Social media competitions are a great way to build follower count, increase organic reach and brand visibility and something all brands should consider incorporating in their social media strategy.
The strategy and outcome of competitions will differ venue-to-venue, but the main idea is to get as many entries as possible because the more competition entries; the more eyes on your brand.
We’ve listed our top 5 tips on what to think about in order to host a successful competition.
1. The Goal
Before you launch a competition, it is important that you consider what you’re trying to achieve and that it brings value to you because let’s be honest, just giving away free things in exchange for a few comments won’t cut it. Your goal will inform the strategy, how and where you run the competition and what the prize is. For some businesses the goal may be to increase social media following or to make more people aware of a new offering whilst for others it may be to grow a mailing list or collect testimonials. Ultimately though, I’d imagine that everyone is looking to translate it into money in the bank so think about what can help you with that. Goals will vary from brand to brand and you may have multiple goals but please don’t try and do it all at once.
2. The Prize
The next step in the process is to consider what value you are offering competition entrants (and your potential customers), in other words – what prize are you luring them with? The prize needs to make it worthwhile for people to enter but also not break the bank for you. I.e. don’t give away a year of free meals but don’t be too cheap - no one is going to go above and beyond for the possibility of winning ONE drink. The most obvious prizes are gift vouchers, tickets or perhaps an in-venue experience, generally speaking you want to give away something that encourages people to visit your money. Make sure you consider if the value of the prize is on par with the competition's value for you.
3. The Process
Have you ever entered a competition that asks you to follow multiple accounts, comment 5 x emojis, spell your name backwards and post a photo of yourself in front of a sign? No, me either and to be honest I probably wouldn't enter a competition that requires me to even share a post. The key to a successful competition is to keep it simple - don’t overcomplicate the process to enter and remember, the more entries you get, the better for you. The mechanism of the competition will of course be dependent on the goal of your competition, but a good rule is to only include maximum two actions – i.e. follow us and tag a friend. However, depending on your objective one action can be enough! In our experience, competitions that asks for too much effort won't work unless the price is reaaal good.
4. The Rules
To avoid confusion and potentially upset entrants, make sure you set rules for the competition at the very beginning and clearly communicate them. The rules will always include when and where people can enter, what they must do to enter and when you will announce a winner. If you don’t do this at the very start you risk confused and potentially annoyed entrants. You may think that a few annoyed people online aren’t a big deal but remember why you’re running a competition in the first place – to drive awareness and increase trade. If someone think you ran a dodgy competition on Instagram, they’re not very likely to trust your brand or visit your venue. For transparency, it can also be good to announce how you will pick a winner.
5. The Strategy
If you are making the time and effort to run a competition, make sure you make some noise around it and allow for it to gain traction. Don’t just put up a single post but announce the competition, put some money behind it, add to your website, remind people to enter, whatever works for you really, and make sure you use engaging language and adding a sense of urgency. Finally, always make sure to announce the winner publicly. There are a few reasons as to why you should do this. Firstly, it’s important for transparency because how do all the other entrants now that you’ve actually selected a winner if they don’t see it? Secondly, if you tag the winner, you are increasing reach and the winner may share your post, further helping with reach and awareness. Finally, announcing the winner may catch the attention of people otherwise sceptical to competitions and also affect how people view your venue - everyone likes free things and the people behind said free things.
Do you want to learn more about competitions? Read our case study HERE or contact us to find out more.