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The Most Successful Social Media Contests

 pointMarketing your business can get competitive. Finding ways to keep content fresh and interactions interesting can be a daunting task. Social media contests are a great way to engage and interest users – plus, they’re fun! There are lots of options for types of contests to run on your social media outlets, but we’ve found that there are a few that are particularly effective. Keep reading to find out why these top contests are great catalysts for helping your business grow.

1. The Challenge Contest A challenge contest is a Facebook contest where users enter by performing tasks in order to gain points for the contest. Every point that a user gains is considered an entry, and the more entries one has, the better their chance of winning. The challenge contest is an easy one to enter – which is what makes it so successful. In the beginning, users simply enter in their name and email and they already have a chance to win. Once they’ve entered, users continue to have chances to gain points through challenges that you present. This system allows entrants to spend as much or as little time and energy working through your challenges, which, in turn, gets more people to enter because it’s so easy. This contest also encourages users to interact with your business. If you so choose, you can send participants on virtual missions that involve scouring your website, social media pages or online store in order to learn information that will give them points towards your challenge contest. This contest will increase brand awareness while building a sense of community and familiarity around your brand. Customers have a chance to interact and share their interests with your brand, further identifying your loyal fans and maybe attracting new ones. The challenge contest traditionally gains one of the highest entry levels for Facebook contests and is a great opportunity to increase your fan base and page traffic. Just remember, you must always run your Facebook contests through a third-party app. (Confused about what that means? Check out our How to Run a Facebook Contest Without Getting Shutdown post) 2. Sweepstakes Sweepstakes is a simple contest that allows you to give away prizes based on a random draw. The great thing about Sweepstakes contests is that you can run them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which gives you diverse options. The recurring theme here is simplicity. Sweepstakes are easy for users to enter, so you’ll naturally get more entrants. Part of this contest’s successful nature is your ability to sneakily imbed ways to build brand awareness. Consider asking entrants to complete a brief survey before entering the sweeps or require entrants to watch a brief movie before entering. This gives an easy way to gather customer information and build brand awareness without overwhelming your entrants. Screen shot 2012-12-14 at 10.12.23 AM Sweepstakes are also a great way to build your email or mailing list. Users must provide their contact information upon entry, and this allows you to reach your new and existing customers. Again, sweepstakes will also increase your Facebook fan base and increase traffic on your Facebook page, Twitter feed or Pinterest boards, which is always something to smile about. Again, remember that any contest or sweepstakes must provide participants with terms and conditions of entry. On Twitter, the easiest way to do this is to include a short link to your contest rules in your tweet. You could also host a landing page with the contest details and direct entrants to that page instead of having discussions through your Twitter stream.

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3. Photo Contest  Though photo contests are a more complicated and labor intensive contest, they offer great benefits for your business. The photo contest is another that can be done on multiple outlets, mainly Facebook and Pinterest. In this contest, you ask users to enter photos that fit a certain criteria (make sure this criteria is relatable to your business). Photo contests are successful because, if promoted correctly, you can get incredible user participation. This contest will give you the chance to see who’s serious about interacting with your business and why. This contest builds powerful brand awareness and allows you to openly interact with customers. Photo contests give you ideas and insights into users thoughts and feelings about your business, and give you content (photos) for continued use. This contest puts your customers in the driver’s seat. It’s up to them to create content that you judge, and that encourages them to research and understand your brand, further increasing their loyalty and understanding of your business. Screen shot 2012-12-14 at 10.10.23 AM Now that you’re clear on which contests will aid your promotional success, get started! Need some inspiration for your contest promotion? Check out these great examples of successful social media contests. Need some assistance in planning and setting up your social media contest? Contact the experts at SocialNicole – we’d love to help you! Photo Credit  

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