What competition should you be running


When it comes to social media marketing, a lot of factors have to be taken into consideration. It is important you determine which type of social media strategy will prove to be most effective for your business.

This also applies to competitions on social media. Today we will discuss two strategies: engagement focused competitions and database building competitions.

Engagement Focused Competitions

When it comes to social media, an engaged community is what you want. The more engaged your audience is the more viral reach you will be able to gain. Social media sites, Facebook in particular, emphasise engaging content and makes this content more visible to your target audience.

Sometimes, your audience needs a little encouragement to start engaging, in the form of a competition.

The Pros

Easy To Run – Engagement competitions tend to be as simple as “like this”, “comment”, “retweet”, “regram”, and so on. It is very simple to set up once you have determined how you will run it.

Grows Your Fanbase – The increased engagement will lead to a wider audience discovering your brand, and that will lead to more people liking your profile. Many people will follow you if they’re participating in the contest, even if just to keep track of if they have won.

The Cons

Highly Interactive and Visible – Since engagement contests are more interactive and visible, if nobody enters or if something goes wrong, everyone can see. To avoid issues, make sure you have clearly defined terms and conditions available to view somewhere on your profile.

It’s Hard to Get in touch with the Winner – Because engagement contests tend to be run publicly, on the Facebook wall or Twitter feed, you can’t ask people to provide their private contact details. This means that notifying them that they have won can be a bit trickier, and you must rely on the platform’s tagging capabilities.

How to Run Engagement Focused Competitions

The most basic engagement competitions are Facebook wall contests that ask fans to comment on a photo. You can also use Instagram and ask people to regram and tag and/or hashtag, or to retweet on Twitter.

Database Building Competitions

Database building competitions are usually run through a third party app and aim to build your business database, so that you can add to your email marketing database, or conduct market research.

The Pros 

Grow Your Email List – Database building mainly uses email to promote other products and services. Having more followers on Pinterest or Twitter, or fans on Facebook is great, but direct email marketing is also a valuable tool. Therefore, database building can help increase your email list, if you require that people enter their email address as a condition of entry. This also makes it easy to contact the winner.

Offers Sharing Potential – While you can’t have sharing as a condition of entry, third party apps used to run these kinds of competitions make it easy for people to share information about the competition with their friends.

The Cons

Freebie Hunters – Many contestants may just participate to win a prize, but will not use other products and services offered by your company.

Exclude Part of Audience – Sometimes, people are hesitant to enter the competition if they have to give away private details such as their email address, or if the entry mechanisms take too much time or effort.

How to Run Database Building Competitions

The perfect example of database building competitions is using sweepstakes. They require less effort from your fans, as they only have to fill in their name and email address. Then the app should be able to choose a winner at random.

You can also run a contest that requires an answer, and then choose the correct or best answer. Again, make sure to include terms and conditions to ensure entrants understand the rules. It’s also important to check the competition laws in your state, to make sure your contest doesn’t violate them.

Now that you are familiar with the pros and cons of these contest strategies, you simply need to choose the best one for your brand’s goals.


Have your say: What contest has given your page the best result?

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