Social media competitions come in all shapes and sizes and represent a powerful tool in increasing brand awareness and reputation over social media. With so many options available, across virtually every platform, there is absolutely no excuse not to execute one reasonably well and generate, at least, some interest and engagement. But how do you ensure competitions are a success?
There are a few important things!
Social media competition prizes
Without going over every detail about how to run a successful social media campaign, let us discuss (arguably) the most important element – the prize. No, we’re not shallow and materialistic, we’re realistic. Here’s why.
Spot the difference:
Account A: “Follow us and retweet this post”
Account B: “Follow us and retweet this post to enter our competition to win [insert amazing prize]”
Would you give account A the follow and retweet they’re so desperately after? I hope not. But even though account B isn’t setting Twitter alight with its creativity, you might just do what they’re asking.
The learning point?
Even if your approach is poor, a great prize might save the day.
What does this mean for my competition?
It means you have to sell, sell, sell the prize! No matter how large the monetary value it has to be something worth winning. Think about how GMTV do their competitions…
1. Simple entry requirement (akin to having to RT a post and, yes, you can enter for free on their website)
2. Mention of brand sponsors (about 5 seconds worth, literally, ‘this Sony TV…’)
3. 90 seconds all about the prize using very good selling techniques (“what would it be like to have… imagine yourself on this beach…” etc.)
4. Clear call to action – entry requirements made incredibly clear and simple to do
5. Urgency instilled “lines close at…”
No, it’s not exactly comparable, but it is a good example and template to follow – bear it in mind.
“But we’ll just get anyone and everyone entering, we need people interested in the brand!”
There are two ways in which you can avoid just anyone entering (including spambots!).
1. Target your post at a specified audience (Facebook)
Facebook enables you to do this to a very high degree and this will maximise the number of individuals who will see the post and, therefore, enter.
2. Make the entry requirements less simple
Just asking for a like and share (which is actually against Facebook regulations) or a retweet from Twitter will attract entries but most will be worthless. Ask for a suggestion, a caption, a quote. Something that doesn’t take forever to think about but something that is a consideration – almost like a CAPTCHA for social media.
But anyway, how much does all this matter?
Think about this logically, you’re trying to get your paid-for Facebook competition out to a specific audience but you can only specify your audience so much, age demographic, gender, and other things that people have chosen to tell Facebook. If you’re lucky you’ll have their interests listed. Exactly like paid-for advertising campaigns (which do work, for anyone who has tried them) you’re playing a total numbers game. Your ad or competition is going to make thousands or millions of impressions people’s Facebook pages, you now need numbers of entries to your competition.
Whatever your company’s product or service, how your competition actually translates into what your goals are (awareness, sales, web traffic, etc.) is going to depend on how many people enter. Your competition is going to be synonymous with your brand whether you go on about it or not, depending on their entry requirements, they’re going to learn more about the brand, the product or the service, purely by entering.
Here’s the bottom line:
You cannot dictate who enters your competition, you can only influence it. Only you have influenced it, usually at the front end of the campaign, it’s a sheer numbers game and that will be driven purely by the value individuals place on the prize and what they have to do to enter – make it easy, make it sharable.
See your social media competition as part of your content matrix – it has to sit somewhere in the matrix, all competitions promote your brand, require interaction from your audience and it is going to add value. The extent to which your competition is going to add value depends on what individuals get out the entry requirements, but mainly, the prize. This is exactly why the prize has to be some well sold, this is the value to your audience, not how much you go on about your brand.