#Winning! Tips for Successful Social Media Contests

Social Media Contest Marketing TipsAre you one of those people who feel like they never win anything?  If you or your business participates actively in social media, then you’ve probably seen companies offer contests on Facebook and Twitter to increase their fan base and engage their audiences.  Both marketers and consumers love social media contests because they can produce a great return on investment in the form of new customers and elaborate prizes.

The commonality between people who are able to win Facebook contests and marketers that are able to effectively promote them is a specific plan for social media marketing.  With many social media management clients, we at McCauley Marketing Services offer the following tips for optimizing the success of your next contest:

Consumers:

Give them something: Give your friends and social media network something in return for their votes and efforts (i.e., a funny anecdote explaining why you’re involved in this contest or even a video introducing the process). If an individual or page has shared your contest with their contacts, make sure to recognize them individually for their efforts.  Like any kind of donor situation, it’s important for people to know that their individual help matters; their vote isn’t just a number.

Monitor your progress: It’s important to know where you stand in the ranks of other contest entrants so you’re not constantly bombarding your network with requests.  Also monitoring your number of votes and the people who are voting will make saying individual thank you’s easier.

Marketers:

Know the rules: Facebook has promotional guidelines that should be followed to ensure your fan page isn’t blacklisted and all of your contest hard work isn’t wasted.  Make sure to review these guidelines before any contest as the site does regularly update them.

Give participants examples  Similar to how we use our design portfolio to show customers examples of effective web and print advertising campaigns, people entering social media contests need examples of exactly what you’re requesting of them.  Make up fictitious people and content to show fans what you’re wanting from them with entrance into your contest.

Grab a partner: Work with a business that is complementary to your contest’s prize to help further your reach.  Virality (or the ability for digital media to be shared) is the factor that makes online contests so impactful (and relatively inexpensive) to businesses.

Quality vs. Quantity: As good as it feels to see social media traffic flocking to your profiles, make sure your contest strategy is designed to attract customers that will actually buy your product. Social media is about conversation, so if individuals are only interacting with your page for free loot they are not as likely to contribute meaningfully to your ongoing digital reputation.

There is no sure way to win a contest—that’s what makes it fun and exciting.  Be sure to stay tuned to our blog and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + as we bring you breaking social media news and more marketing tips!