10 secrets for an engaging social media contest (pt. 1) | SierraSun.com

10 secrets for an engaging social media contest (pt. 1)

Milena Regos

Social Media Savvy: 10 secrets for an engaging contest (pt. 1)

Does this sound familiar to you? So you’ve accumulated a good number of fans … but your fans are not very active with your content. You decide it’s time for a new social media contest to rev up interest among your online audience.

However, 10 days into it, you notice that interest in the contest unfortunately, is not as high as you had hoped. You realize you have nothing to show except for a few comments from your most loyal advocates, a couple hundred new likes to your Facebook page from your fan gated contest, a few retweets, and some Instagram likes.

Where did you go wrong? Why weren’t people interested?

We all make mistakes, it’s part of the learning process. So take a breath and then we’ll show you how to avoid repeating them. We have put together 10 tips to serve as a blue print for social media contests.

If you stay on target with these, you will stay honed in to your goals and organized with your content.

1. Start with the goal in mind. Do you want to offer something fun for your audience to do and keep their interest, gather emails, or increase your fan base. Trying to combine too many goals into one usually ends up in a mediocre outcome. Focus on one goal and craft your concept around this goal.

2. Keep your prize relevant to your business. Try to increase the size of your business category. Stay clear of giveaways that have nothing to do with your business. Everyone wants an iPad, but not everyone with a new, free iPad will become your loyal customer.

3. Tie in a campaign with World News and Events, making it easier to grab attention while people’s minds are already thinking about it. Newsjacking can work really well, just make sure you don’t try to newsjack a sensitive event/news and act foolish. Many large brands have made that mistake as well.

4. Use great visuals. Images make everything better. Facebook posts with photos have higher engagement rate than any other post (Source: MDGAdvertising). Images on Facebook generate 53 percent more likes and 104 percent more comments than the average post: (Source: MikeGingerich). 90 percent of information transmitted to our brain is visual. Plus we can process images 60,000 times faster than plain text. (Source:Ernesto Olivares).

5. Choose a contest platform provider that is easy to work with and offers add ons to your contest that will improve viral sharing. We normally work with Heyo, WooBox and Shortstack but there are many more on the market, like OfferPop, Strutta, RaffleCopter, SnapApp and Wishpond. We choose platforms based on the goal of the contest and the budget. Some of them are really affordable. There are certain benefits to using a third party platform, although Facebook has eased up on their strict contest rules and you could do a simple giveaway on your timeline as well.

Look for another five tips in part 2 of this column later this month.

Milena Regos is principal and founder of Out & About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. She can be reached for comment at milena@outandaboutmarketing.com. This article first appeared on http://www.outandaboutmarketing.com.