So you have a few social media channels for your product or business; you’ve made sure your profile fields are complete, your images are attractive, and that your links are functioning properly. You need followers, and you think that a contest might be a good way to get some. The biggest key to success will no doubt be a creative campaign that is unique and engaging, but there are some simple logistical considerations that should be kept in mind when creating it. After studying some of the more successful campaigns from the last couple of years, here are some commonalities.
These feel like a must. It’s an easy way for people to “enter” a contest and it is a simple, consistent link back to your company, no matter where the content goes (for the most part, of course). Some great contests are even built solely on the use of a hashtag.
How to enter a contest should be easy to understand, and easy to execute. In a world of increasingly short attention spans (hello social media!), simplicity must rule the day. If it takes longer to figure out the rules than it does read this blog post, you’ve lost the game.
(Automatic) Sharing is Caring
It’s great if a participant’s entry gets in front of their fans and followers eyes by default. For instance, rather than people submitting photos on your FB contest tab and then hoping they share it, their submission could perhaps happen as a post on their own timeline with a particular message or hashtag as way of entry.
People love to share info about themselves (hello #selfies), so something focused on them or their close friends and family can spur engagement (and sharing).
Anyway, on with some examples.
They gave $10 coupons to customers who tweeted selfies with the #urbanselfie hashtag, and incentivized participation with the possibility of winning more discounts, or even a trip to New York, London, or Tokyo.
Not exactly a contest, but The HRC made their logo red in support of the marriage equality cases then pending before the Supreme Court. They spawned a viral wave of supporters making it their Facebook profile photos. This campaign is a great example of easy execution. It’s so good, you’ve probably seen this red logo before.
For last fall’s US Open, Heineken launched an interactive scavenger hunt on Instagram. Users were instructed to hunt for a string of clues in collections of photos on Heineken’s Instagram account; they won by tweeting a hashtag of the correct answer on the correct photo. A very impressive level of planning and execution went into this particular campaign.
The fast food chain asked for Facebook photo submissions of people wrapping their favorite objects in gold foil as part of their “Wrap What You Love” campaign. The winner wrapped his four day old baby, and he won $10,000. Look how cute that kid is!
To promote a new cereal, Special K had users take an Instagram photo of any Special K product, share it with a #NyaSpecialK hashtag, and then by showing that to the cashier at their next check-out they were rewarded with a free box of cereal.
So there you have it. The key with these social campaigns and contests is to make them simple, searchable, and shareable. Easy, right? Now it’s up to you to package those guidelines around a creative idea!