Running a Contest: Gimmick or Grab for Followers?

Running a contest to gain followers on social media is an effective tool for many businesses and marketers. It provides an incentive for potential customers to emotionally invest in your product and provides a tangible reward for a lucky fan. But there are ways to go about it correctly, and ways to sabotage the strategy.

Do: Consider the three types of audiences you’ll reach with your contest. Spectators, Joiners (people who will enter a low barrier contest), and Creators (people who will enter a contest that requires them to create content for your page).

Don’t: Forget to include page “likes” as part of your entry model.

Do: Make the barrier for entry as easy as possible. You don’t want people to give up voting, liking or producing because it’s too hard for them to do so effectively.

Don’t: Forget that you’ll have roughly 10 times as many voters as you will contest entrants if your model works as most do on average. You’re marketing to them as well.

Do: Have an expertly-designed user interface and clear communication to your participants as to what your purpose is. If they don’t know where, when, why and how, they’ll be missing out on important information.

Don’t: Obscure your marketing objectives. You’ll need to be clear on your end from the top down as to whether you plan to use the contest to move product, gain a following or generate leads.

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