How To Run A Successful Social Media Competition

443 Flares Twitter 265 Facebook 73 Google+ 21 LinkedIn 79 Buffer 5 Pin It Share 0 443 Flares ×

The following blog post is a guest post by @KieraPedley. Kiera is the CCO (Chief Caring Officer) at Binkd home of the Binkd Promotion Platform. Not to mention a great friend! Enjoy!

Running a social media contest or competition can generate you some quick fans, and build your email list up, and drive quality, qualified, interested traffic to your site.

Without a good strategy in place, your hard-earned effort might well be going to waste. Here are 5 strategies to turn your contest into a valuable, long term, marketing machine. 

Begin With A Social Media Plan

Competitions should only represent one part of your social media marketing plan. If you don’t already have a strategy in place, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

A plan basically involves:

  • clear goal as to what you want to achieve
  • calendar for your content
  • Targets for your outcomes
  • swipe file of your content ideas and mind maps.


Have A Clear Goal

To make sure you’re running a profitable campaign, a clear goal is essential. A social media promotion will generally achieve one or more of the following:

  1. Sales
  2. Fans
  3. Email Subscribers
  4. PR/Brand Awareness

Define what you want to achieve before you begin to run your competition, design your competition message and follow-up campaign based around your desired outcomes.


Setting a clear goal also helps you keep track of your performance, and make sure your contest is performing to your expected targets.


Use A 3rd Party App To Run Your Contest

Unless you have an awesome in-house programming team, and a tonne of cash to dedicate to developing your own contest application, use a third party application to host your contest.

This helps you comply with the social media platform’s terms of service and some platforms give you a range of tools to help you begin engaging with your fans.

Some of the popular Contest Applications are:

  • Binkd Promotion  – Free to use. Sweepstakes, Photo Contests, and Challenge Contests available for WordPress and Facebook
  • Wildfire App – Facebook Sweepstakes, Photo Contests, and Vote to Win
  • Bulbstorm –  Facebook Sweepstakes, Photo Contests, and Vote to Win


Activate Your Marketing Machine

Unless you have an existing list of thousands of engaged fans, your contest is most likely going to need a bit of a push to get it going.

To get the most benefit out of your campaign, you should market across a number of platforms. Some strategies to consider are:

  • Your email list
  • Your existing social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc)
  • Your blog and website
  • Joint venture partner’s lists
  • Radio or Television advertising
  • Print or paid web advertising


Have Your Site Ready To Go

A well run and popular contest will send traffic to your site. Chances are, if they have taken the time to visit your site, this traffic is qualified and interested in your product.

Be sure to have your website up to date before you launch your competition.

  • Make sure all links work
  • Have your opt in links clearly visible and accessible
  • Ensure that you have your competition branding clear and visible on your page
  • Make sure it’s easy to find and buy your product
  • Make sure your About Us and Contact Us pages are up to date and working.

Have A Powerful Follow-up

The fortune in any marketing campaign is in the follow-up. Your well run contest will collect you a wave of new, qualified, engaged and interested subscribers.

The most valuable people in your contest are not actually the winners, they are the people who didn’t  win. Prepare your auto-responder campaign beforehand, encouraging your new fans to take further action in the competition.

During the social media competition

  • Give them tips on how they can increase their chances of winning
  • Teach them how to share your content
  • Engage with them on social media and really get to know them
  • Publish valuable, relevant, and shareable content.

A competition with a coveted prize will encourage a lot of interaction on the social media platform you run your competition on. Make sure you get in on the conversation, and actively chat and engage with your fan base.


After the social media competition

  • Keep the conversation open, with post-competition specials, offers, and valuable content.
  • Ensure you give them enough reason to stay on your list
  • Offer follow-up bonuses simply for having been a part of the contest.


Now, Go And Build Your Community

Your awesome contest should have driven a new tribe of interested, engaged fans to your social media platforms – which on its own is rather cool… but you can take it one step further.

Making use of the hype and excitement surrounding your contest, begin to build your community. A community is a place where your fans don’t only respond to your questions, articles, and updates, they also actively seek you out to engage you and they seek one another out to engage.

Leveraging the warmth from your competition will help you position your company and brand as a trusted leader, a resource, and the go-to company in your niche.

Kiera Pedley is the CCO (Chief Caring Officer) at Binkd home of the Binkd Promotion Platform

  • Kevin Smith Parr

    I have noticed that if with these social medias you are not using contests, you are certainly missing out on something thats really easy..

  • KieraPedley

    That’s so true Kevin, it’s an easy, leveraged way to build your fan base and really engage with them -*if done well!!

  • Roquita123

    Hi Kiera,

    Do you have examples of successful social media contests for brand awareness? Much appreciated!

  • ExcelAssist

    @KieraPedley Great idea for a launch and simply building followers. What other milestones do you see this working well for in a small business?

    I concur with what you said earlier, that it must be well done. Good word!

  • KieraPedley


    Hi Roquita,

    These are our stats for average entrants per contest

  • KieraPedley

    @Roquita123 And I’ll get you some direct stats of recent contests :-)

  • KieraPedley


    Hi there Excel Assist I’ve also seen contests used successfully to promote events, increase reader stickiness, bounce back from negative publicity, help re-build sales in a slump.

    The key of course is planning, and having a set objective, like any marketing strategy.

  • dkaiser35

    Great post! It was really helpful in the construction of my very first social media campaign. You can check it out at and let me know what you think. Thanks!

  • ortizdebbie162

    Hey! Thanks to admin for published the great marketing blog site , really we are appreciate you… Thanks

  • Pingback: A beginner's guide to running social media competitions |()

  • Pingback: Why is social media beneficial to your website? — Saucy Horse Social Media()

  • Pingback: Content – Finding Inspiration | Hashtag Communications()

  • Pingback: Why Do Businesses Hold Social Media Contests? | Social Media Mania()