Is your company doing social media marketing? Have you considered a social media contest? A social media contest can help kick off your social media marketing plan in full effect by building your fans and followers, gathering consumer feedback, and engaging with active and potential customers. Maybe you are interested, but not sure where to begin. Please read on for five important tips…
1) Have a Comprehensive Plan - Like any business plan, you need to create a plan for your social media contest. Who is your target audience? What do you want to accomplish when the contest is over? What is the right channel for your contest? Is it your blog, Facebook page, Twitter page, etc.? If you are going to use a social media site for your contest, do not forget to read and review that particular site’s promotion guidelines. And lastly, what will be the rules and regulations of the contest?
2) Use a Simple Process - Make it easy for your target audience to participate in the contest. If you are going to use Facebook for your contest, keep all activities on Facebook. You do not want to confuse any participants by having them go to your blog to cast a vote, for example. If anything is confusing to a contestant, it will create a downward spiral for your contest. The contestant will tell their friends and their friends will tell their friends and that will form a negative association with your brand. Who benefits in that?
3) Create Interest Early - The best way to ensure your campaign is successful is to get people involved ahead of time, before your contest launches. How do you do this? First, announce your contest in advance on your website, blog, and the selected social media contest channel. In other words, make sure people can see your announcement everywhere. Second, you probably know who your top fans and followers are or perhaps your most loyal customers. Notify them about the contest beforehand and then they can share the news with their network, thus building momentum around your contest.
4) Keep the Conversation Flowing - Remember, this is a social media contest (not a newspaper article). For the contest to be a hit, you need to actively communicate with your audience. How can you continually interact with them? Ask questions, respond to questions, post contest updates, keep participants motivated with positive words, and treat every interaction with a contestant as data you can share with additional departments of your business, like market research or product development.
5) Learn, and Keep Learning - In hindsight, sometimes we may have taken a wrong turn in our marketing choices, but this is a part of life. You learn from your mistakes and keep on moving. The same logic applies to social media contests. There is always room for improvement for your next contest. The more contests you do overtime, the more you will learn and become better, and perhaps gain more fans and followers in the process.
Does your business plan on running a social media contest? Why or why not? Please share any feedback below!
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
For additional tips on developing a social media contest, go to http://mashable.com/2011/07/25/social-media-contest-how-to/