There aren’t many better ways to increase followers, engagement, brand visibility, and loyalty than with social competitions. Why? Because, if competitions are done well and with thought, they create buzz and genuine engagement.
A social competition or contest is essentially the promotion of your brand, business or product aimed specifically at your social media audience, both current and potential. Initially very popular on Facebook competitions have migrated to other social platforms with Instagram being the current platform of choice.
Contests continue to play a key part of businesses social strategy. Aimed at maximising engagement, the level of success, however, this is entirely dependant on you knowing your audience.
For example, research indicates that millennials are more inclined to engage in experiences, for which they are willing to pay. In the age of the savvy online customer, businesses have to be savvier in their approach to competitions.
Want to engage with Millennials and Gen X? Offer them an experience. Keen to boost your baby boomer and tech-shy client base encourage them to share, like, tag a friend and comment.
Gen Zers are the most likely to create specific content for you. With the rise of live broadcasts, encourage the creation of short clips and videos with your brand hashtag.
Social media contests can:
- Inspire viral engagement (if your content is smart, astute, and fun consumers will want to share it with their network).
- Boost engagement (CTA will encourage people to reach out and engage with you and your brand, business and products).
- Build your email list (demonstrate that the business is providing value-add to their lives they’ll be rewarded for giving their email address).
88% of businesses are active on social media, which means you need to differentiate yourself. This translates to a lot of contests that are catching people’s attention and ultimately their business.
First of all, what should you consider when dreaming up a competition?
- Unusual rules and ways to create engagement and action e.g. post a photo of the product with an unexpected item or particular colour related to your brand, rethink your prizes, know your audience and what they are looking for.
- Experiences are increasingly sought after, why? Because they are harder to come by than products. The type of experience on offer will reflect the personality of the brand. This in turn will be linked back to you and the business. As the experience is being (for want of a better word) experienced you’ll receive UGC that can be repurposed. The perfect solution to generating more relatable content.
- Social cause campaigns are the most successful form of competition at the moment. Partly because millennials are the most socially engaged demographic on social media. But also because they highlight what your business and brand are focused on, the community.
- Comment giveaways, whilst these are not revolutionary they will appeal to those on social media who don’t want to be hooked into an online community or complicated forms of engagement. Polls and voting will inspire action, and that’s what we want!
All of this ultimately comes back to the new algorithms. How Facebook and Instagram (in particular) are looking at your engagement with followers. If your posts are driving action and reactions (loves, laughs, comments – not just likes). They’ll boost your content further, it’s time to think outside the jar of jellybeans.
Social media tools for running competitions – are they useful?
In a nutshell, yes. Why? Because they manage a whole range of components at the same time, and furthermore give you running feedback on engagement so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Our top three suggestions to investigate are:
- Gleam – they’re robust in their reporting and growth of some kind is assured, whether it’s your email list or social media following. A noteworthy aspect is an offer of a month trial before switching to paid plans that start at US$39/month
- Rafflecopter – considered to be the easiest to use, and they offer month to month plans, which for small businesses is appealing. Prices start at US$13/month for their basic plan
- If Facebook is the main marketing platform for your business Woobox is the best option for managing social contests. Prices for the solo (small business plan) start from US$30/month.
And…the best Instagram #hashtags to use for competitions and promotions
Not sure how best to proceed for your business needs and customer engagement? Check out what other similar businesses are doing and how they’re engaging with their clients. Failing that drop us a line, we are always happy to delve into your social media and see what’s going on and how to best optimise your activity. Get in touch here.
Read our post on #Hashtags. Find out more about how to develop and use them to maximum effect on social media.
Competitions help create authentic connections between you, your business or brand and your audience.
*This post was originally written by Wayfairer for Digital Dandy