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How To Run Outstanding Social Media Competitions

Using your brand's social media channels to run a competition can be a highly effective and inexpensive way of delivering on a specific objective.  After all everybody likes the opportunity to win.

Here are our top tips for getting the most from you next social media competition.


1. Have A Clear Idea Of What You Are After

Before you set out to create your next social competition, think about what your objective is.  Is it new leads, enticing your existing social audience to take up your offer or simply brand awareness.   

Use this goal to help create the hook that entices entries.  For the mentioned outcomes, requiring an email to enter, a free trial or asking for a social share for competition entry would directly correlate to each specific goal.


2. Choose One Platform To Host Competition

Using one place to host the competition will reduce the work required for tracking entries.  Keep things simple for yourself by limiting where you need to focus your oversight for managing entries.  


3. Promote It Extensively

While hosting your competition on one platform will simplify your workload, using your entire range of channels will help maximise your potential entries.  Much of your target audience is likely to have different preferences for various networks.  Take advantage of this by updating each audience on the commencement of a new competition and encouraging them over to your host platform to enter.  

In the new age of limited organic reach it is likely that you will need to use the social channel's promotion options to make people aware of your competition.

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4. Make It Simple

Don't overcomplicate what is required for people to enter your competition.  For competitions intending to increase brand awareness or engagement, simply requiring a comment or share will be an effective way of creating reach beyond your existing audience.  

For competitions looking to gather emails or contact details, include a link to a landing page form for capturing customer information.  When doing this make sure you clearly direct people to the link and have an email confirmation setup so that people know when they have entered.


5. Clearly State Rules

Thinking back to what your overall objective is making sure you clearly state what is required for a valid entry.  Think about ways people may attempt to 'cheat' the competition, i.e. multiple entries and have a rule in place for it.  If the rules are lengthy consider including a link to the competition's Terms and Conditions to avoid any potential room for creative interpretation.  

Be sure to provide details of, dates the competition runs for, any special requirements to be eligible for the prize and how the winner is to be decided.  Let entrants know if you intend to choose the winner based on merit, i.e. best comment or by random selection.


6. Follow The Rules Of The Social Media Platforms Used

Keep in mind that each social media channel has their own rules for running competitions using their platform.  

Here are an overview of the main platform's competition rules:


7. Offer A Prize Relevant To The Business

Again think about what your ultimate objective for the competition is when deciding on the prize on offer.  If you're looking to attract potential customers for a baking brand keeping the prize close to your offering like a recipe book will help to attract relevant entries that will continue to be engaged with your brand.


8. Maintain Your Regular Content Schedule

Take advantage of the increased social media traffic by continuing your regular content posting to reinforce brand messages to existing customers and new followers.  Maintaining ongoing messages throughout will avoid a simple spike in activity around the competition and ensure you capitalise on your efforts.


9. Announce Your Winner

Once the competition has finished, take the opportunity to celebrate the winner.  Doing so will extend the buzz of the competition.  If possible use the opportunity to create content that can be used for additional social updates.  Things like photos of the winner with the prize or using the prize can generate prolonged interest that could lead to viewers taking a look at what else you offer. 


Everyone loves the opportunity to win.  Using social media to run a competition for your brand can create a hook that relates directly to a company objective.