Sometimes you have to give to get. And in this case, social media is your perfect forum.
If you want more holiday shoppers this year, creating and promoting a social media contest now will help you see the increase in traffic you want.
Using a contest, you'll be able to:
- Get more fans
- Increase engagement
- Show customer appreciation
- Boost your validity as a business
- Collect email addresses/birth dates/feedback (if you set the contest up this way)
Which then enables you to:
- Reach more consumers on a regular basis
- Increase your social shares/exposure
- Highlight your upcoming sales/promotions
- Boost your word-of-mouth referrals
- Retain fans and followers
Sound good? Feel free to use any of the ideas below to help you promote your business this holiday season, courtesy of Scott's Marketplace's social media manager, Lauren Kemp!
Before You Get Started
It's important that you know what your goal is before you create your giveaway:
- More email subscribers?
- More fans?
- More website traffic?
Your goal will determine if you can run a simple giveaway or if you need to use a third-party app that will allow you to collect information like email addresses.
If you're going with the latter, Lauren recommends Shortstack, a platform that lets you run promotions and giveaways from social channels (including all of the ones below) to create your giveaway. It's easy to use and plans start at $29 per month.
Idea 1: Small-Item Giveaway on Facebook
Selecting a small item to give away means you can offer your fans multiple chances to win. This can often be more enticing than one huge prize because it seems more attainable.
For example, a fall promotion that we recently held was 'The "I Could Use a New Scarf" Giveaway,' where we gave away three scarves a week for five weeks. We had over 4,500 entries and we were able to collect 525 email addresses, making this budget-friendly contest incredibly successful for us, as well as a hit with our fans.
To hold your own small-item giveaway, you can use Shortstack or another third-party app like it. You'll be able to choose from various templates and you'll be given the option to specify what information is required to enter.
Keep in mind that the prize should match the effort to enter. In other words, no one is going to fill out a 10-line entry form to win a scarf, which is why we asked for name and email address only.
For a contest like this, choosing a winner at random is best. You can use random.org to select a winner.
Idea 2: Pin It to Win It Giveaway
Pinterest is an awesome platform for anyone whose goal is to get conversions/increased website traffic.
It's important to note that the demographic on Pinterest is largely women, with 27.4% of them being in the 25-34 age range and 22.1% in the 35-44 age range. If this is not your target market, skip this one.
But if this demographic is the right fit for you, a Pin It to Win It giveaway is a fun way to actively involve your followers in your brand.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Ask followers to pin the item they want to win from your website
- Have followers create a "holiday wish list" they'd most like to treat a loved one (or themselves) to
- Have followers create a board that shows what the holiday season means to them to win a specified prize
You can choose a winner by most repins, public vote, or panel of judges, but this information needs to be decided upon and disclosed upfront. You can run your giveaway without an app but using one can make it look more professional and allow you to collect information.
Idea 3: Post/Vote Giveaway on Instagram
Social media contests on Instagram are fun because they allow you a lot of versatility. Here are some ideas of what you can do with an Instagram giveaway:
- Ask your followers to post a picture of themselves wearing/using/eating/etc. your product and have them use a special hashtag you've created for this specific giveaway. For example (#IWannaWinIt)
- Post a collage picture of a few of your favorite items (if you can tie them into the holiday season, even better) and then ask them to vote on their favorite by leaving a comment.
- Ask your followers to vote on your new logo/slogan/possible new products/scents/flavors by leaving a comment.
- Have followers show you who they're thankful for in November/December by posting a picture of the most important person (or animal) in their life. Have them use your specified hashtag.
Again, you can use a third-party app to help you create this giveaway and collect specific information from your followers. Or, create your own graphic with the giveaway details if you would rather hold a faster and more simple giveaway. To select a winner, specify if it will be based on likes, comments, random entry, or by judge.
But Wait, There's More!
Every time you hold a giveaway, you're increasing exposure for your business, possibly getting new customers, and helping to build up an email subscriber database that will be essential for your future marketing efforts.
The bonus tips below will help you make your giveaway even greater:
- Once created, Lauren stresses the importance of cross-promoting your social media contests. Just because your contest is Facebook-based doesn't mean you can't also promote it on Instagram, Twitter, Google +, your blog, etc. (Also, don't be afraid to ask for retweets and shares - just don't overkill it.)
- You should email your existing subscribers about your giveaway once a week.
- Lauren suggests rewarding each person who enters your contest with a coupon or a discount code to entice purchases during and after your giveaway's specified time frame.
- Captivating graphics are going to be an important part of your giveaway. Try making your own at PicMonkey or another free photo-editing site.
Holding giveaways during the holiday season (starting as early as possible) will help you capture consumer attention at a time you want it most. Plus, showing a little customer appreciation is always a smart way to help you retain and attract new business year-round.