Whether your seasonal social media marketing campaigns have been established for some time or you’ve only just got them up and running, expanding your engagement plans will benefit your company greatly over the run up to the big day. Alongside exciting content, you need to be able to keep your followers interested during December as many other retailers and organisations up their game.
In this article we consider how to run a successful social media contest in the run up to Christmas.
Before getting creative with your social media contest it is important to decide which platform you will be launching it on. If you’ve chosen to gain user-generated posts then image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest may work best, whereas contests that depend on sharing or commenting will lend themselves better to Facebook or Twitter. It is also possible to navigate away from social media altogether and focus on sending out email-gated contests in which you use the client base you’ve collected and send out festive competitions via email.
Choosing the platform that you feel reflects the nature of the social media contest and the audience you are looking to target will enable success in the number of participants and reaction.
Knowing what appeals to your target customer is the best way to gauge the kind of contest will work best for your business. If your customer base has an age range between 18 and 44, Instagram, with over 150 million global users you are likely to reach the right kind of people. Facebook and Twitter still seem universal to most age groups and with customers aged between 45 and 54 as the fastest growing user demographic for Facebook, certain businesses may benefit from sticking to that site.
Before you figure out how your users are going to gain access to your prize you’ll need to decide what you’re going to give the lucky winners. During the festive season, many retailers stick to gift vouchers or the year’s best-selling item from their inventory.
Some larger retailers, like Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, have used Pinterest in the past as a way to learn more about a customer’s spending habits. ‘Dear Santa’ contests have become popular where users are given the option to pin their favourite item from the retailer’s new collection in the hope that they will be chosen to win that item. These are brilliant as it also allows them to get a better insight into the tastes of their customers.
Selfie contests are increasingly popular amongst social media marketers at this time of year. Don’t underestimate the power of them. During Coca Cola’s campaign last summer, customers were invited to post photographs of them holding a bottle with their name written on the label. That campaign was one of the biggest of 2013.
Once you’ve planned what kind of contest you are going to use and where you’re going to be posting it, it’s time to launch and promote it. Spread the word through each of your online presences – social media platforms, email, company website and blog, not only will this promote the contest itself but expand your visibility across these networks. Writing brief articles or blog posts with a direct link to the contest will make it easier and more enticing for your followers to enter.
Creating a hashtag relating specifically to your social media contest will make it easier for you to collate details and pick a winner and will promote the engagement that you’re looking to get out of it. Make sure to add this hashtag to each promotion of the contest.
Your social media marketing campaign shouldn’t stop as soon as the contest closes. It is important to nurture and build on the relationships that have been created with your audience after the closing date.
Whether you’re choosing your winner at random, through a panel of judges or a public vote, notify them via email or publicly with an @mention. Share the winning entry on your social media platforms and promote it on your company website.
Social media contests are great for adding engagement and consumer interaction to your content. Collecting data on what did and didn’t work for your contest after its closed will allow you to decide what to do next.