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5 Easy Steps to Run a Successful Social Media Contest

Running a social media contest can be a great way to generate engagement on your pages, grow your following and build brand awareness. Plus, it’s a fun way to reward your community for supporting your business.

If you consistently hold enticing social media contests, you should start to see a loyal audience rallying around your brand. Here are some of the major key performance indicators (KPIs), or goals, associated with running a contest on social media:

  • More eyes on your content. Your social media contests should ask people to like, share, comment on posts and tag others. When people take these actions, it’s more likely that people will see the posts. This is especially true if you boost your content using advertising dollars.
  • Brand awareness. The above actions can also result in increased brand awareness. More people seeing your content means more people who are aware of who you are, what you do and why they should do business with you. When you partner up with influencers or other businesses that complement yours, you can also be introduced to their followers — i.e., more like-minded people who would be interested in your brand.
  • Email marketing list growth. In some cases, you may want to ask people to enter their name and email address in order to enter your contest. Make sure you specify terms and conditions and what they’re signing up for, so that it’s clear you’re obtaining permission to email them. Also, this extra step should be in addition to liking, tagging and other forms of engagement within the social media platform itself. Let people know it’s optional and earns them an extra entry. That way, you don’t risk losing people who don’t want to provide their email.
  • Buzz. When your offer is exciting enough (and it should be!), you’ll build a buzz around your brand. People are more likely to engage with your social media contest if they see their friends doing so. As more and more people get excited about your contest, you’ll get a whole crowd of new followers who want to be a part of whatever you have to offer.  

To create a successful social media contest, follow the steps below, and soon you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing the goals above. 

Related: 15 Social Media Content Ideas for Small Businesses

Step 1: Define Your KPIs

The goals mentioned above are just some of the major KPIs associated with social media contests. You can drill down further to add lead generation, clicks to your website, specific follower growth numbers (say, 100,000 Instagram followers), and many other metrics. 

The point is to make each goal specific to your business so that you can define your social media contests according to your chosen KPIs. If your goal is to grow your following, for example, it makes sense to request that people follow your page or profile in order to enter the contest.

Step 2: Set a Budget

A social media contest doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to meet your marketing goals. 

That being said, you do need to budget for certain expenditures if you want to have a successful social media contest. These include:

  • The human effort required to create the contest posts. If you have a social media resource on your team, this person might be your designated point of contact for all things contest-related. Consider how many hours might be involved in creating, managing and monitoring the contest. Alternatively, you can outsource the work to Rallio, and our team can work with you to create a social media contest.
  • The giveaway itself. There’s a cost associated with giving away a product or a service as a prize. Decide how many giveaways you want to do each year, and set your budget accordingly.
  • Advertising costs. For a nominal fee, you can pay to promote your contest in social media feeds, stories and more. Target your specific audience in these promotions to get the most bang for your buck.
  • Any costs associated with working with influencers. Some influencers will accept free products or services in exchange for promoting your brand, while others are paid influencers. For a small brand, working with micro-influencers can be a good place to start, as you can often work out a trade instead of providing monetary compensation. In addition, working with a complementary brand might cost you nothing, since you both stand to benefit from promoting each other.

Related: Boosted Posts Vs. Facebook Ads: How It Works and Why You Should Advertise

Step 3: Write Out the Rules

Refer to each platform’s rules for contests and giveaways so you can stay in compliance throughout the social media contest. From there, write the rules according to the platform, and clearly state these in your contest post.

You might want to focus only on Facebook and Instagram; because Instagram is owned by Facebook, their rules will be similar, and you won’t have to reinvent the wheel on each platform when you run your contest.

Step 4: Run the Social Media Contest

Leading up to your contest, you can build excitement by letting your followers know you have a special announcement coming in a few days. For example, do a five- or 10-day countdown in which you reveal a different contest clue on each day.

Before the contest launch, make sure you have all your assets ready to be scheduled. Create content for each day the contest will run, so you can keep people excited and motivated to enter throughout the length of the contest. Here’s where technology comes in handy! Rallio gives you a convenient way to organize all your assets in one database with a single login for all your social media platforms. 

When the big day arrives, publish your first post, and make sure this post and every subsequent one includes the contest rules. Let your followers know the deadline to enter. Cross-promote the contest via email marketing and on your website to create even more buzz. 

Step 5: Announce a Winner

Don’t miss the most important part: announcing a winner and letting that person know they won! Contact the winner to finalize how you’ll deliver their prize, and thank your followers for being a part of the fun. It’s so important to let them know you’ll have future contests, so they stick around and don’t unfollow you after the contest ends!

At this point, measure your results to see how you did on meeting your KPIs. Tweak anything that needs to be tweaked. Do more of the things that worked. And keep repeating this process to see your results continue to improve over time. As Social Media Today puts it:

“After your contest is finished, it’s essential to have a post-contest strategy prepared. This means having an idea of what to do with the leads you’ve collected. If the leads or followers you’ve gained are just sitting there waiting, you haven’t finished your job. Incidentally, this is also why it’s important to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with a social media contest.”

Could you use some help running a social media contest? Get in touch with our experts at Rallio to see how our team can help you create memorable, engaging contests that get results and help you meet your goals.

Learn more: 7 Lessons We’ve Learned From Running 31,307 Social Media Contests

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