Creative Ways to Promote Your Social Media Contests

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Mark Scott Social Media Thinker , DOC Marketing

Posted on October 8th 2013

Creative Ways to Promote Your Social Media Contests

Many companies and brands run social media contests on the internet. They try their best to ensure that these contests reach a wide audience. There are several ways to promote social media contests. Some of these methods have been already used, others are still being researched.

Community recognition

The prize should be community recognition. Oftentimes, it is observed that people are more motivated by the recognition of their peers than by money. They draw pride from being associated with a certain social group or community. Therefore, for these social media contests, the prize should be in the form of community recognition. The winners should be given a badge of honor that they can proudly display on their social media profiles.


Use pictures and videos

A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand pictures. Social media contests should make creative use of pictures and videos. In today’s world of smartphones and instant internet, it is very easy for the users themselves to provide the picture and video content. The users should be encouraged to utilize pictures and videos throughout these social media contests. These pictures and videos should reach the largest possible audience on the internet. This will make the social media contest a truly compelling experience. You could even start an auction to sell your house by sharing impressive photos and videos of your property.

 

Captions and Hashtags

The contest should make creative use of captions and hashtags. Hashtags have become an significant part of the virtual world. They show up everywhere from newsroom  panel discussions to personal shared content. They have taken over our digital lives in every possible way. They can also be put to good use in social media contests. The hashtags can be used to attract more users to the social media contests, because they easily show up in the Facebook and Twitter feeds of users. Hashtags also provide important information about the contest itself to would be participants. Hashtags if successfully used can really enhance the experience of a social media contest.

Use Voting

Voting should also be a part of any creative social media contest. The users should be allowed to vote in every possible way relating to the contest. The winners can be decided by vote, so can the rules of the contest. Voting creates an element of surprise which is very important in any contest. It entertains the users and provides an outcome that the users have themselves contributed to.

Encourage Volunteerism 

The contests should encourage volunteerism. The users who volunteer for companies or brands feel that they are a part of something constructive. This makes them feel valued. They feel that their contributions are being properly acknowledged. The contests can make use of volunteers in many possible ways. Adding the social angle to an online contest could help your business give back to the society, while also achieving specific commercial targets. 

These are five creative ways to promote social media contests. Several other approaches may also be adopted based on the nature of the business and the characteristics of the target audience. The future of social media is going to be driven by such contests.


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Mark Scott

Social Media Thinker , DOC Marketing

Mark helps his clients first understand what Social Media can bring to their business, be that brand awareness, customer engagement, customer service or income generation and then developing, defining and implementing a plan for their business. Mark is the owner of DOC Marketing a social media & SEO company. He is also a writer for All-Biz-Finance.com

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Comments

Avtar Ram Singh
Posted on October 8th 2013 at 10:06AM

A general list of ways to be creative with a social media contest today can go only so far because of the wide gap between separate platforms and how they embrace contests. There's a very limited amount that you can do with Twitter for example, as compared to Facebook. For contests (at least photo and video contests etc) - I find Facebook to be the best platform. However, slogan or name driven contests work best on Twitter because they require minimal "supervision" as such. Just pick a hashtag and have them run with it.

Once you get specific about the particular platform you're running a contest on - tips and advice become a lot more specific as well.

Faaast Cash
Posted on October 8th 2013 at 10:18AM

Very informative post! A social media contest can help you in getting brand recognition in front of a wider audience quickly and is a great way for you to engage with your clients. Make sure to make the theme of your contest compelling and worthwhile to those people who you want to enter it.

sprout_sarah
Posted on October 8th 2013 at 3:03PM

I think that community recognition as a prize can be tricky. If it is a contest and requires effort from the contestants, why would they put time into solely recognition? I do like the voting aspect though, as users can feel they had an effect on the outcome of the contest. As always, I think each of these ideas needs to be addressed to see how they align with the audience to be successful. 

Adella Choi
Posted on October 8th 2013 at 8:49PM

Hi Mark. Great post! Before marketers decide which type of contest to run, the best thing to do is check their engagement levels, especially on Facebook. If they have a lower rate, their contests should be simple and easy to create like giveaway and vote contests. If they have a higher rate, they can run contests with user-generated content like photo, essay and video contests that require the more time-consuming process.