If you ever wonder where you can learn more about giveaways and contests, wonder no more. You have reached the top five tips to run a successful contest.
I wrote this with bloggers in mind because I am a blogger, but most of these apply to any kind of contest and giveaway for Social Media.
It doesn’t matter if you sell a product or service or you just want more visitors to your blog, or business, a giveaway is a terrific promotional channel.
You just have to get a little creative on how you present it and what the prizes are. From practical and technical tips, to philosophy and ethics and even marketing advice, this list can make you an expert at contests and giveaways.
I found each article to be one of the best out there so if you like a particular tip, I recommend you go and read the article by the author to get an in-depth perspective.
Top five Tips to Run a Successful Social Media, Facebook or Blogging Contest. By top experts from around the world
01 Chose a GOOD 3rd party app to run your contest
The app should be flexible, The price should be right. The app should be embeddable or have “Anywhere” capabilities. The app must have mobile capabilities.
by Jim Belosic on Social Media Examiner on the article titled: 9 Tips for Running Successful Facebook Contests.
My take: This is excellent advice, some basic things to check for when selecting the right tool for you. No matter what tool you go with, make sure those requirements are met As you might have seen before, I use Rafflecopter. It just so happens that Rafflecopter meets and exceeds these expectations.
02 Leverage the traffic that your giveaway or contest generates
The contest shouldn’t be an island unto itself; it has to be well-integrated into your entire package.
by Ben Yoskovitz from instigator blog on the article titled: 5 Steps to Running a Contest Successfully.
My take: Absolutely sound advice and I insist on it. Don’t run a contest unless your blog is ready to receive the spillover traffic. And the whole goal of running a giveaway is to generate attention to the other parts of your site so make sure your ads are working, your blogposts are easy to find, your message is clear and all those details. A few things to consider when trying to maximize the traffic your contest will generate:
- Make sure social media shares are active and working
- Make sure email subscriptions are working and delivering auto-responders
- Make sure your advertisements are current
- Be available to respond quickly
03 Keep the number of entry options low
Based on the results, they recommend offering between 3-6 entry options. The bottom line is to keep it simple – if you present too many choices, some people will not bother entering at all.
by Belle from Belle Communications on the article titled: How to Run a Rafflecopter Giveaway
My take: See, I’m not the only one that loves Rafflecopter. This is my takeaway on this tip: KISS or Keep It Simple, Stupid. A motto to live by. This is a prevalent tip and I suggest you study it. The worse part about putting this to practice is that when we are close to the project, it is hard to keep it simple.
Maybe a good way to really keep it simple is to run your contest by someone else before you publish it just to get a 3rd party point of view on the prize and the time and effort you are asking in exchange for a chance to win the prize.
04 Establish your baseline parameters and goals in advance
Identifying your goals or key performance indicators (KPIs) upfront is absolutely imperative to outlining the best possible and most effective giveaway.
by Jacek Blaut on Growth Hacking Pro on the article titled: 12 Proven Steps to Successful Giveaway Campaigns
My Take: It is definitely important to establish KPIs but be careful not to get wrapped up in too much planning, red tape. You could end up going down some deep rabbit holes and end up wasting valuable time. Remember KISS!
05 Cover your Butt & Keep Records
Keep meticulous records and screenshots and hold on to them in case anything happens later on.
by Erin Walsh on FeedFront Magazine on the article titled: 10 Steps to Successful Sweepstakes Campaigns
My Take: Absolutely, keep activity log and screenshots when possible to make sure you have a trail of what happened. This way you keep your nose clean and you can always show that to be the case.
Bonus tips and advice
Use a hashtag
Most of the advice out there recommend using a hashtag when requestig that your contest is shared in social media. I would agree with this. Hashtags work on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and many more networks and they’re a great way for people to discover new content so use them!
Check out these tools for hashtag management and discovery:
Promote your campaign
The very first contest I ran sucked, I gave away one book and nobody cared for it. I thought “who wouldn’t want the book?” But it turns out nobody really knew about the contest. You must promote it like you would promote anything else online.
Twitter hashtags are a great way to promote your business. Using them as part of a contest allows you, and your Twitter followers, to get much more creative with how the contest is run. The sky is the limit, as long as the hashtag appears in the tweet.
These tools can help with social media management and promotion:
Other Tips and Tricks that were in many posts
- Engage with the participants via their social media channels.
- Promote before, during and after the sweepstakes.
- Keep them simple, keep them short, keep them sweet.
- Follow up via email.
- Follow up via regular mail.
What are other things that I should add when I update the list? – Let me know in the comments.