How to run a successful social media contest

Yesterday, Oma Areh wrote 6 ways to drive sales via social media. Among the 6 great point she gave, I found one to build on – contests. Thanks to Oma for being the angel of the moment

Your contest sucks if it’s difficult and lacks equal reward in exchange for the efforts of your potential participants

Truly, one of the major ways to boost sales or brand awareness via social media is to launch a contest. We’ve seen several companies do this over and over again both local and international. Among this, we’ve seen the kick-ass contest and we’ve as well seen the poor ones. Your contest sucks if it’s difficult and lacks equal reward in exchange for the efforts of your potential participantsSomewhere in between, we have lessons to learn from both. Fortunately, I’ve ran quite a number of contests for certain brands, so you should listen, shouldn’t you?

Considering a social media contest for your business? Here are few tips for you:

  • Ease of participation: People don’t fancy complexities. They have more complex issues to deal with than your newly launched contest. More people are likely to turn their eyes off a contest if they perceive it very difficult for them to participate in. Put yourself in the position of your customers, will you participate in this type of contest?
  • Ease of Understanding: The second is like unto the first :). Yeah, you may have a cool contest, but if it leaves potential participants with so much questions to ask, failure is likely in view.
  •  Reward: Err, follow this and break the first tip if you like. Though, you aim is to drive sales or increase awareness, you want to ensure you give something exciting in exchange for it. Your contest will suck if participants do not consider the rewards a good exchange for their efforts. State the rewards (prizes) ahead of time. Let them know what’s in for them. A handful of people who participate in contests do so primarily to aim for a big reward. Also, ensure you set realistic reward. Err… you don’t want to announce an airplane as gift, do you? Emm, a certain brand did and we all saw the outcome.
  • Social Media cut beyond borders and transcends boundaries

  • Distribution: You decide up front how you intend to get prizes across to your winners (assumming you’re giving out something ‘handy’). Social Media cut beyond borders and transcends boundaries, therefore, you should decide if your contest is geographically limited before you start. Never assume all participants recide within the geographical boundry of your local city. Social Media cut beyond borders and transcends boundariesIf you have to ship prizes, who bears the cost of shipment? I recommend you state this upfront.

CONCLUSION

It is imperative to put yourself in the shoes of your customers when launching a new contest. What will be your response to this kind of contest? Be sincere and realistic. If you won’t participate, ask yourself why and review immediately. Your potential participants are humans like you and they just might have the same feeling.

Your contest sucks if it’s difficult and lacks equal reward in exchange for the efforts of your potential participants.

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