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How to Make a BIG impact with Social Media Contests

April 17th, 2012

Social Media ContestYou don’t need a degree in social media to understand Facebook contests are a great avenue to promote your business and elevate brand recognition. In order for any social media campaign to gain traction it is imperative you choose a creative platform that engages your intended audience. Perhaps just as, if not more important, is to select a prize worth winning. Remember: prizes should be aligned with your industry; if you sell vacations for a living, the grand prize should be an all-inclusive vacation and not a tablet.

You can have the best idea since sliced bread, but if you don’t effectively deliver your message it will never generate an organic following. If you can combine a product you sell with an integrated marketing campaign leveraging social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and perhaps QR codes then you hit the nail on the head.

The idea behind the campaign should be fundamental: make it easier for your reps to leave a sales call with a deal. It’s fine to have the lowest quote around; just make sure you work on developing (then nurturing) a relationship. Interactive social media campaigns allow companies to better connect with their clients – and prospects.

A Simple Concept Can Make a BIG Impact

Social Media PromotionsSince the advent of camera phones people have gone click happy. Keep the pictures you like and post them; delete the one’s you don’t without paying for it. It’s a given people like to post and look at pictures (where would Facebook be without pictures?). Combine an interactive branding campaign that allows people to win a desirable prize simply by posting a picture…and wallah – you have yourself a head start on the competition.

For example, let’s say you have a company mascot (it can be any animal, living or mythical creature or object) you would like to make the centerpiece of the campaign. Hypothetically, we’ll say it’s a dragon. By the way, I’m a video game developer who wants to reach gamers between the ages of 12 and 24. The release date of my new game “Dragon Wars” is weeks away from its release date. To get the campaign viral, I decided to do a compressed T-Shirt in the shape of a dragon. On the back, there is a QR code. When scanned, it takes you to a storyboard about the game. The contest would work like this:

Everyone who comes in contact with the dragon compressed T-shirt would take a picture of themselves with it, and then upload it to their Facebook page. You can be at work, on vacation in Bora Bora, on a subway car, wherever. The winner receives a free “Dragon Wars” game and a new PlayStation console. Your prize is desirable and it is aligned with the product you sell. Mission accomplished.

By mixing in promotional items with your social media campaign you are furthering your brand message, and allowing others to connect with you on a “real and tangible” level.


4 ideas to consider before you launch your next social media promotion:

1. Compressed T-shirts: They come in many different shapes and you can add a QR code to the shirt or packaging (add a QR code and drive people to a YouTube video informing them further of your campaign/offer)

2. Bobbleheads: Yes bobblehead dolls can be customized to further heighten your mascot or brand character identity. It’s a great collectible.

3. Collectible items: Lapel pins, lanyards, silicone bands, custom wearables – you name it, people will collect it if it’s worthy of being collected.

Collectible Google Lapel Pins

4. Photo Contests: The name of the game is to get contestants to take photos of themselves interacting with your brand. Now, the flip side works just as well: the photos can be of contestant’s pets, for example. The winner gets a desirable prize plus branded apparel.


6 tips for any social media contest

Facebook Contest

1.             Be Creative

Don’t be afraid to tweak what others have done. Asking your customers may just be the best way to generate creative ideas.

2.             Brand Relevancy:

Keep the contest relevant and consistent with your brand (don’t offer a prize that has nothing to do with your business). Strategy is key. Don’t launch haphazardly. Keep your message consistent with your core values. Don’t talk about your products or services. Concentrate on “branding” the contest itself.

3. Simple Instructions:

Step by step instructions on how to enter work best. Remember the K.I.S.S. concept.

4. Contest Prizes:

Think value, value, value. People won’t enter or tell their friends to enter unless the prize is worth winning. I know I’m repeating myself here but it bears noting again and again. No one cares about five free carwashes as much as they do getting free gadgets, vacations, clothes, luxury items, automobiles, etc. Contests are just like investments. Don’t give away something you yourself would not want to receive.

5. Promoting the Contest:

Start with friends and family members then contact current customers, colleagues, organizations, clubs and schools. You can even ask other small business owners if they wouldn’t mind having fliers or postcards in their stores (maybe you can even propose co-branding). Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, newsletters/email marketing, trade shows, conferences, direct mail, blogs and your web site.

6. Keep Your Word:

Announce the contest winner on various social media platforms, your web site and through e-mail. At all costs make sure you get a photo of the contest winner and the branded promotional item used to complement the campaign. Follow these rules religiously and your next contest will be greeted with open arms.

T-shirt with QR Code

This is how you make a big impact with social media contests. Remember to incorporate branded giveaways for a lasting and memorable effect. Call (866) 751-PROMO and ask to speak to Susie. She has a long list of successful projects that will get your creative juices flowing.


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