Everyone understands how important it is to have a presence on social media.
Social builds awareness, drives sales, amplifies SEO efforts, and forges a path for businesses to achieve many other organizational goals. The problem, however, is that social media is an incredibly obstreperous place on the web, making it increasingly challenging for brands to gain the eyeballs needed to pursue such goals.
As cacophonous as social media can be, there is a certain tactic that almost always gets people to stop what they are doing and engage; I’m talking about social contests. This arresting ploy is incredibly powerful because it is fun, provides a level of user participation, and offers an incentive for people to join in and share in the form of potential prize winnings.
With contests, brands can achieve:
- Heightened awareness
- Increased social media engagement
- New, qualified leads
- A massive gathering of user generated content
- Escalated website traffic
- And many other goals
But in order for an event to be fruitful, you can’t just throw it out there and expect it to perform; there is a specific methodology to creating a successful contest. Here are the secrets on how to create a social game that will build incredible buzz online.
Establish S.M.A.R.T. Goals
As with every marketing endeavor, you need to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Specify the exact goals that you aim to achieve before making any decision. This will help to inform the rest of the process in terms of what type of contest to hold, which social channels to promote through, etc.
Employ the Right Tools
In order for your contest to not become a hot mess, you are going to need tools that will help you promote and track the campaign. Some of the things to look for in a suitable contest software solution are voter verification features, email collection services, analytics, and other useful elements to help keep things on track. We recommend using Rafflecopter to promote contests as this service provides all of these features and many others.
Pick a Proper Prize
Selecting the right prize to offer is of the utmost importance. You want to select one that will appeal to your ideal customer. If you offer up an iPad or PlayStation 4 you are going to entice an extremely broad audience and collect bunches and barrels of unqualified leads in the process.
To ensure that you collect emails from only the most relevant of consumers, identify a prize that will be suited to their interests and wants/needs. This will effectively narrow down your audience, but increase levels of engagement.
Additionally, be sure to feature images of the prize along with your social shares. You have roughly 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention and social media users are particularly difficult to herd. Grab their attention quickly with a compelling graphic of their potential winnings.
Identify a Related Hashtag
Hashtags help to provide a great deal of discoverability in the world of social media. To help your contest spread across multiple social networks, be sure to craft a hashtag that reflects the identity of your brand and the contest simultaneously.
For instance, Qdoba just ran a highly successful #FreeGuac contest. Using the aforementioned hashtag, the company was able to generate over 10.5 million impressions solely across Twitter and Instagram, in just 2 weeks. This helped to drive more than 10,000 contest entries in the 2-week period that the event ran for.
Tools like Hashtagify.me can help you identify hashtag trends related to your industry for you to play off of.
Ensure Mobile Friendliness
Mobile is the future of digital everything. Google, Facebook, and other major online properties recognize this and so should you.
If you want your contest to generate as much excitement and profitable results as it possibly can, it has to be mobile friendly. Smartphones are how most people access social media these days, therefore, it is likely how they will engage with your contest. Be sure that the software you choose to help manage your campaign is mobile responsive along with any URLs you post in association with the event.
Restrict the Form Fields
If your contest opt-in form requires a user’s name, age, gender, location, email address, occupation, and more, they probably aren’t going to sign up. The goal is to keep the registration process as short as possible. Establish two or three fields that will be most useful to your brand in the future and stick to those. In most cases, just name and email will suffice. Curb the form fields and increase the number of entries.
Any contest elements that you employ such as videos, webpages, etc. must be super-easy to share. Be sure that social sharing icons are integrated with the contest software that you adopt. It is even wise to offer additional entries for sharing the campaign’s associated hashtag.
Contests are a killer way to achieve a number of goals. Implement these guidelines into your next contest, and you’ll increase your brand’s reach and engagement. All packaged in a super-ful campaign.
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