3 Tips for Effective Social Media ContestsAccording to Palmer, contests and giveaways are effective at bolstering social stats,like the number of followers. The problem is that these followers turn out to be lesslikely to engage with the page again. However, there are exceptions to this rule.Social contests can be highly effective, if they are done correctly, and under theright circumstances. Here are three tips on how to ensure that.1. Have a GoalAs is the case with nearly any marketing effort, social media contests must have aclearly defined goal in order to generate any value at all. Most marketers think theyknow their goal, and it usually follows the formula of, “I want to raise my followerson social by X amount.” Unfortunately, this approach is fundamentally wrong, andfew companies seem to know it.While it is nice to have a large number of followers on various social channels, itshould almost never be the end goal of a contest. Companies need to delve a layerdeeper. As Justin said, followers gained from contests alone are unlikely to havemuch interest in the business beyond the prize.So, what do you ultimately want out of your contests? In most cases the answer ismoney. That’s why you need to measure your actual ROI in terms of new leads orconversions from the contest. Other goals could include, conducting research, orrevealing a new consumer base. The point is to determine what you ultimately wantto achieve through your social efforts and measure the direct impact of the contest.Bullet Point Branding CEO, Bryan Fulton, had a lot of followers on social media, butneeded to find out more about his niche customers. In particular, he wantedinformation on potential leads in the cosmetic field. He offered a free lipstick pen tothe 500th follower of a contest. Based on the specific nature of the prize, he wasable to determine which clients were interested in the product. He had a clear goaland was ultimately able to meet it.
2. Develop a TargetHaving a defined target is just as important as your goal. Many social contests casta wide net hoping to draw in as many people as possible. This is counterproductivebecause it forces the business to cater to an audience that either only cares aboutthe prize or doesn’t really care at all. It is more effective to align a target audienceto a specific goal and market the contest to them.For Volusion — an ecommerce platform — most successful contests were the resultof the specific nature of Volusion’s targeting efforts. In this case, the audience was“mompreneurs.” Volusion knew that this was a growing ecommerce audience, andthat many of these women would appreciate sharing their stories. Part of thecontest involved having the women describe themselves and the reason theystarted their business. Many moms participated in the project just to tell theirstories, and one participant even described her entry as “therapeutic.” Because ofVolusion’s successful targeting strategy, they tapped into a rapidly growing market,and gained many faithful clients.3. Pick the Right PrizeMost contests feature a prize that can best be described as shiny. Think the latesttablet, vacations, or just good old-fashioned money. Marketers assume that a lot ofpeople will be drawn to this, and they are correct. The issue is those people justwant a shiny prize. In general, there are three types of prizes that companies offerin contests: third-party prizes, a product from the business running the contest, orintangibles.For more information visit: http://mashable.com/2012/04/13/tips-effective-social-media-contests/