How to Create an Effective Social Media Contest? (Guest Blog)

The best way to drive engagement and build traffic through word of mouth about your brand is to run a social media contest via social media platforms. Not only do contests engage customers with your company in an exciting and fun way, they also result in a treasure-trove of customer preferences, feedback and information you can then mine for improving your business. The best part about launching a contest via social media channel is that it can be quite easy on the pocket.

However, there is an elusive art to social media contests. The brand you want to promote shouldn’t appear too ‘salesy’ or too ‘cheesy’. You should give a prize, which people are really interested in. It could be a gift card, a standard item, or a notoriety prize like to publish a video of the winner. Moreover, the contest needs to be easy and fun for the audience member to get involved.

Here are a few strategies for launching and managing a social media contest.

Set your marketing objective
Every contest that you launch must meet your particular marketing objective, so first you must establish what it is. Do you want to engage in social media to drive awareness of a new service or product, or do you want to generate traffic to your website? Or are you engaged in social media to encourage new participants to use your firm’s social networking platforms? There are a number of reasons for launching a contest but it is essential for you to know beforehand what you are trying to achieve and how you will know when you have reached it. This goal will define the tone of your social contest.

Get creative
This is the fun part. When it comes to creating your social media contest, you can set the sky as your limit. Here are some ideas for you:
• A video contest where you invite your participants to create a commercial for your product
• A content contest where the best personal experience story will be rewarded
• A photo contest associated with your service or product
• A contest associated with inventing a new product or product feature

Leverage social media platforms
Promote your social contest in channels like Twitter, Facebook, your corporate blog and other social media platforms, as well as via traditional marketing channels like email, print, etc. If you search by the word ‘contest’ on the social media channel like Twitter, you will come across a number of contests that are going on presently. The best contests are social by nature, so make sure your contest is easy to share. Embed ‘share this’ links on the contest site, on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and all other places where people have chances of coming.

Complete the contest
Don’t drag the contest too long. Typically, a social contest runs for about a month. However, contests that are associated with inventing a new item, etc., may take a longer time to finish. After the winner is selected, it is essential to do a PR push to publicize the win. You also need to use Twitter and Facebook for promoting your winner. Also use social media tracking tools and find out which social sites and people are talking about the winner the most. After identifying this, post comments on those networks to drive more interest in the victor and your brand.

Evaluate the contest
Don’t just launch a contest for fun, aim to achieve a particular marketing goal via your launch. During, and after you have finished with the contest, measure the impact the posting had on brand engagement. Use social media tracking tools to measure your per-defined success metrics. They can be of great help to you in letting you know the traffic you gained from the contest, whether the traffic turned into paying customers, and so on.

A number of brands have come up with great results with social contests. Just follow the above-mentioned tips and you will see the results! Good luck!

Author bio: :
Nancy is a blogger. She is passionate about writing articles on topics that relate to social media tracking tools, SEO new updates and digital marketing strategies. She recommends her readers make use of social media branding tools to improve their social network management.