Create great competitions using social software

We all love a good competition don’t we. And we also love brands that run competitions – according to UK-based social media marketing agency TAMBA, 79% of people say that competitions have a positive influence on brand perception, and 85% of people who enter competitions still share a brand’s content after a competition ends (read this lovely infographic for more info).

Why run competitions?

From a business point of view, competitions can help with the following:

  • New customers:
    • Gather email addresses for your database
    • Increase your social following
    • Drive people to your website
    • Raise brand awareness
  • Existing customers:
    • Increase brand loyalty
    • Raise awareness of new products or experiences
    • Reward people for being website visitors, newsletter subscribers and social followers

How to do it

There are lots of ways to run competitions, including:

  • Ask people to write down their details or enter them into an iPad when they visit your business
  • Ask people to join in a conversation on your Facebook timeline
  • Ask people to engage with your Instagram and Twitter handles and hashtags
  • Use special software

The software option

We’ve had some great success with using competition software in the past.  Gleam and Woobox seem to be the leaders in the field, and they are really easy to use. They both have free versions, so the best way to get started is to sign up and start playing around, but just to give you an idea, here are the usual steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Sign up
  2. Describe your competition – add the details of your prize, as well as a cracking image and/or some artwork such as your logo.
  3. Choose how you would like participants to enter – you can ask people to enter their email address; follow you on Twitter; follow you on Instagram; watch a YouTube video and lots more. The more actions the person undertakes, the more entries to the competition they will have.
    To note! Last November Facebook prohibited app software from forcing people to ‘Like’ a page when entering a competition. You can still ‘suggest’ that they like your page though!
  4. Embed the competition onto a tab on your Facebook page – This is usually done by clicking on a simple link.
  5. Embed the competition onto your website – This is done by copying and pasting some code onto a new web page.
  6. Add a link to the competition in your Instagram bio – while you can’t add links to Instagram posts, you can post about the competition and point people to find the link in your bio.
  7. Start sharing! Share the competition via your social channels, your e-newsletter, and make sure it’s easy to find on your website.
  8. Close the competition and choose a winner
  9. Count how many new social follows and emails you’ve collected. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Don’t forget – stay up to date with the rules

Before you start a new competition, do a quick check for any rule changes. The different social networks have different rules around holding sweepstakes, so it’s important to check for updates.. Click here to see the latest rules for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter competitions.