where participants can enter on Facebook or Instagram? Remember that each time you add a venue for participation, your oversight responsibilities grow exponentially.

5. Theme and Name

Is this contest seasonal or on festivals? Does it tie with a particular product or service? Remember, the theme/name will define the rest of the creative. Take some time to come up with something that relates. Try to keep your contest name short and precise, as long names eat up valuable characters in tweets and ad headlines. So, the next time you run a contest, keep these pointers in mind and win the social media game!

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