How To Run A Successful Social Media Contest

With organic reach on the decline on various social media platforms, running a social media contest can be the perfect way to boost your presence.

Here’s how to run a successful social media contest.

Define your KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

What will make your contest a success? It always helps to have a mutually beneficial KPI. Common social media contest KPIs include:

  • more followers
  • higher levels of engagement
  • increased email subscribers
  • awareness
  • traffic to a specific URL

For more inspiration, check out this list of 10 social media KPIs you should track and monitor from Impact – use them as a guide to build out your contest.

Choose An Exciting Prize

A thoughtful prize will incentivize more entries, so make sure to choose one that is on brand and will excite your followers.

Here are some ideas for prize offers from HeyOrca:

  • “Your own products or services
  • Another product related to your brand
  • A vacation or unique experience
  • A gift card or money”

Whatever prize you choose, make sure that it’s one that also shows off your products and services. Whether it’s comments, follows, or emails you’re trying to collect, it helps if the value of your prize is also equal to or greater than the ‘price’ of an entry.

Make It Easy To Enter 

“If you want to generate more leads and increase your email list, you can request that people sign up or enter their email before entering. These can be done on a landing page and linked from any platform, or you can create a Facebook tab specifically for your contest.” – Sprout Social

Whatever you decide, remember to make it as easy as possible for users to enter your contest. If the rules are too complicated or limited, it can turn followers off from entering.

Know Your Rules! 

Know your rules! There is nothing worse than setting up the perfect contest, only to have it flagged or taken down for violating community guidelines.

Here are links to major platform contest guidelines to get you started:

Each platform has specific rules, so make sure you are up to date on all of them. Violating platform rules can get your contest taken down, your account flagged or even deleted altogether. Don’t assume there are blanket or common-sense rules and never try to ‘get away’ with anything – it simply isn’t worth it!

Promote Your Contest! 

Once you’ve designed your contest and followed the proper guidelines, it’s time to promote it.

“A great way to spread the reach of your contest and increase your social media following is through incentivized sharing and liking. The process is simple: give contest entrants an increased chance of winning in return for a share of the contest, a tweet, or a like of your social media page.” – Social Media Examiner

Use your email list and current social media followers to help you spread the word about your contest. If users have to enter through your website, you can even run an ad to get more eyeballs on your homepage.

Review Your Results!

The most important part of running a contest is reviewing your results and asking the right questions:

Did you get the results you were expecting? Did your contest exceed expectations? Is there something you wish you’d included? What would you do differently next time?

No matter how much you plan a promotion, there will be surprises along the way. Use these as learning opportunities and apply them to your next contest. While there is no guarantee that your contest will be a perfect success, these tips have always put our clients on the right track!

Need help running a contest on social media? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today to set up a FREE discovery session with our team!


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