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How to run a successful competition on social media

Getting people engaging on your social media posts can be tough and you may be feeling like you’re having to reinvent the wheel every time just to stand out. 

Although getting creative is good, there are certain types of content that just do well, all the time. One of our favourites is competitions! 

I mean, who doesn’t like the chance to win something free? 

But competitions can be complex and you can run into some sticky situations if you don’t set it up correctly. To help you out we’ve put together a quick checklist:

1. Why you should run a competition

2. How to run this competition successfully

Why you should run a competition

Because everyone loves free stuff! It’s not all that surprising that you get tonnes of engagement on a post when you’re giving something away. 

You may have spent time perfecting a post, only to receive just a handful of likes, comments and/or shares. But all of a sudden, when you run a competition or giveaway, everyone comes out of the woodwork! It’s a bit like how your pet seems to love you that little bit extra when you have the food container in your hand.

Bringing people back

If your social media marketing has been quiet for a while, running a competition/giveaway is a great way to bring people back to your pages, and to get them engaged. 

The prize doesn’t have to be worth heaps of money – it could be something like a couple of vouchers for a restaurant, movie tickets, or gift cards. Something relevant to your business is obviously a good idea, as it reminds people of what you offer and what you’re about. 

You could even collaborate with another local business to team up for a bigger giveaway. This could mean a larger audience to target, fantastic visibility and potential for more long-term engagement. 

How to run a competition a competition successfully

1. Don’t overdo it

If you run a competition or giveaway and see lots of likes, comments and shares coming in, it might seem like the easy option to revert back to this tactic for engagement. This raises the question of “how often?”. 

This decision depends on who you are as a business. For some, running a competition or giveaway every week makes sense, while for others, bi-monthly, monthly, or even every other month is more suitable. 

Regardless of when/how often you do this, it’s important to schedule it so you have time to organise how you’ll write the post, the design you may use, and organisation of the prize. As you run more competitions/giveaways, you’ll be able to evaluate what language and means of promotion works best for your business and target audience(s). 

2.Things to watch out for

It’s also important to write competition terms and conditions. When writing them, try to be concise, but make sure you cover all bases. This is important, so everyone who enters knows the rules from the get-go. 

Lastly, for those of you who have heard of ‘compers’, you’ll know what we’re talking about when we say watch out for them! 

Compers are people who take every chance they can get to enter every competition. Sure, they have the right to do this, but there’s fair, and then there’s not giving anyone else a chance! Make sure you keep an eye out for these people and take any required action to give others a fair chance to win. 

3.Clever competition ideas

Competitions can be most successful when people get invested through being creative. Some examples could be getting people to share their favourite recipe to go in the draw to win a recipe book, or to tag someone in the comments explaining why they’d deserve to win a meal for two at a new restaurant. 

Creating a hashtag for your competition is also a great way to measure engagement – try to use something really unique to your business, as generic hashtags such as “dinner” or “cooking” may result in unintentional entries. 

Another little tip for creating hype around your competition is to create a countdown timer. This brings a sense of urgency, with people wanting to enter quickly so they don’t miss out. 

To conclude

There are many great ways you can run competitions/giveaways, and many great results that can arise from them. However, they’re not a sustainable means of engagement, as you can’t always be giving, giving, and giving. 

That’s why it’s important to best learn how to pitch your competition/giveaway, cushioned among other great content.

We have tonnes of tricks up our sleeves to help you out, So give us a bell!

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Let's make some cool sh*t