5 Tips to Creating Effective Social Media Contests

  • Posted on Aug 07, 2016
  • Rachel Magnus

In an increasingly digital world, it is no surprise that consumers are engaged with social media more than ever before. Business Insider reports that U.S. consumers spend about 20% of their total time online with Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media tools. Consequently, advertisers are seeing eyeballs, spending nearly a quarter of their digital ad budget on social media, according to MediaPost. This leads to a considerable opportunity for brands to expand their online presence.

Fortunately, there are ways to build one’s online presence that can benefit both brands and consumers including online contests, giveaways and sweepstakes—all powerful tools for a brand or individual to engage an audience and strengthen an image.

Curious how to get started? Here are a few important things to consider when planning a contest, sweepstakes or giveaway:

Encourage consumers to engage with your brand.

Give consumers an incentive to engage with your brand. This may be a cash prize reward or spreading a positive message to friends. Either way, giving people something to look forward to in return incentivizes them to participate in your promotion.

As for the small brands without a big budget—it should not preclude you from creating a successful campaign. There are plenty of incentive options out there. To name a few: VIP access, concert or show tickets, autographed memorabilia, gift cards or a free month/year of service.

For example, the Lemons collection asked consumers to follow their page on Pinterest and upload a board of pins they were inspired by in order to enter their giveaway. The winner received a $200 shopping spree to their online store. Giving away freebies of your product or service is a simple way to incentivize consumers.

Ensure your underlying message is compelling and a great fit.

It is important that the message of the contest, sweepstakes or giveaway is consistent with your brand’s mission. Ask yourself, “What kind of impression do I want to make on consumers?”, then use your answer to develop a branded strategy. Brand immersion is an important factor to keep in mind during this process—you want consumers to know what you stand for.

The “Red Bull Can You Make It?” challenge is a great example. The Red Bull brand encourages adventure and spontaneity, which they integrated into their challenge by giving teams of students the chance to travel across Europe with only their product as currency. In order to enter, Red Bull had participants across the globe post on social media why they deserved the chance to take on the experience. The winning teams went on to complete the adventure and essentially live off of Red Bull. This invaluable promotion expanded their social media coverage and strengthened their brand image among their target audience.

Use visual content.

The average consumer sees about 3,000 advertising messages a day. This pressure can make it difficult for your message to effectively reach consumers. By offering great photos or infographics, others are more likely to pay attention. In fact, visual content is about 40 times more likely to get shared on social media. Try a photo contest featuring your brand or a scavenger hunt outdoors with your product. Get creative!

Make it easy and fun to participate.

If the promotional task at hand is not simple, consumers are likely to become discouraged from completing it. Asking users to simply like or share a post, tag a friend or post personal content will make it easier for them to participate.

To spice things up, integrate your promotion into a trending topic. For example, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have teamed up to create the Sip. Share. Win! Sweepstakes for the chance to win VIP access to “The Late Show with James Corden”. James Corden has become well-known for his carpool karaoke sessions with various celebrities. To get fans involved with the karaoke craze, participants can enter by recording themselves singing using the Shazam app, along with a specially marked McDonald’s Coke cup. This sweepstakes allows both brands to get recognition while enabling their fans to have fun with it.

Leverage the promotion across all relevant channels.

By extending the contest, sweepstakes or giveaway across all of your social channels, you are inviting more people to participate. That being said, try to avoid using social platforms that are not relevant or do not deliver your message properly.

Bottom line. Online contests, sweepstakes and giveaways are awesome ways to boost your following. What are you waiting for? Snips Media offers a well-equipped Social Sweeps campaign to boost your impression.