Social media is one of the most effective tools you can use today. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram each have millions of users who check in daily. Many of them could be visiting your social media pages as well. But even if you consider yourself tech savvy, getting those users from your digital store to your brick and mortar store can still be hard.
An “Omni-channel” marketing strategy, where the user experience is seamless across various channels, is the perfect way to sync social media marketing with in-store promotions. One proven way to accomplish this is through social media contests.
Social media contests can help drive traffic to your store and promote brand awareness. Promoting a single contest across your social media pages and in your store can:
- Increase social media engagement
- Drive traffic to your site and store
- Increase brand awareness and reach
- Reinforce brand culture/community
- Promote new products/services
- Collect lead data like emails and mailing addresses
- Discover audience preferences
There are many different types of social media contests you can run.
- Random drawings and sweepstakes allow customers to win just by entering
- Coupons or giveaways to drive customers into your businesses
- Photo, video, or content contests invite customers to participate in a more personal way
- Hashtag contests ask customers to get involved and increases brand awareness
- Referral contests are good for your customer and your business, rewarding the customer for referrals and gaining new business for you
Before embarking on a social media contest, be sure your cover all of your bases with thorough research, planning, and testing. Here are a few tips to guide you:
Before The Contest
Before you begin, establish rules and legalities. Sweepstakes, contests, and lotteries all have different legal issues that need to be considered.
You should also consider which contest apps or tools you would like to use to conduct a professional, effective contest. There are a number of different companies with online tools that can help you handle all aspects of your contest including Woobox, Wishpond, Gleam, Facebook Contests. If you prefer to set up your contest yourself, you’ll also find tools, like countdown timers, that can help you create a sense of excitement in the days before your contest goes live.
Incorporate your contest promotion in your overall advertising strategy. Promote your single upcoming contest or promote your social channels at large. Posts like “Follow us to find out how to win our next contest!” encourage your audience to watch for upcoming contests and promotions. Images of the prize and frequent reminders can increase buzz and easily be shared.
Plan to promote your social media contest through traditional and digital advertising as well. You should also cross-promote on other social media channels and consider budgeting for ads or “boosting” your contest posts. And don’t forget about traditional marketing platforms like direct mail for both pre-contest announcements and entry forms.
Need some visual inspiration? Check out this article from Kim Garst, “13 Killer Facebook Contest Ideas.”
During The Contest
While the contest is running, remind people every day that it’s still going on. Your audience might not have seen your message yesterday, or might not remember how long the promotion is running. The same countdown timer you used to raise excitement before your contest will be a big help driving urgency now.
If you’re doing random giveaways, give your online followers a head’s up if they should be at the store within a certain time range to participate. Here’s a chance to reward your top fans too. You can mail them extra promo codes or physical entries to bring to the store to further encourage their participation.
After The Contest
Keep the momentum flowing after the contest! Post images of winners (be sure to get their permission) and ask people to follow (or sign-up for email) to find out about the next promotion. Also, ask the winners to post on their own social media for organic engagement.
Social media contests accomplish several business goals in a fun, affordable way. Valpak offers Social Media Management services and can help you create successful social media contests to boost brand awareness, engagement, and leads. Contact your local Valpak representative today!
Get Started Today:
- Think about a social media contest you can run that would be a good fit for your business
- Research the best channels to promote
- Contact Valpak to help set it all up