Social media contests help gain more engagement. Learn how to do it correctly

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3.5 billion. This is the number of people who use social media in today’s time. In other words, according to Emarsys, approximately 50 percent of the world’s population has at least one social media account.

While initially, social media was created to provide a platform for people to connect with one another, it has transformed into much more. As per the Global Web Index, now 54 percent of consumers first search social media about products before making a purchase.

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This means that brands must be active on the various social media platforms to connect with their audience and to convert them into profitable customers. But, in a world where everyone is conducting social media marketing, it is hard to get your brand to be noticed.

A great way to gain more engagement from your target audience is by conducting social media contests. As per research conducted by Hubspot, one-third of the consumers who participate in social media contests agree to receive personalized information and advertising from the brand.

Hence, launching effective social media contests can ensure that your marketing communication is reached and registered by a significant chunk of your target audience. Here is how you can do it correctly.

1.      Review the platform’s Terms of Service

Depending on the demographic of your target audience, the ideal social media platform for your brand will differ. While it is essential for you to have a presence on all platforms, you must choose one as your primary platform. And this must be where your target audience is most concentrated.

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For instance, Instagram is more popular with millennials, while Facebook is now considered to be ideal for Gen X and Gen Y. You must first define the demographics of your target audience and then decide which platform you wish to launch your social media contest on.

Once you decide, you must ensure that your content doesn’t get taken down for violating the rules of the said platform. Read and understand the terms of service for the platforms you are using. Remember, terms of service of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are all different.

Peruse and understand all the technicalities before launching your social media contest.

2.      Set goals

You cannot create a social media competition that is profitable for your business unless you set a clear purpose. Analyse your business and decide why you wish to launch the contest in the first place?

Is your goal to create word of mouth, and hence, awareness regarding your brand? Do you wish to increase your follower base? Or do you want to get your hands on the contact information of potential customers?

Depending on what your goal is, the design of your contest will vary. Make sure to pick at most two goals and tailor your competition around it.

3.      Pick the apt time

Merely posting once about your social media contest is not enough. Nor is setting a date well into the future regarding the announcement of winners. Today’s consumers can only be found on different platforms at specific times. And at the same time, they are quite impatient.

Unless you reach them at the right moment, you won’t be able to gain traction for your competition. Similarly, if the incentive is far away, they won’t be motivated to compete.

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All in all, timing matters a lot in social media contests. This is why you must launch it at a time when there is the most traffic on the platform. Then, set up reminder posts from time to time to remind people about it. Make sure that the winner announcement date seems attainable.

To ensure that your campaign runs smoothly, you can make use of a quality social media scheduler to schedule each of your posts well ahead of time.

4.      Have clear rules

Having a compelling social media contest requires brands to have clear standards and eligibility criteria. Give people clear rules so that you are not flooded with queries. Don’t leave any grey areas that some might be able to exploit.

Also, take into account any laws that you need to abide by. This can vary depending on your location. Here, a professional can help you in understanding what regulations you need to comply with when running the contest.

Apart from general rules, set clear eligibility criteria. This will also depend on the prevailing laws of the state or country you are in. For instance, some places might require you to exclude minors or certain states of the country.

5.      Have lucrative prizes

Regardless of how loyal your consumer base is, no one will be willing to participate in a contest that doesn’t deliver enticing rewards. What will excite your audience will depend on their demographics. So, rather than opting for a general gift, personalize it according to your target audience’s behaviour and interest.

For starters, let’s say you are an apparel store. Here, you can give gift cards to people as a prize so that they can purchase items from your shop for free, up to a given amount. This allows them to buy what they like, and hence the satisfaction rate regarding your competition remains high.

6.      Promote Properly

After you have designed the perfect contests, decided when to launch and post regarding it, and have come up with rules and prizes for the competition, it is time to begin your campaign.

When you do so, take steps to promote it properly. Take the best pictures you can, to add in your social media posts. Promote across platforms. Have a streamlined process and use the right sets of hashtags to generate buzz.

With effective marketing and a strong idea, you can easily engage your audience.

Let the competition begin!

At a time when engaging the audience is becoming increasingly difficult, a well thought out social media competition can help in boosting brand awareness, engagement, and overall equity. Do it properly and see the results for yourself.

Do you think there are other essential elements to creating a successful social media contest? Let us know!

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