Making the Most of Your Social Media Contest

Social media is all the rage right now and you are on the cutting edge right there with it. You have your Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In accounts setup (possibly among others). You are updating your accounts regularly and you are beginning to get some traction? So now what? You wonder how can you take things to the next level? Then it hits you, POW (right in the kisser)! A Contest.¬† All of the cool kids are having them and they seem to be doing pretty well. So you come up with an idea but that is where you falter. That brilliant idea that just hit you in the face has circled around and has now Gibbs slapped you in the back of the head as you realize you don’t know what to do next. So what do you do? That is easy, you turn your attention back to the 3P’s of Social Media (or in this case the 3P’s of Social Media Contests): Planning, Promotion and Participation.

3P’s of social media contests

  1. Planning – Like everything else you do in marketing, there is always some degree of planning required if you want to be successful. The key to any social media endeavor is figuring out your goals for measuring success before you start. Whether it is increased audience (likes, followers, etc), increased interaction or a specific behavior, knowing the goal going in will help keep you on the path as you begin to execute the promotion. Once you have decided the method of determining success just make sure that you also have the tools you need to gather that information or you may find yourself Gibbs slapped once again.
  2. Promotion – Now that you have your idea and know how to determine the ROI, it is time to promote. Depending on your offering and you audience, you will have many options form which to choose. No matter which ever elements you choose, make sure to cross promote your contest with other social media networks as well as on your website and in email. Each platform has its own unique set of tools for promotion, use them ALL. And keep timing in the back of your mind while you are at it. Like email, each social network has its own climate when it comes to the best times to promote each day/week so when in doubt just remember: Promote Early and Promote Often!
  3. Participation – Here is where we revert back to childhood and once again remember K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple Stupid! To maximize participation, make it as simple as possible. Simple is always¬† better, especially when dealing with the widely divergent audience that the internet provides. Simple also helps increase participation. If you make it too clever or crazy, people will drop out no matter what is up for grabs in your Amazing contest! And depending on what you are doing there are bound to be great tools already available to help you in this endeavor like Facebook’s quick survey options or even something as easy as having someone leave a comment on a photo. It dos not have to be expensive make use of the tools available on each given network to maximize participation.

With your little piece of marketing brilliance, coupled with a liberal slathering of the 3P’s, the real winner of your social media contest will be you!