Sep 23 How to Run a Quality Social Media Sweepstakes
With organic reach on the decline, running a quality social media sweepstakes is one of the best ways to amplify and boost your brand. Sweepstakes are a great way to drum up excitement for your brand, because who doesn’t love free stuff? Games of chance have been around for ages and over the years their popularity has continued. However, running a sweepstakes just for the sake of running one, isn’t always in a brand’s best interest, unless done properly.
Read on to discover how to create social media sweepstakes that allow your brand to interact with fans, build a strong community, and turn leads into sales.
Steps for Planning a Social Media Sweepstakes
Choose a Platform
There are many options for what platform you can run your sweepstakes on from micro-sites to social networks. If you’re running sweepstakes in order to generate UGC for your channels, Instagram is a great choice. If you’re looking to garner interaction across all your channels, then running sweepstakes on a micro-site with additional entries for shares across social channels may be the route for you. We dive a little more into what types of sweepstakes you can run here.
Choose Your Prizes
Cash is King. People love cash (or gift cards) as it lets them choose what they receive as a prize, however, be sure to tie your brand into whatever prizing you offer. If your brand sells a physical product, include that as the prize or part of it. If your product is perishable, then free coupons are a great way to include it as part of the package.
Set the Rules
How many times can people enter? How long do you want to run your sweepstakes? There are many things to consider when getting ready to draft the rules for your promotion. Depending on the goal of your promotion, you may want to include multiple drawing periods.
It’s not just how many entries you received, but how many quality or unique entries. Did your follower count increase during the sweepstakes and were you able to retain those new followers a month after your sweepstakes concluded?
Channel Guidelines for Social Media Sweepstakes
Each social channel has its own specific set of guidelines to follow on what they consider acceptable as a means for receiving a sweepstakes entry. Always be sure to check the social platforms promotion guidelines and with your legal team to ensure your sweepstakes is FTC compliant.
Why Host a Social Media Sweepstakes?
Grow Your Following
Sweepstakes are an easy and effective way to grow your following. By asking someone to follow you as a way of gaining entry, you’re increasing the number of people that will see and engage with your content – hopefully long after the contest has ended!
Generate Brand Awareness
Sweepstakes are an easy way to reach new audiences and increase the awareness of your brand. Besides boosting your engagement rate, social media algorithms respond to an increase of likes, comments, and shares, meaning more people will see and engage with your content.
You want entrants to convert to customers.
Make Your Sweepstakes Work for You
Sweepstakes are great at generating positive buzz and engagement for your brand, but the downside is that brands can get lost in consumer’s excitement for freebies or travel. Flip the script and make sweepstakes work in your favor by including your brand front and center in the sweepstakes itself!
The best way to do this is by integrating your brand in conversations people are having organically. Tie your product back to relevant events and/or holidays that naturally get people talking. (Seasonal tie-ins are also a safe bet). Look at your calendar and see if any upcoming events make sense for your brand.
In late August, Little Bites® snacks (#client) ran a contest that inserted the brand into the back-to-school conversation. With an audience made up mostly of parents, this trending topic was the perfect place to naturally incorporate the brand into a relevant conversation. Limited to Facebook and Instagram, parents could comment how they celebrate getting back to school for a chance to win everything they’d need to throw a Back-to-School bash for their little ones and their classmates to enjoy.
The sweepstakes performed extremely well organically, earning a record-breaking amount of engagement on both Instagram and Facebook and an organic engagement rate of 68%. Fans followed the prompt and answered with heart-warming, quality comments about their back-to-school plans.
Since the world of social is always changing along with the sweepstakes world, if you have any questions or are looking for help running sweepstakes for your brand reach out to us.
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