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    Social Media Contest Tips

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    Practically anyone can find success with business through the use of social media. Because of its ever-growing popularity and simplicity, social media has become a major player in promotions and campaigns. A popular practice is to hold a social media contest. However, if it isn't managed properly and done under the right circumstances, then said contests will gain followers that aren't really likely to engage with your brand again. So, take note of these tips to help you launch a contest that is smart and effective.

    Set a goal.
    The objective of your contest should never simply be to gain followers. This is a surefire way to acquire followers that are simply interested in the contest and will not remain loyal to your account for the long run. Set goals that will help you improve your business such as, to conduct research, reveal a new consumer base, build your email list, generate leads, engage your current user base, fundraise, or reach a new audience. Goals like these will help your business to grow effectively and not just numerically.

    Decide on a target.
    Casting your net too large will draw in those greedy participants that are only concerned with the prize. Aim your contest towards a certain group or niche. Targeting a more specific group of people will help you achieve those explicit goals you created for the contest. You want your contestants to interact with your company and/or sample your products/services, and it's imperative that the right audience is doing so.

    Choose the proper prize.
    Sure everyone loves a new iPad or flat screen TV, but many times the "shiny" prizes aren't relevant to the contest or company hosting it. Consider using some of your own products or services as a prize. This will further point your contest down a targeted path as well as potentially create brand advocates. Intangible prizes may also be the way to go. These types of prizes have a huge ROI because they are typically less expensive than tangible prizes. They require a little more creative effort from your side, but contestants will appreciate that. For instance, maybe your prize is naming a food item on your menu after the winner or giving the winner a chance to go behind the scenes of your next event. These prizes cost little to nothing and are more memorable.

    Partner up.
    Using partners with large followings can help to generate buzz about your contest. It's a win-win situation: the partner gets more exposure as well as a chance to offer value to their own customers while your company gets more interest in your contest as well as a good relationship formed with that partner.

    Market your contest.
    In order to be sure that your audience is aware of your contest, you must continuously communicate it through your different social media channels. Social media moves in a constant, nonstop stream so it's crucial that you're heard. Beyond this, you must remember that existing customers are the most likely to participate; so, how can you reach them? Newsletters and/or emails are typically a good idea. Finally, make sure that your contest is easy to enter and share. If users come across any difficulty, they will get frustrated and give up. Simplicity of use will bring better results.

    Don't ask too much.
    Just because you're offering contestants a really great prize, doesn't mean you now have a right to take over their lives and time. The only way you will get your participants to give more of themselves in a contest is if you have a huge band of brand loyalists, and unless you're Apple or Disney, that's unlikely. Be realistic in setting up the parameters of your contest.

    Make your contest about the contestants.
    Yes, this contest is hosted by your company to reach your goals, but that doesn't really matter. Give your participants a chance to express themselves and be heard. This will spark their interests more as well as be more beneficial to you in the end. By involving your contestants as much as possible you'll undoubtedly gain helpful feedback and rewarding praise.

    Have you held any social media contests? If so, what's worked for you?

    Posted by :   in   Business, Social Media

  • Comments

    • By DJenna on Thursday, April 19, 2012

      Contests work great

      I think that anything that helps offer people something of value helps out a social media page. People want to see some activity and see stuff that they want. They're not in it to benefit you, they're there to benefit themselves. Understanding that and using that to offer people something of value is critical. Contests are definitely a key way to spread a message on Facebook. The reason that so many brands are struggling with converting fans to actual activity and sales is that they don't really get social media. Too many companies are of the mindset that all they really have to do to succeed is set up a Facebook page, throw a few bucks into Facebook ads, maybe use one of the types of companies at http://www.buyfacebookfansreviews.com and that will just automatically catapult them to success. Things don't work out that way online. They have to be able to offer something to people that they value and listen to their customers. This is the best way to achieve long-term success. The additional factor here is that while Facebook offers features to increase engagement, those features are really only designed to increase engagement on Facebook pages themselves. You have to go out and offer people something of value on Facebook to really find a way to get success and contests are a big part of that.


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