Running Social Media Contests

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Social Media Contest ticketsNo one can pass up an opportunity to win. Setting up a competition is one of the sure ways of getting more followers on social media and subsequently more customers. Media, even in the traditional sense has always been instrumental in spearheading the drive to acquire more customers through massive engagement.

The Nature Of The Medium

Social media has made it possible for marketers to step things up a notch.

Unlike traditional media which is passive in nature, social media campaigns in the format of contests can gain instant traction as people can respond to the contest at a time and location that suits them. With radio for example, in order to get the attention of a customer, the target audience has to be listening to the radio at the particular time the message is being aired. 

Tied to the timing of the message delivery is also the location. A social media contest will most likely reach customers on their mobile phone which they have with them all the time. According to MarketingLand.Com,  nearly 80% of social media time was spent on mobile devices in April 2016 and 80% of Internet users own a mobile device according to Impactbnd.Com, in November 2017.

Clearly, the increased use of social media and mobile devices presents interesting opportunities for brands to acquire more customers. All that is needed to take advantage of this opportunity is the foresight to develop engaging campaigns that attract customers and retain them in the process.

The Nature Of Social Media Contests

Contests conducted on social media are no different from traditional marketing campaigns with the exception that they offer better engagement and accelerated results. Furthermore, the performance of a campaign can be analysed in real-time, allowing for the process to be timeously tweaked where necessary.

The premise for a social media competition marketing campaign is to acquire customers and generate new leads. Planning is crucial in order to execute a successful campaign. Ideally you want to attract customers but also keep them engaged once you do.

There is always a network effect with social media campaigns. The more engagement you get the more does this translate to further engagement. The reason for this is primarily because of social proof that quickly propagates within social media circles. I am more likely to engage with a campaign if I see that one of my friends liked or shared it and this applies with my friend's friends and their friend’s friends and so on and so forth.

The Rules Of The Game

In order to execute a successful social media contest, you need to pay attention to the finer details. You need to keep a firm grasp on what the objective of your marketing campaign is. Are you trying to gain a following on the social media platform? Are you trying to generate customer awareness? Or, are you trying to extend your reach to new markets?

The answer to these question will determine the form your contest is going to take. You therefore need to establish the mechanism and strategy that will allow you to achieve your objectives. You might want to engage your audience by soliciting likes or you might want them to share certain content. The content might be something you produce or it might be something the audience produces.

The contest may be built around the number of shares or likes in combination with a voting system. Third party apps may be used to drive a contest or you may use comments in posts to determine winners. In order to build a superior experience in social media contests, it might be to your advantage to make use of third party apps to get the job done.

When planning your contests, make sure to have value at the forefront. You don't want to just have a dry contest where people vote for something. If you can provide great value in the process; then more power to you. Value can be realised in optimising the experience. People on social media are seeking to feel connected, to have fun and to be engaged. These should be your focus areas for providing value.

The Prize

One of the major value elements to a social media contest is the prize. Wishpond has a list of social media marketing campaigns involving contests for businesses big and small. You will notice that the nature and price tag of prizes varies considerably in the list.

The truth of the matter is that depending on how you craft your contest, the price tag of the prize is not very important even though it is up there among one of the good reasons that people will participate. In fact, you do not want people to participate simply because there is a big reward. You want them to participate for motivations beyond monetary gain. You want them to be engaged and involved.

Going back to seeking to provide value, you want to provide a value driven experience. How do you do this?

Remember that your customers are seeking ways to connect on social media. You therefore need to respond to that desire in your contest. One way of doing this is to offer a prize that is related to your business offering and emphasize its value proposition in the campaign. 

Another approach is to offer a prize that has no correlation with your product or service but offers a memorable experience. You might for example offer an all expenses paid trip to go and see the Victoria Falls even though you are not in tourism. This will generate the buzz that will drive the contest but also build memorable experiences.

At the end of the day, whether you spend a lot on the prize or not is immaterial. What matters the most is that you are able to offer experiential gratification to your customers and also meet the objectives you set out at the beginning of the campaign. Executed right, social media contests are a great way to raise awareness around your brand and build lasting customer relationships in the process.

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