How to run a Social Media Competition
As you may have noticed we’ve been running our own competition recently, with our primary promotion being through Facebook and Twitter. Running a social media competition isn’t as easy as just posting on your page, however. There are a number of rules and guidelines which vary platform to platform about what you can and can’t include in your competitions. To make your life a little bit easier here’s a roundup of how you should structure your competitions so that it reaches the widest audience and importantly, so they don’t get taken down by the platform!
Firstly, you have to think about why you’re doing a competition. Are you looking to drive future sales? Drive traffic to your website? Or maybe you want to encourage a dialogue between yourself and your followers? Whatever the reason there’s a format to suit you! For example, if you’re looking to open a dialogue with your followers then a user-generated competition would suit you best. This could be as simple as using a branded hashtag or encouraging your followers to post a selfie with your products! Be aware, however, unless you already have a very engaged audience it is unlikely that you’ll get much response from this type of promotion. If your audience is quite unengaging it might be best to focus on building brand loyalty through strong content and leave the competition to a later date! For our competition, we were looking for a sports team that we could offer a sponsorship opportunity to. Platforms often have very strict rules about what you can ask people to do to enter your competition so always do research into the guidelines if in doubt a good option is a ‘like and share to enter’. We decided to split ours into two parts, first, we invited our social media audiences to nominate local teams which they felt were deserving of sponsorship. Then, when we had our short list, we opened it up to a public vote.
Secondly, you need to decide what you’re going to give away if anything. High ticket items will generally get more interest but at a cost to you and you might find that people entering are more interested in the prize rather than your business, meaning they’ll drop off as soon as the completion’s over. On the flip side, if you offer nothing you’ll generally get less or even no engagement (unless you have a very engaged audience). Whatever you’re giving away make sure it complies with each platforms individual guidelines before posting, if your competition breaks the rules of the platform then it will be taken down and your page may even be suspended.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, promote, promote, promote! It’s not enough just to post your competition once and expect it to take hold. This doesn’t always mean spending money on ads or boosts, although if your budget allows for this it will always help! As before, always check the platforms own guidelines before creating an Ad to make sure you aren’t breaking any rules. If the budget isn’t there you can keep up momentum by posting consistent updates, sharing your competition with relevant people and pages and actively engaging with your audience. For example, when someone comments on a post you could ask them if they’ve seen your competition.
Finally, make sure you chose the winner fairly and clearly show your process! If the winner was chosen on a judgment, like the best photo, explain why. If you chose the winner at random, show the process. If you are transparent it will set you up well for future competitions you hold. Also, make sure to contact the winner promptly and with all the relevant information and dispatch any prizes as soon as you are able to!