Written by J’Lyn Emerson
Director of Operations

Running a Winning Social Media Contest

Nice Branding Agency is Nashville’s top social media management firm. We are breaking down the rules of running a successful social media contest. Read on for our latest blog post by team member, J’Lyn Emerson.

If I had a dollar for every time that I, personally, am tagged in an Instagram comment, or a post is shared on my Facebook page because one of my friends was entering a social contest, then I could retire early and sail away into paradise. But, alas, no one is giving me those dolla’ bills.

If you have a pulse on social media trends, then you’ve likely seen contests regularly popping up in your social feeds.

Obviously, contest entrants are participating for a reason — they want the goods! They’re entering the contest because something about the contest internally sparked them into action to join the fun. Plus, a compelling prize never hurt anyone, either.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to pause. Let’s consider why a business runs a social media contest in the first place.

Being that Nice Branding Agency is an experienced social media management firm, we would first like to dive into all things ‘contests’ to determine if and why your business should consider hosting a social media contest.

1. Pinpoint the Goal of the Contest with Your Social Media Management Firm

First things first. You need to answer a big question: What are you wanting to accomplish by running a contest on social media?

Well, there are quite a few outcomes that you can work toward. These include an increased following on your page(s), raising awareness about your brand, or garnering a plethora of user-generated images that you can recirculate on your business’ social accounts. The list can go on and on.

Once you determine what you’re hoping to accomplish, you can then determine what the contest should look like. You really should be focusing on one or two goals. Otherwise, your contest is going to have too many rules and hoops for the user to jump through. And that leads us to our next point…

2. Time to Build Your Contest with Your Social Media Management Firm

When talking about this whole process, we’ve used the word ‘contest‘ a lot. Did you know there is a difference between running a contest and a sweepstakes?

Sweepstakes winners are drawn at random from all of the entries, and the winner(s) receive a prize. Sounds easy peasy, right?

If you’re trying to garner more email addresses, a sweepstakes could be a good option for your business. In this instance, you could work with a social media management firm. Nice Branding Agency can build a website form where users can enter their email address for a chance to win a spectacular prize. Once the contest ends, you then randomly draw a winner. The winner would come from your new list of leads, and they take home the prize.

If you’re running a ‘contest,’ winners are selected by merit. They must have followed a specific set of rules to both enter and win the contest.

For example, to garner user-generated content, you could host a contest where you require entrants to submit a photo with a specific hashtag related to your brand. Ideally, your contest would have some element where the user’s photo features something about your brand. Then, you could share the photo on your business’ social accounts. Your rules would need to clearly lay out what’s required of the entrant and how the entries are judged.

3. The Fine Print by Your Social Media Management Firm

Of course, we all want to be law-abiding citizens, and as a business owner, we know you want to stay out of legal troubles, too. Often times, this will require a legal partner to backup the social media management firm.

Unfortunately, there are some legal elements (boo!) to running contests, and it’s important for your contest to have official rules developed that showcase entry requirements and ensure your biz is following the myriad of state and local laws.

4. Encourage More Entries Via Promotion with Your Social Media Management Firm

If your social following isn’t ‘quite’ where you want it to be — i.e., you don’t have a lot of followers yet — you’re going to need outside support to promote your contest. Look into an experienced social media management firm for creative ideas to boost your contest.

Because, honestly, if people aren’t seeing your contest, it’s not really worth the effort to run it. Yes, there are ways around that, but in most cases, you may need to invest in some additional resources to get your contest in front of more people.

How can you do this? Digital advertising, e-blasts to your email marketing list, just to name a couple of tactics. You know we can’t give away all of our secrets here, but those two will get you headed in the right direction!

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed after reading this and still not sure where to start, it’s time to dial the top social media management firm in Nashville, Nice Branding Agency. We know the ins and outs of social contests, and we can help you run a winning contest to meet your business goals.


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