Popular social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, have millions of active users, giving you the opportunity to reach a large local, national, or global audience. Social media websites, however, are saturated with businesses and individuals bombarding users with promotional content and marketing material. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to find inventive ways to capture the attention of social media users. Competitions and contests are an excellent way to create a buzz and grab the attention of a large audience.
Why run competitions?
The opportunity of getting something for nothing is a strong motivation for many people, particularly during this time of widespread financial uncertainty. Most people also enjoy competing with others, especially if there is a prize to be won. Competitions and contests can be highly successful ways to promote your business, increase brand exposure, and bring in new customers. Not only do social media users respond positively to the offer of a free competition, but they also tend to share the offer with their friends, fans, or followers on social media websites
Types of competition
There are many different types of competition you can use to promote your business. Simple competitions that require minimal personal information to enter are likely to encourage a higher number of entrants. Offering free entry to your competition, in return for the name and email address of an entrant, will probably produce a large amount of entries. However, many of these entrants will pay no attention to your business products and services, and will amply provide the necessary information to be in with a chance of winning. These types of competition can be useful when building an email marketing list.
If you are looking to increase awareness of your brand, business, or products, you need a competition that will engage entrants and encourage them to learn more about who you are and what you do. For example, you could ask entrants to answer a question or several questions about your company, and then point them to your website, where they can find the answers.
Competitions that ask entrants to create or invent something are often the most successful. While you may receive fewer entries than with simpler competitions, the entrants are far more likely to pay attention to your business. These types of competition can include asking entrants to create a logo, slogan, or jingle for your company. You could even ask budding film makers to create a short advertisement or video to promote one of your products.
Competition prizes don’t have to be expensive or involve cash amounts. For simple competitions that require minimal effort from entrants, it’s often enough to offer vouchers, money-off coupons, free samples, or e-books as prizes. Free products, service consultations or advice are always powerful motivators.
If your budget is tight, you could also consider asking a company or manufacturer to donate a prize, in return for adding some of their promotional material to your competition.
Setting up a competition
Before setting up a competition, it’s important to check any rules or legal requirements imposed by the social media websites you are planning to use. If they have specific rules governing the use of competitions and contests on their websites, you must work within these rules. There may be additional rules set down by official bodies for your geographical area or particular trade. Check any legal requirements carefully before setting up your competition.
Next, you need to set your own rules for entrants to follow. It’s important to lay down clear rules regarding entry requirements, closing dates, prizes, and other important details, including an explanation of how winners will be chosen. This will give you a framework for your competition, and also provide a written record to refer to in the event of any dispute. Adding terms and conditions to your competition are essential for avoiding problems later on.
Promoting your competition
The full details of your competition should be displayed on your website, along with an entry page or entry instructions. Once you have your competition page set up, you need to post the link on your social media accounts. In order to encourage social media users to click on the link, you should also write a short piece of accompanying text to tell them about your competition. Stick to the basic information and try to include keywords that will appeal to potential entrants.
Dealing with complaints
The best way to avoid problems is to set down clear rules and stick to them. If a complaint is made, however, it’s important to respond as soon as possible. Most problems can be resolved by communicating honestly and professionally.