How to run a social media competition.

Running a successful social media competition is a great way to drum up enthusiasm for your brand, increase subscriptions and gain new followers. However, before announcing your contest, proper planning is required to ensure it runs smoothly and effectively.

Here are some tips to ensure your social media competition is a success.

Define your goals.

Building your competition around clear goals will help guide the process. Are you trying to increase newsletter subscriptions? Grow your social media following? Or maybe you’ve got a new product to promote?

Be sure to define your goals in measurable terms, such as a certain percentage increase or X more followers.

These are some straightforward objectives to consider setting for your social media competition:

  • Better customer engagement – Post likes, shares and comments all offer a simple way to measure engagement.
  • Amplified email database – Social media competitions give you the perfect excuse to capture the contact details of potential customers.
  • Increased social following – Whether you’re aiming to get more followers on Facebook, Instagram or another platform, a competition can help your brand stand out from the crowd.

Be realistic when deciding which goals to prioritise. Your competition’s objectives should matter to your business and be achievable within your budget.

RELATED: Choosing the right social platforms for your business.

Choose the right competition format.

There are a number of social media competition formats that could work for you. Consider the pros and cons of each one before determining which type to choose.

Photo Contests.

Photo contests involve asking your followers to post a photo accompanied by a specific hashtag. Winners can be chosen at random or judged on the creativity or quality of their photo. You might also require that contestants follow your page to enter.

Photo competitions thrive in image-based markets, such as the health and beauty industry.

Voting Promotions.

Voting promotions asking your followers to vote on either user-generated content (content submitted by your followers) or your own content.

For example, landscape and gardening businesses can engage with audiences by asking them to vote on the best garden makeover of the year. In this case, you might require audiences to sign up in order to vote.

Caption Contests.

If you’ve got a funny image that’s somehow related to your business, ask your followers to come up with a caption for it. You can either choose a number of your favourite captions, or ask followers to vote for their favourite caption to determine the winner/s.

This type of contest is great for adding personality to your social media. It can be particularly useful for brands that typically deal with dry subject matter, such as financial institutions.

Remember that even if you don’t require audiences to follow your page in order to enter, these kinds of social media competitions can organically increase engagement and follower numbers.

Free Giveaways.

Simple yet effective, free giveaways are one of the most popular competition formats out there. Your followers can enter the giveaway through a simple prompt (such as liking or sharing a photo), and the winner can be chosen at random.

The beauty of free giveaways is that they work for every industry out there. For example, service-based industries such as mechanics and home maintenance professionals can provide free essential services, whereas product-based services can offer items to give away.

Tag a friend.

The tag-a-friend format is extremely popular, and for good reason. With this format, you’ll ask followers to tag a friend in one of your posts. This could put your follower into a draw for them both to win a prize, with an extra entry if the friend also follows your page.

Follower milestones.

Are you aiming to reach a certain milestone in followers, such as 100,000 followers on Facebook?

This competition format will be specific to a platform, and will select one lucky follower (or any number) to win a prize simply by following you. Make the draw once you reach your milestone, and don’t forget to reward new followers with fun, interesting, and useful content even if they don’t win.

Share to win.

Want to get your brand name in front of more people? Try a share-to-win competition, where followers must share (or retweet, or re-gram etc.) your post in order to enter.

This is a good option for small businesses looking to get their brand and products in front of more audiences.

Boost your social media competitions for more views.

On Facebook, the likelihood of your fans seeing a non-boosted post is low. Make sure the competition you’re running makes an impact by ‘boosting’ it.

You can boost a post or competition via paid social promotion, an email marketing campaign with a link to your competition, or by blogging about it on your website. Increase your promotional efforts just before the competition closes and be sure to have some fun announcing the winner.

Download our handy infographic guide to 7 social media competition formats below.

Download infographic

Social Ads with Yellow Pages.

Running a competition is a fun way to strengthen your social presence, but if you don’t have the time to do this, Social Ads can help you make some noise. Social Ads with Yellow Pages offers:

  • An initial planning call
  • Management and optimisation
  • Facebook page creation
  • Re-targeting of look-alike audiences
  • Performance reports
  • Lead notifications
  • Ongoing support.

Get in touch with Yellow Pages today.

Spice up your social media with Social Ads.

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