6 Great Tips for Running a Social Media Contest

Hosting a social media contest or competition can help attract some quality niche traffic to your site, drive sales on your ecommerce site, and increase your email subscription list to your RSS feed. But without a well thought-out strategy, none of the above will likely happen. Here are 6 great tips that will help make your next social media contest into a long-lasting marketing success.

Have a Social Media Marketing Strategy

The actual contest is only one part of your social media marketing initiative. Your social media marketing strategy should outline a goal that your company hopes to achieve. In addition, have a social media target market you want to address, a schedule for releasing social media posts, and a drawing board for ideas and marketing maps.

Have a Realistic Goal Set in Mind

In order to accurately measure the success of a social media contest, you must have a clear goal already decided. A Social Media contest will basically increase either sales, fans, email subscribers, brand awareness, website traffic or any combination of those five. Make sure you accurately address what you want to accomplish before you run your contest. Craft your contest around your desired outcomes. Having a goal will also allow you to better keep track of your performance and make sure your contest is reaching your target market.

Try Using a Third Party Application to Run Your Contest

Using a third party app to run your contest helps you comply with the various social media’s terms of service and gives you access to a number of useful tools that can help you begin interacting with your fans as well as analyze your results. Some great third party contest applications are Binkd Promotion, Wildfire, and Bulbstorm.

Go Viral With Your Contest Launch

Unless you already have thousands of fans or followers, your contest will need to “go viral” in order to gain some real notice. That involves marketing your campaign across multiple platforms at your disposal. Your outreach should include your email list, all of your social media accounts, your website, your partners, related forums, and much more.

Make Sure Your Website is Running Smoothly

A successful and viral social media contest will drive a lot of traffic to your website. If they’ve taken the initial step to visit you site, odds are they’re also interested in buying your services or products, or joining your email subscription list. As a precaution, make sure all of the links on your sitemap work correctly. Also double check that your navigation menus are easy to understand, and that your company logo or brand name is clearly visible on the site header. Also check with your web host and make sure the site will be able to handle sudden large increases in traffic. The last thing you want if for your site to crash during the contest.

Always Have a Follow Up

Follow up with your contest winners, but more importantly, follow up with your contest losers. If all is successful with your initial contest, you should have quite a few new customers, fans, subscribers, and visitors. Have an auto-responder contest ready beforehand, and encourage your new traffic to take further action.

During your social media contest, give new followers tips on how they can increase their chances of winning and teach them how to share the contest with their friends. Interact with them on a personal level, answering their questions and actively chatting and engaging with your fans.
Once the contest is over, keep the conversations going with other chances to win, special offers, and valuable content that will appease your newly acquired fanbase.

Vincent Clarke is a blogger for www.usbmemorydirect.com, a leader in the custom flash drive industry. As someone who works in marketing, he enjoys learning and blogging about new, creative, and effective marketing techniques.

Featured image on home page courtesy of Louis Pagan.

Filed in: Feature Articles, Social Media
Want to submit your own guest post? Visit our guest posting guidelines page.

You might like:

Top 10 Online Payment Gateways for Ecommerce Websites for Your Company Top 10 Online Payment Gateways for Ecommerce Websites for Your Company
Five Small Business Tips Five Small Business Tips
6 Great Tips for Running a Social Media Contest
Thinking Outside the Font Thinking Outside the Font

One Response to "6 Great Tips for Running a Social Media Contest"

  1. Holly Grande says:

    I would add to point three that it is so, so important to understand the various social network contest rules before you begin to develop your contest. Facebook is very strict about contests, and you must use a third party app. Contests that do not meet Facebook’s guidelines can be removed from the social network without warning. Twitter and Pinterest are less strict, but there are requirements for these sites as well.

    A few months ago, my agency ran a Facebook contest for one of our clients. If you’re interested, we put out a case study that includes several recommendations: http://www.cookerly.com/casestudy-everydaywinning.aspx

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.

© 2012 Geek Business. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.