If you’re ready to engage with your followers using a contest,
use this checklist to build a better one.
Do you want to increase brand awareness or highlight a new product? Do you want to boost user engagement, gather user feedback, or develop advocates for your brand? Decide before you begin.
Flexibility. If it’s not customizable, the campaign might not deliver the results you’re after.
Embeddable capabilities. Look for a campaign builder that allows you to install the contest on social, mobile and web.
Mobile readiness! 60%** of social media activity is done on smartphones or tablets.
There are free campaign builders and those that cost thousands of dollars. Using free or low-cost software reduces your risk if the contest doesn’t deliver what you hope.
If you plan to host your promotion on Facebook, make sure you know the “dos and don’ts.” Read Facebook’s rules here.
There are five basic types of social media contests: sweepstakes, photo, video, essay and vote to enter. Decide which one will help you achieve your goals.
A contest should showcase your own products and services. To stay on budget, choose smaller items/discounts that your users will appreciate.
The value of your prize should reflect the effort participants need to make when they enter. Photo-voting contests are easy; essay and video contests require more effort.
Use unique #hashtags for your contest that your audience can use on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Decide on the one thing -- e.g., email address, product preference, location -- you need most and ask for that.
Use a form to collect user data that can be used for future marketing efforts.
Make the contest easy to enter. Note: The more fields you ask users to fill out, the fewer entries you’ll receive; each additional field could reduce participation by 10 percent.
If you need more than one piece of information, e.g., an email address and a location, give your audience additional entries for providing more information about themselves and/or for referring your contest to a friend.
Once they enter your contest ask your audience to continue their support on social media.
Promote the contest on your social networks, in email newsletters, on your website and blog. Remind your audience periodically -- just don’t overdo it!
Invest in advertising to increase the reach of your promotion. Facebook advertising is effective and affordable.
You ran the promotion so you could gather information about your customers, so spend a little bit of time making sense of what you’ve collected.
Make sure you follow up and let your followers know that you appreciate their engagement so they’ll be motivated to keep “talking” with you. Ultimately they’ll be even bigger fans of your business.
One contest is never enough. Run contests frequently to keep engagement and traffic numbers up.
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