Social media marketing is all about getting people engaged.  What better way to get people talking and doing than running a contest or sweepstakes?  Social media allows for a whole new twist on running contests and it also allows for new perks to your business.  Running a contest on social media is a good marketing strategy.  Why? Let’s start with the basics.

First, you’re growing your fan base.  Contests are a great way for a business to start off with 20 likes on a Facebook page and boost up to 500 or 5,000 likes for that business page (depending on the success of the contest).  Maybe these news fans will like what they see and stay forever.  Maybe their attention is fleeting and limited to their hopes of winning a contest.  The point is that you have their attention for that moment.  It’s up to you what you do with it next.

If you create a contest or sweepstakes that is “enter-to-win” and also “like(or follow)-to-win”, you are growing your following just from having people enter the contest.  You are offering incentive for their attention.  What you do next is what matters.

Next, you have the ability to engage with your audience.  Once you have the masses looking in your direction, you are able to take that connection to the next level.  Share personal content you’ve created, get a discussion going with your followers, ask them to contribute to the conversation, etc.  The possibilities are endless.  When choosing what kind of contest or sweepstakes to run, you’re actually choosing the level of involvement you expect from your followers.  So, what are you expecting of them? To like your page? To share photos? To caption a post?

Decide the type of interaction you want to have with your fan base and then build off of that.

There are so many different types of contests to run on social media, that you really have your pick of benefits to your business.  Whether you’re looking to promote your product, get people engaged, collect email addresses for future marketing, etc. You can tailor make your contest or sweepstakes to fit your personal marketing needs and goals. 

Getting Started:

Choose your end goal.  Newsletter subscriptions, t shirt sales, increased engagement on your social media pages, naming a new product or newsletter, etc.  Start by choosing your end goal.
Choose a contest that gets you there.  You’ll need to check out rules and regulations for each social media platform to make sure that you’re not infringing on their guidelines.
Launch your contest.
Promote your contest.  Promote across social media channels, press releases, your website / blog, paid advertising, contest sites, and more.

Running a contest or sweepstakes on social media can be extremely beneficial to your business if executed properly.  The key here is to have a goal and to formulate your contest around achieving that goal.  What have your experiences been with contests or sweepstakes on social media?  What advice would you offer to those getting started? Comment below!