It is true, a contest can be a great way to build a Fan or Following base, and when done correctly it can be achieved very quickly. However, what most of these articles won’t tell you is that contests are not easy. In fact, in order to see real measurable results from the contest you must take into consideration several different aspects. Below are a few of the factors many businesses overlook when setting up their social media contests.
No Clear End Goal:
Building a Fan base or Following base is a good start when it comes to creating an end goal for a promotion, but it’s not enough. Before you setup your contest, you must understand why you want to build your Fan/Following base. Is it to attract new customers, gain feedback on products, increase traffic to your website, increase your email lists or generate additional sales.
Once you answer this question, you will be able to better setup your campaign. For example, if you want to grow your Fan base and increase your email list you will want to create a campaign that requires users to ‘Like’ your page and then fill out a short opt-in form with their email address. Then, take it an additional step and have a custom email campaign setup for each of these new leads to be filtered into.
Without a clear goal for your contest, you are just throwing darts in the dark hoping you’ll see an ROI from your time. Trust me, the chances are high that you won’t.
Not Large Enough Incentives:
I don’t know why, but so many businesses hate the idea of spending money on social media, they feel because the networks are free to signup for, that they shouldn’t have to pay for anything in regards to it. This results in businesses that are running contests that have small, low value prizes.
Users on social media are busy, they aren’t going to take the time to jump through the hoops of the contest if the prize isn’t big enough. This means that you have to make sure your prizes have real value, in the form of free products, services or experiences. By giving away larger prizes, you’re also increasing your likelihood of success by attracting MORE users and your target market.
Not Knowing The Networks Terms:
This factor especially comes into play on Facebook, which has specific terms for running promotions on their platform. Understanding these terms will allow you to ensure that your page will not be deleted by Facebook during or after the promotion. You’re able to read Facebook’s current terms in regards to contests HERE, scroll down to section E.
By the way, if Facebook determines your account is against terms you’re not going to get a warning, you’re page will simply be deleted, and good luck getting in touch with them to get it straightened out. Don’t risk it, make sure your contests are within the network’s terms.
Not Enough Promotion:
Contests are powerful because of their viral aspect, however many businesses make the mistake that just by sharing a few updates or Tweets about the contest their current Followers will share the news about the promotion. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t happen.
Instead, make sure you’re promoting the contest through all of your online forms of marketing, including using ads on the social platform the contest is being held, blog, email and website. Tell everyone about the contest and watch the viral aspect explode. By the way, having a large incentive to participate will help with promoting your contest.
The initial Google Search on how to increase your Fan or Following base might have been correct about using contests as an affective way to grow your Fan or Following base. However, it forgot to mention the challenges and time needed to plan, create, setup and promote your contests to see real results.
Use these overlooked factors as a starting point to getting more out of your contest, then take it a step further and make sure you know why you’re doing the contest and what your end goals are that you’d like to achieve once the contest is over. Use the contest as more than a cheap way to build a Fan or Following base, use it as a tool to increase profits and attract new customers.
Have you ran a contest before on Twitter or Facebook? Tell us about your contest and the results you saw from it in the comments field, what would you have done differently if you ran the same contest again?