At the end of the day, the ultimate goal for most companies when running a social media contest is to increase their number of “likes” and “followers.” When contests first start out they tend to be successful, but they also are likely to attract a specific group of users. I like to call them the “one-and-doners”. These users are seen to be the individuals who are very likely to participate in one contest, but are then less likely to get involved in the page ever again. “One-and-doners” are participating in these contests mainly because they are concerned with the prize, not because they are interested in the business.
Contests can be highly efficient and effective if they are done correctly and used for the right reasons. Here are a few tips you should consider when starting up your own social media contest:
1. Set a Goal
When a company decides to have a social media contest most marketers would agree that what they want most out of the contest would be more followers. What those marketers do not realize is that there are different and better approaches to this.
Yes, it is nice knowing that by the end of your contest the number of followers on the company’s various social sites has significantly improved, but in most cases it should not be the ultimate goal of a social media contest. If it were to be your end goal then that is where you see several of your “one-and-doners” coming into action…and that’s usually the last thing a company wants.
Goals typically differ between companies. The goal could simply be to increase traffic to the company website. Other goals could include expanding or revealing a new customer base, initiate leads, or create buzz. What it comes down to though is making sure that the main point of the contest is to determine what you want to achieve and making sure you take in account the direct impact the contest had on the goal.
Basically, it comes down to having a clearly defined goal and being able to successfully accomplish it.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Most marketers believe that your goal is the most important part when creating a contest, but defining your target audience is equally important. Taking a step back and realizing who it is that the company wants to directly connect with is crucial and will potentially produce a greater outcome in the end. Businesses tend to market to a wide variety of people in hope that they will be able to reel in as many people as possible. This is not the smartest idea. Narrowing down your target audience can eliminate all the “one-and-doners” along with those individuals who just don’t really care at all.
In the long run, in regards to the contest, affiliating your target audience with your end goal will provide your business with the best results.
3. Pick the Perfect Prize
The first thing most businesses think of when determining what they want to provide the winner with is usually the latest technological gadget. This type of prize is considered to be a third-party prize, which are the most common, but are also the most commonly misused.
Businesses that use their own products for prizes can be equally appealing as a third-party prize. A benefit of this kind of prize would be the possibility of creating brand advocates. Not only are you supplying the prize to a someone just because they won, but you are also hoping that by doing this you are gaining a new loyal customer. Letting the user know you want them to return again is the biggest take away from providing a prize.
The last type of prize businesses look into using are called intangible prizes. Although these type of prizes include using creativity they tend to have a fantastic outcome! The contests typically ask the customer for their ideas. For example, a group might be looking for a new name for one of their products and they turn to their users for their personal thoughts. The intangible prize would be getting the product named after that specific individual. This prize does not cost a penny and usually causes the contest to be a big success!