Last Updated on August 11, 2020 by David Bryan
How to Run a Successful Social Media Competition on Facebook & Twitter
A social media competition is a great way to promote your business and to reach a new audience. As well helping you retain existing, and secure new, customers a successful campaign can also achieve many other goals such as increasing your followers, build brand awareness and improve engagement across your social media channels.
First off, it is essential that you identify your goals for running a social media competition. Only by knowing what it is that you hope to achieve can you determine whether or not the exercise has been successful once it’s over.
For most businesses, the ultimate goal for online marketing will be an increase in sales, raised brand awareness or something similar.
However, with a campaign like this, the goals are often perceived as part of the overall SEO strategy and may be linked more to steps along this pathway such as increasing the number of followers, securing x number of emails or newsletter signups.
Once you have set your goals for your social media competition, you will need to address the five key components of any project like this…some of which have legal implications so they are important to get right!
- The Prize – the reward for the winner of your social media competition should be exciting and appeal to the target demographic audience that matches your customer base. There is little point setting a prize of one ticket to an over 18s event if your business is geared towards families. Make it relevant and make it as enticing as possible.
- The Method of Competition – decide what your audience is required to do in order to be in with a chance of wining the prize. Perhaps it will simply be answering a question about your product, the detail of which could be hidden inside some well-written sales copy or maybe they should comment with reasons about why they should be considered the ‘biggest fan’ of your product. The general rule of thumb is that the easier the mechanism of entry, the more entrants you are likely to get but the more sophisticated (and relevant), the better the quality those leads are likely to be.However, both Facebook and Twitter have set rules on what you can and can’t do when it comes to running a social media competition. You are not allowed to ask people to share a post or tag friends as a means to enter a competition. Likewise, on Twitter, it is against the platform’s rules to declare the winner as the person who retweets a message the most. Check the current guidelines on both Facebook and Twitter before launching your social media competition.
- Promotion – decide how and where are you going to promote your competition. Whilst this is going to be on Facebook and Twitter, you may also need to get the ball rolling with a PPC advertisement or by partnering with another ‘vehicle’ to promote your campaign. A quick ‘flash’ competition could boost a nice bit of engagement just when you need it most but a more extended, and grander, competition could be a highly rewarding way to go. It depends on your budgets and, again, your overall goals.
- Timescales – you will need to be clear in all of your online campaigning for your social media competition about the deadline for entries and when the winner will be announced. If you are intending to run your competition on a regular basis then make sure your entrants know when the next draw is being held.
- Terms & Conditions –most competitions of this kind which are run in the UK are exempt from the Gambling Act (2005), however you must take care to ensure that your prize draw or competition does not accidentally fall into the category of an ‘illegal lottery’. For these reasons, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the guidance provided by the UK’s Gambling Commission.
Don’t forget that if you are asking for competitors contact details then you will need to ensure that your data collection method complies with data protection regulations, including GDPR.
Engage Your Audience
The key to all promotions being run on Facebook and Twitter is to keep up an active level of engagement with your audience. Respond quickly to comments, questions and entries and try to maintain a sense of urgency and excitement. You could keep players involved by declaring a target number of entrants to release a bonus prize. What about rewarding the 100th entrant? Whilst this does not explicitly contravene the rules laid out by Twitter and Facebook, it does encourage people to share your post/tweet.
Be Bold with your Design
The fact is that images are key to the success of a good social media competition and are far more likely to be noticed in a feed than those without.
In addition, a creative and fun approach to your design can make your content more sharable and give your campaign the best chance of reaching a wider audience.
Create a Buzz
The combination of an exciting prize with creative design for your promotional material plus an active engagement strategy should help you keep an air of anticipation about your competition.
Combine this with a hashtag so that all of your posts are grouped; this is particularly important for competitions being run on Twitter but also a good idea for Facebook too.
Use any influence you have with other partners and groups to help you promote your competition and deliver some extra ‘buzz’.
Make the Most of Having a Captive Audience
The momentum of a social media competition slows down pretty quickly once the dust settles on the entry closing date and many companies fail to capitalise on the opportunity that this kind of campaign can have.
Whilst there is a buzz around your competition and entrants are reading up on how to enter, what they will win along with all of the accompanying Ts and Cs, this is the ideal opportunity to speak to them directly about your business, service or products.
Make sure that all of your promotional material includes your website details and some information about who you are, what you do and what you sell. This should also include any automated emails that thank them for submitting their entry. These are all potentially powerful touch points for communicating directly with your target audience.
Don’t be one of those businesses that gives away something for nothing.
Opace is a digital marketing agency with a specialism for social media. We understand the importance of creating impactful content that both maximises SEO but also engages an audience. With a track record of highly successful social media competitions and customised online strategies to convert traffic, we know we can help you deliver a competition that, well, stands out from the competition.
To find out more about how we can help you improve your social media strategy by creating quality engagement and building relationships to achieve your business goals, contact us today.