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How to run competitions on social media

How To Run Competitions On Social Media

Remember the times when the only way of entering competitions was to call a telephone number, or collect numerous bottle caps?

In some cases this is still a prominent way for companies to run competitions, but they currently face an ever-increasing obligation to reach out to consumers online. I mean what better way to interact with consumers? It just makes sense.

The internet has facilitated the opportunity for organisations to run competitions across various social media networks, allowing companies to entice an endless number of consumers to participate, without the expensive phone lines! Here is some tips on how to run competitions on social media:

Make the prize as tempting as possible.

You want to ensure that the prize is something that your customers really want. You may want to consider creating a series of prizes, for finalists, runners up and so forth.

Alternatively you may way want to make it a one off prize, which conveys that the prize is something of real quality, making it far more desirable.

Ensure that you are clear on the objectives of the competition

Do you want to expand your business on Facebook, Twitter or both? Is the ultimate goal to drive more customers to your website? Do you want to obtain more customer e-mails for your database?

These are some of the things you need to consider before even running your competition. Considering your objectives constantly will help you focus on them without losing track, and consequently, you should see results.

Remember the rules!

Facebook has some pretty stringent rules for competitions on their website, the first, often missed, is you aren’t allowed to run it through your business page, therefore you have to administer it through a Facebook App. Twitter also have rules, for example, you should discourage the creation of multiple accounts so that individuals can enter more than once, failure to meet this rule will result in the accounts being suspended.

You’re probably (not) thinking “what about Google+?”, unfortunately Google+ do not allow any contests, sweepstakes or other promotions on their website. That is, unless you redirect customers to your website, where of course you hold full responsibility. This may be something that will change but only time will tell. Below are links for the competition guidelines on the three social media platforms mentioned:

Use what is available to you.

The most effective way to get people involved with your competitions is to make it simple for them to post and share their responses. Eventually you’ll be able to create a ripple effect, reaching a great number of both current and potential customers. Introduce the use of the ‘hashtag’ and encourage customers to like and share your post as a form of entry. Bare in mind, though, that Facebook won’t allow you to use the ‘like’ button as a voting mechanism.

Despite its difficulty, you might want to run your contests across various platforms to further your outreach. Twitter and Instagram may be a good place to start, as they sit nicely alongside each other with  ‘hashtags’.

Be creative.

New social media networks and sharing apps are making it easier to reach customers and offer creative competitions. Vine is a new app that allows people to create short videos of anything they want, so think about how you can encourage them to be creative in the use of your product as a method of entry? Vine also adopt the ‘hashtag’, so they can post and share!

Remember that anyone can post a multiple choice question online, be different, be creative, be fun and reap the rewards!

 By Content Assistant,  Bradley Gavin – @bradleygavin

Edited September 2020

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