By Angela White

Social media seems to be used by almost everyone these days. Facebook still reigns supreme, but up-and-coming contenders like Instagram seem to be taking it’s crown down.

Be that as it may, there are numerous ways you can utilize social media in your business development arsenal. Marketing on social media has always been a big thing, and is one of the easiest ways to get anything “out there.”

But, before we get into the promotional part of contests, we first need to understand what social media contests are, and how we can make them work for us.

Social media contests are contests that take place entirely on said social media platforms. Everyone loves competitions and games of chance. Allowing followers the chance to win a symbolic reward for their efforts gives consumers a positive view of the company in general.

There are a couple of different ways to make the best out of your social media contests, and there are some insider tricks you need to know before you get into it.

1. Understand Your Target Demographic

This is by far the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re making a social media contest. You do not want to cater your content to someone who is not going to participate in it, or to people who aren’t going to understand it to the fullest.

Before you think about making a contest and marketing it to your target audience, think about your audience. Ask yourself what you would like to see if you were a consumer.

2. Pick a Contest Type

There are different types of contests you could participate in or make. Even the most popular brands are in on contests, such as:

  • Photo Contests (Macallan Whisky, Dunkin’ Donuts, Heineken)
  • Video Contests (Wave Video Maker, Coca-Cola)
  • Like (Random Number Generation, RNG) Contests (Cocoon, Qwertee)
  • Caption Contests (Hyatt, Tauck)
  • Quiz Contests (New Zoo, The American Red Cross)

Think about your business and what it stands for, and determine which type of contest will best fit it. Picking the proper type of contest is integral, and yields the best results.

3. What Are the Rewards?

Depending on the content type, your business, and the promotional material you’re trying to push, there are going to be different rewards for these contests.

The most popular form of reward is monetary, but money doesn’t necessarily have to mean money. If you’re looking to spend money on promotions and make sure it stays within your business, hand out coupons as your content prizes.

4. Make Your Content Engaging

To make sure that participation is maximal when it comes to your content, you need to make sure your content is engaging. If you’re requesting too much from consumers, your contest is most likely to fail before it starts.

The main point of this contest is to get people interested in your brand, and the best way to get consumers hooked on your products or services is to get them engaged with the business itself.

While this strongly depends on the type of content you’re running, Lead quizzes seem to be the best way to engage your target audience. Everyone seems to love answering questions, especially if they’re about themselves.

5. Base Your Content Around Your Business

While you don’t want to be annoying people with your content, you also don’t want to be vague about it.

You need to base your content around your business carefully, but be careful not to overdo it. If you base every aspect of your content on your business, you’re less likely to reach a broad target audience. Interactivity, engagement, and moderation are crucial when thinking of contest content.

6. Quizzes

As the best overall type of contest, quizzes have quite a lot to offer. But unlike pictures or RNG contests, they do require some more effort and fine-tuning. You can’t just ask anything through a shoddy looking quiz and expect to get your audience to interact with it – this part requires some finesse.

Remember to carefully calibrate your questions to your consumers, not only to give them a shot at the prize but to promote your business and gather valuable feedback.

The feedback is what makes quizzes the best type of contest. Gathering valuable feedback can be detrimental to your business, and if you ask the right questions, the organic traffic you’re going to get through social media alone is staggering.

7. Utilize the Proper Tools

There are a lot of different tools you can use to create your contest. Depending on which type of content you’ve picked, you’re going to need a diverse tool arsenal.

If you’re looking to create an online quiz, you’re going to find millions of different services that might help you out with that. Lead Quizzes is probably one of the better options on the internet, as it is the perfect combination of creative capabilities, feedback analysis, and gathering, and it is a pretty powerful tool overall.

8. Pick the Proper Time

Any time is an excellent time to promote your business, but there are times where you’re likely going to get more interaction from your consumers based on the time of year.

You should never underestimate the power of seasonal contests, as they seem to be one of the more popular times that businesses approach their consumers.

If you’re going to advertise your brand new turkey stuffing, thanksgiving might be the perfect time to do it. Think about the timing, and you’re going to increase interactions with your business naturally. This translates surprisingly well into leads, sales, and ROI.

9. Marketing Your Contest

If you want consumers to participate and interact with your contests, you’re going to need to approach them accordingly. You need to advertise your contest like you would any other type of content.

Lucky for you, social media has a vast and advanced marketing arsenal. Almost all social media with any form of business presence will provide you with a huge amount of options to advertise your content. You don’t want to overdo it, as there is a thing as too much advertisement.

10. Moderation Is the Key

This applies to all parts of this article. You don’t want to make your contest too complicated or market it aggressively. If you overdo it, you are likely going to paint a bad picture of your business.

There is nothing worse than constant giveaways, contests, and quizzes being endlessly shoved down the throats of consumers. Make sure that the main attraction of your contest is its content and possible prize. Let the contest speak for itself.