An ultimate guide to running a successful social media competition

Social media competitions are a great way to create a buzz around your brand and encourage customers to interact with you and your product. 

From building brand awareness and engaging customers, to increasing sales and expanding your following, social media competitions should be an integral part of your content strategy.

If you want to inject some creativity into your brand but don’t know where to start, follow our guide to discover everything there is to know about social media competitions and be on the ball when it comes to growing your business and winning your customers prizes.

Unlock the benefits 

Essentially, social media competitions are there to build brand awareness, boost customer engagement and increase sales whilst giving your audience the chance to win something that will give them a great impression of your business. When done correctly, the exposure a competition can provide your company is worth the cost of a prize.

On average, over 34% of new customers are acquired through social media competitions. Your brand can host various different types of competitions that are set up to encourage people to like the post, like your page, and tag a friend. These techniques allow more people to see your post and become aware of your brand. As a result, you’ll be more likely to both attract new consumers and engage your existing followers on social media competition

There are a number of different competition styles you can do that will encourage audiences to engage with your post in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Both of these methods are great ways to encourage followers to leave customer reviews, mention your brand in other posts or share your post onto their own social media profiles.

When competitions offer prizes in exchange for email subscriptions or newsletter sign-ups, your email list will grow with targeted leads so you can create content based on your customers preferences in the future.

With the added benefit of allowing you to offer and showcase your products to a new audience, a social media competition is a great way to skyrocket your website traffic. People enter competitions primarily for the purpose of winning something for free. However, while they’re on your social media channel, you can subtly introduce them to your product and therefore entice them into your brand’s offering online to generate more sales.

How can you make your competition engaging?

It’s easier said than done. Social media competitions require thorough planning to ensure they are relevant and engaging to your audience – if the competition doesn’t hit the right mark then you won’t achieve your objectives.

Keep it simple

Once you’ve decided what you’ll give the winner, it’s critical to be as transparent as possible to avoid any confusion. Make your competition simple to understand by clearly stating what is on offer, what participants must do, and how you will notify them of the result, whilst keeping the copy exciting and engaging. What’s more, making the prize more guaranteed will generate better conversion. For example, it is better to give 5% off every entry than encourage everyone to ‘enter for a chance to win’. 

Make it interactive 

park resorts social media competition

To make your competition relevant, you must first determine what works best for your business. Making the competition interactive is a smart concept in some cases. A wheel of fortune, for example, could provide a selection of things that are up for grabs when customers sign up for your newsletters. Similarly, your competition needs to catch the eye. No one will enter your competition unless they are drawn to it and can see what they can win at a glance.

We helped Park Resorts create its ‘Amazing Memories’ campaign where holidaymakers were encouraged to submit ‘photo stories’ of their favourite summer memories at Park Resorts. These were added to an interactive map, creating their own individual memory postcard. Participants were able to share this on social media and were entered into a draw to win a selection of prizes from GoPro’s and cameras to Harry Potter tours and short breaks with Park Resorts. This generated huge social media activity, raised the brand’s profile, and established a successful formula for future campaigns. 

Create a sense of urgency

Why not try and create a sense of urgency by setting a time limit for your social media competition

As part of the Easter campaign for Fortec Distribution Network, we held a daily competition in which users had to find where the bunny was hiding. For a chance to win a prize, they had until the end of the day to guess and enter their answers. This sense of urgency is more likely to entice users to act quickly, generating more entries and conversions.

When it comes down to it, implementing these factors into your competitions can help you achieve your targets of higher sales, awareness, and profitability.

What to avoid

Although there are many factors that contribute to a successful social media competition, there are also some common mistakes. Here’s what you should avoid: 

Not making it clear – The most important feature of your page is your prize. You just have a matter of seconds to capture the attention of the participant and persuade them to enter. As a result, they will be judging your contest mainly on visuals, so the prize should be made clear.

Failing to promote – Many people make the mistake of believing that once the competition is launched, it will take care of the rest on its own. A successful competition requires ongoing effort to ensure that it runs smoothly and that you are continually promoting it to gain new entries. This includes teasers of the competition, and keeping the momentum high, maintaining this effort pre, during, and post engagement.

Wanting too much too soon – No business can expect to see results right away. However, it’s critical that you plan your social media competition around your followers’ level of engagement with your brand. Start small and progress gradually as your following begins to increase.

Giving away something irrelevant – Relevance is key, especially when it comes to giveaways. Ensuring the competition matches not only your tone but also your brand values and USPs. After all, you wouldn’t want to give away flip-flops if you’re a company selling corporate software.  

Competitions provide a useful marketing tool as giving back to your supporters can create a sense of goodwill about your brand. They can be an excellent way for businesses both new and well-established to promote themselves and build interest, so if you get them right, you’ll be onto a winner.

Fuelled with inspiration but not sure where to start? At Rawww, we offer a range of social media and creative content support so you can get the most out of your brand. For more information on our services, get in touch.

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