For small businesses, social media offers a valuable platform for long reach with a relatively low resource investment. But are you capitalizing on its potential as much as you could be?
Simply focusing on creating content for your core customers is to miss key revenue avenues, and ignoring one of the key aspects of social media - sharing.
Everyone wants content that goes viral, but if you have limited time and money, one of the most effective ways to get your content shared and to attract new followers, is by running a social media competition or giveaway.
Running a competition over social media accelerates engagement with your brand; increasing brand awareness, driving product sales and savvily encouraging your customers to do the majority of the marketing legwork for you, becoming de facto brand ambassadors.
The focal point of the competition is, of course, the prize. Everyone loves getting something for nothing, and by showing your original followers how much you value them through reward, or rewarding new customers for their engagement, you are generating goodwill, as much as you are conversions.
How to Run Promotional Competitions and Giveaways
What are your goals in setting up the competition? Is it to increase your brand awareness, to drive traffic towards your website? By picking a specific goal to focus on, you can derive insight into how you should best strategize and implement your competition.
TIP: When picking a primary focus, it’s best not to set increasing sales, as many participants are simply there to win and not to buy. Driving sales is a byproduct of how you choose to build customer relationships and develop your market leads once you have that increased following or better data points. The competition is the beginning of the sales process, not the penultimate step.
Choose Your Social Media Channel
Whilst promoting your contest across multiple social media channels is good marketing strategy, having multiple access sites to your competition is counter intuitive. Pick one social media channel to use as your point of entry, and loop in the others as reinforcements.
Remember, certain social media channels are more useful to different styles of competitions and even different businesses. If your goal is to collate email addresses then instagram may not be the best place to run your competition, however, if you're aiming to spread awareness of a highly visual product, instagram is ideal.
This is pretty self-explanatory if you sell a product or a service, however, sending out promotional merchandise can be an excellent way to further your brand’s exposure far beyond the lifespan of the competition. Either as a prize or as additional goodies. Choose merchandise that is not only useful but is aligned with your branding - a bespoke makeup bag from a beauty brand.
Run the Contest
After you’ve scheduled your contest content across your social media plan, all you’ve got left to do now is run it! Remember to keep promoting your competition across your social media channels throughout its duration so it doesn’t lose any traction.
Choose Your Winners
As soon as you or your competition platform has selected a winner, all you need to do now is decide how to reach out. Ideally, you should announce the winner through the medium of the point of entry, and it’s always best to do it visibly - even over email - to eliminate the mistrust of whether anyone received the prize.
TIP: Asking the competition winner to send you back a picture enjoying the prize can act as excellent PR and reinforce all the hard work you’ve done so far.
Analyse the Results
The end of the competition is not the end of the work. Just as you do with all your marketing campaigns, bringing your competition, or campaign, to a close, leaves with a massive amount of data to analyze.
TIP: Study which channel drove the best results in terms of traffic or entries, and which messaging received better results. This, plus the user data collected through the entries, can have a direct and meaningful impact on the way you and your brand communicate with your consumers in the future.