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Social Media Contests: What Works & What's Legal?


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Learn how to plan a strategy for your contests, three levels of engagement and costs, and how to create a positive experience for everyone with the proper rules and legal guidelines.

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Social Media Contests: What Works & What's Legal?

  1. 1. The contents of this document are the property of DGdesign LLC and shall not be copied or distributed without prior written consent from DGdesign.<br />© Copyright DGdesign LLC 2011. All rights reserved.<br />Check in and tweet that you’re here at #DFWSM #SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW.<br />Social Media Contests<br />What Works & What’s Legal?<br />By Danielle Glick<br />Social Media Director & Owner<br />DGdesign LLC, a Dallas Social Media Marketing Agency<br /><br />Connect with Danielle:<br /><br /><br /><br />Download this presentation at<br />Scan this with i-ngima app for full contact info.<br />
  2. 2. Topics<br />Contests as a Marketing Strategy<br />Three Levels of Engagement & Costs<br />Legal Info<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />
  3. 3. Contests as a Marketing Strategy<br />Plan for great results<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />
  4. 4. Strategy Schmategy!<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />Contests are so quick and easy to do online!<br />Signs of a drive-by marketing effort:<br /><ul><li>Tell us your favorite movie and win a T-shirt.”
  5. 5. “Sorry, you can’t win because you won less than 30 days ago.”
  6. 6. “Can you email me so I can send you your prize?”
  7. 7. “The fifth person to comment on this Facebook post wins a free dessert!”</li></li></ul><li>Have a Strategy!<br />A strategy might include:<br />Business Goals: ex. long-term engagement, short-term visibility/buzz, generate content, new customers, sales<br />Success Metrics: entries, votes, sales, shares, tweets, web site traffic, code redemptions, how did you hear about us?<br />Target Audience: what sites do they use, are they already engaged, what will they be willing to do, what prizes will they be willing to do that to get<br />Rules & Legal Terms: outsource to experts<br />Logistics: budget, set up, execution, monitoring and prize fulfillment<br />Awareness Plan: influencers, retailers, partnerships, marketing channels, events, non-profits<br />Think: You’ll get out the same effort you put in. If you invest very little time and money in the contest, your audience is likely to invest very little time in participating!<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />
  8. 8. What Makes a Good Contest?<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Intensely social features:
  9. 9. People like to play games with each other
  10. 10. People love to share the chance to win a cool prize with friends and family
  11. 11. Fun or easy entry methods: you will be amazed by the things people will do to enter a contest
  12. 12. Prizes your target audience actually wants</li></li></ul><li>Best Practices<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Voting contests:
  13. 13. Limit rounds to 10 entries for people to vote on, otherwise it takes too much time to judge
  14. 14. Incentivize the audience to vote
  15. 15. Make it easy for people to share their entries and votes
  16. 16. Email entrants template graphics, links and text to promote their entry on their own web sites/profiles
  17. 17. Incorporate Facebook/Twitter share buttons
  18. 18. Give your contest time: 1 week is rarely long enough for awareness to catch on
  19. 19. Offer relevant prizes to your business and target audience.
  20. 20. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
  21. 21. “Valuable” prizes don’t have to be expensive. A free kiss might get more entries than a $229 iPod.</li></li></ul><li>3 Levels of Engagement & Costs<br />Is your idea a good fit?<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />
  22. 22. Low Engagement<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Goal: message proliferation and awareness, not engagement
  23. 23. Audience Type: new or small social media audiences, and audiences that do not regularly post or tweet about your business
  24. 24. Logistics: use Twitter to publish, promote and collect entries
  25. 25. Awareness Plan: no real effort
  26. 26. Actions required to enter: 1 or 2 clicks, very quick
  27. 27. Cost: not much planning time or money needed</li></li></ul><li>Low Engagement Examples<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>“RT for a chance to win this prize”
  28. 28. Tweet why you want this prize
  29. 29. Whoever gets the most RTs wins it
  30. 30. Use a hashtag to track entries
  31. 31. “Reply to enter”
  32. 32. Any answer will create an entry
  33. 33. “The nth person to respond wins”
  34. 34. “First person to answer correctly wins”</li></li></ul><li>Moderate Engagement<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Goal: to provide relevant prizes that will further engage the target audience
  35. 35. Audience Type: a business that already has notoriety and an online following that occasionally responds to your posts
  36. 36. Logistics: may use more than one web site, for example Twitter and your .com site
  37. 37. Awareness Plan: may include a few options
  38. 38. Actions required to enter: 2–4, may require time for a photo
  39. 39. Cost: moderate amount of logistics planning time, but not much money</li></li></ul><li>Moderate Engagement Examples<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Content or event scavenger hunts or treasure hunts
  40. 40. Trivia questions: go to our web site and figure out the answer to this question then tweet us the answer
  41. 41. Look for an image on our site and tell us who’s hiding in it
  42. 42. Favorite photo contests
  43. 43. Survey questions
  44. 44. Multi-step riddles</li></ul>Example from HP Byron Nelson PGA:<br />
  45. 45. High Engagement<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Goal: widespread exposure and rich, long-term engagement
  46. 46. Audience Type: a large audience, including at least a few diehard fans, or an audience that immediately responds to your every post
  47. 47. Logistics: may use multiple web sites and the real world
  48. 48. Awareness Plan: everything you can think of
  49. 49. Actions required to enter: 4 or more, often requires notable time or effort to create the contest entry
  50. 50. Cost: takes considerable planning time, and thus costs more at least in man hours, does not have to cost much in execution or prizes</li></li></ul><li>High Engagement Examples<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>Online–real world activities:
  51. 51. Scavenger hunts: leave clues online of where to find things in your stores or city, find the winning QR code
  52. 52. Tweet a photo of yourself in our store
  53. 53. Use our product to create something, post a photo or video about it to enter
  54. 54. QR Code Golden Tickets (video)
  55. 55. Create a video
  56. 56. Doritos Super Bowl commercial
  57. 57. Tell us what you think: entrants have to write several sentences</li></li></ul><li>#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />Legal Info<br />Ensuring a positive experience<br />Disclaimer: legal information does not constitute legal advice.<br />
  58. 58. Legal Definitions<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>“Sweepstakes”: winner is selected by random chance
  59. 59. “Contest” or “Competition”: not random, the winner is determined on the basis of a skill</li></ul>Disclaimer: legal information does not constitute legal advice.<br />
  60. 60. Facebook Promotions Guidelines<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />In laymen’s terms<br /><ul><li>You have to run the contest solely within a custom Facebook App installed in a custom tab.
  61. 61. No contests on your Wall page
  62. 62. No contests in your Photos area
  63. 63. Do not use Facebook features/functionality for anything in your contest.
  64. 64. Registration must take place inside your app. You cannot register entrants when they click a Page or Post Like button or check in.
  65. 65. Entries must take place inside your app. No “upload a photo to our Wall to enter” or “5th person to comment on this post wins”.
  66. 66. Voting must take place inside your app. No “comment/Like this post/photo to win”.
  67. 67. You cannot notify winners through Facebook chat, messages, Wall posts, comments, friend requests, etc.
  68. 68. Facebook is not connected to your contest in any way: release from liability, they aren’t sponsoring your contest, and info you collect does not go to Facebook.
  69. 69. Read the complete terms at</li></ul>Disclaimer: legal information does not constitute legal advice.<br />
  70. 70. Twitter Terms of Service<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br /><ul><li>You can essentially run any contest you want on Twitter.
  71. 71. If you do something illegal it is entirely your problem.
  72. 72. Twitter is not liable for any content users post.
  73. 73. Twitter can do anything they want with the content users post, but users retain their rights to it, too.
  74. 74. They can delete content and accounts without notice.
  75. 75. They will not share personal information.
  76. 76. If Twitter is not available during your contest, they will not be liable for any damages.
  77. 77. Read the complete terms at</li></ul>Disclaimer: legal information does not constitute legal advice.<br />
  78. 78. General Legal Info<br /><ul><li>Who Can & Can’t Participate: age, geographic area
  79. 79. Timing: start and end date
  80. 80. How to Enter: detailed description
  81. 81. Drawings/Voting: when and how
  82. 82. Prizes: what specifically and its monetary value
  83. 83. Privacy Policy: what will we do with the info and content from everyone who enters
  84. 84. Publicity: we can use your name and photo/likeness (unless you're under 18)</li></ul>Contest Sponsor & Admin: who is it<br />General Conditions: we can cancel if it becomes a compromised contest<br />Release: from injury, death, any liability<br />Limitations of Liability<br />Disputes: how to submit, who pays fees and settlements<br />Winner's List: this must be published somewhere, how to get it<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />Most rules should cover these topics, and possibly more<br />Disclaimer: legal information does not constitute legal advice.<br />
  85. 85. Mitigating Risks<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />Publish your rules and link to them <br />For any contest on Twitter or another site where you can't post the rules on that site, create a rules page somewhere on your web site<br /><ul><li>For voting contests:
  86. 86. Let the public narrow the entry pool down to the final round
  87. 87. Don’t let the public vote for the final winners
  88. 88. Pre-appoint a celeb or expert to judge the final winners
  89. 89. Before you announce the finalists and winners, do a background check (jail? scandal?)
  90. 90. When in doubt, contact an expert:
  91. 91. ePrize, PrizeLogic and Tenthwave are companies that specialize in helping other companies develop rules and manage contests
  92. 92. Your lawyer</li></ul>Disclaimer: legal information does not constitute legal advice.<br />
  93. 93. Overview<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />Fun contests ahead!<br />
  94. 94. Steps to Start a Contest<br />Create a strategy<br />Determine what engagement level and prize will work for your target audience<br />Cover the logistics and legalities<br />Create the contest, building in measurements for success<br />Get started creating your own contest<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />
  95. 95. Take Action Today<br />Read the Terms of Service for the site(s) you will be using<br />Draft a Rules template for your legal terms<br />Talk to a web developer, if needed, about setting up a rules web page or a contest microsite<br />Or… just call a social media contest professional<br />Figure out what is possible<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />
  96. 96. Questions?<br />Tweet me @SocialMediaDFW<br />Download these slides<br />Get my full contact info on your phone<br />Now or later<br />Scan this with i-nigma<br />#SMContests by @SocialMediaDFW<br />