Download: Running Social Media Contests
No one can pass up an opportunity to win. Setting up a competition is one of the sure ways of getting more followers on social media, and subsequently more customers. Media, even in the traditional sense, has always been instrumental in spearheading the drive to acquire more customers through massive engagement.
Social media has made it possible for marketers to step things up a notch.
Unlike traditional media which is passive in nature, social media campaigns in the format of contests, can gain rapid traction, as people can respond to the contest at a time and location that suits them. With television for example, in order to get the attention of a customer, the target audience has to be watching TV at the particular time the message is being aired.
On traditional media, the timing of the message delivery is directly tied to the location. A social media contest will most likely reach customers on their mobile phone, which they have with them all the time. According to Marketing Land, nearly 80% of social media time was spent on mobile devices in April 2016 and 80% of Internet users own a mobile device according to Impactbnd, as of November 2017.
Clearly, the increased use of social media, coupled with mobile devices, presents interesting opportunities for brands to acquire more customers. All that is needed to take advantage of this opportunity, is the foresight to develop engaging campaigns, that attract customers and retain them in the process.
Contests conducted on social media are no different from regular marketing campaigns, with the exception that they offer better engagement and accelerated results. Furthermore, the performance of a social media campaign can be analysed in real time, allowing for the process to be timeously tweaked, where necessary.
The premise for a social media competition marketing campaign, is to acquire customers and generate new leads. Planning is crucial in order to execute a successful campaign, however. Ideally you want to attract customers, but also keep them engaged once you do.
There is always a network effect with social media campaigns. The more engagement you get, the more does this translate to further engagement. The reason for this is primarily because of social proof, that quickly propagates within social media circles. I am more likely to engage with a campaign, if I see that one of my friends liked or shared it, and this applies with my friend’s friends, and their friend’s friends, and so on and so forth.
In order to execute a successful social media contest, you need to pay attention to the finer details. You need to keep a firm grasp on what the objective of your marketing campaign is. Are you trying to gain a following on the social media platform? Are you trying to generate customer awareness? Or, are you trying to extend your reach to new markets?
The answer to these questions, will determine the form your contest is going to take. You therefore need to establish the mechanism and strategy, that will allow you to achieve your objectives.
You might want to engage your audience by soliciting likes, or you might want them to share certain content. The content might be something you produce, or it might be something the audience produces.
The contest may be built around the number of shares, or likes in combination with a voting system. Third party apps may be used to drive a contest, or you may use comments in posts to determine winners. In order to build a superior experience in social media contests, it might be to your advantage to make use of third party apps to get the job done.
When planning your contests, make sure to have value at the forefront. You don’t want to just have a dry contest, where people vote for something and it ends there. If you can provide great value in the process: then more power to you.
Value can be realised in optimising the experience. People on social media are seeking to feel connected, to have fun and to be engaged. These should be your focus areas for providing value.
One of the major value propositions to a social media contest is the prize. Wishpond has a list of social media marketing examples involving contests for businesses big and small. You will notice that the nature and price tag of prizes varies considerably in the list.
The truth of the matter is that, depending on how you craft your contest, the price tag of the prize is not very important, even though it is up there, among one of the good reasons that people will be willing to participate.
In fact, you do not want people to participate simply because there is a big reward. You want them to participate for motivations beyond monetary gain. You want them to be engaged and involved.
Going back to seeking to provide value, you want to provide a value driven experience. How do you do this?
Remember that your customers are seeking ways to connect on social media. You therefore need to respond to that desire in your contest. One way of doing this, is to offer a prize that is related to your business offering and emphasise its value proposition in the campaign.
Another approach is to offer a prize that has no correlation with your product or service, but offers a memorable experience. You might, for example, offer an all expenses paid trip to go and see the Victoria Falls, even though you are not in tourism.
This will generate the buzz that will drive the contest, but also build memorable experiences. The winners can tag you in posts they make whilst on the trip they just won in your contest, and generate more buzz for your brand.
At the end of the day, whether you spend a lot on the prize or not is immaterial. What matters the most, is that you are able to offer experiential gratification to your customers, and also meet the objectives you set out at the beginning of the campaign.
Executed right, social media contests are a great way to raise awareness around your brand, and build lasting customer relationships in the process.
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