Promoting Your Business With Social Media Contests

Promoting Your Business With Social Media Contests


Content Writer: Anne Karasarides Anne Karasarides Social Media Coordinator

Has your business been looking for new outlets to gain customer interest? Look no further!

While contests can be tricky to navigate and social media platforms have different contest requirements, holding these contests is a great way to grow interaction with your customers, improve social media engagement and so much more.

Keep reading for all the details and best practices for setting up a social media contest for your business!

The Steps

1. Establish your business goals

What has your business been looking to improve through social media? Is it your follower engagement on Instagram? What about growing customer leads through Facebook?

Whatever your obstacles might be, make them an aspect of the contest that you’re choosing to run. This way, your current or potential followers will have the incentive to take the action that is most beneficial to your business goals.

Having a grasp on the goals your business is looking to achieve, especially those involving social media, is an essential step in establishing the groundwork for your contest.

This episode of Marketing 101 breaks down all you need to know about setting up the perfect goals for your business. Check it out!

2. Orient contest requirements around your goals

Now that you have determined what your current social media goals are, your contest requirements must be strategized to meet them!

What does this mean exactly? Well, consider a business goal of gaining more followers on Twitter. To achieve this, the business could set up a contest that requires Twitter users to follow their page in order to be entered into the contest.

Or, take the goal of increasing engagement that we mentioned earlier as another example. In this case, the requirements for eligibility in the contest should be focused on users commenting on or liking a particular post.

In this step, you have established rules for social media users who are looking to partake in your contest, and you’ve strategized these rules to meet your business’s social media objectives!

3. Give the people what they want (and need)

As a local business, you probably have a good gauge on your customer base and what they enjoy purchasing from your brand.

Consider this when you are putting together prize packages for your contest.

You can create a reward with some of your most popular products or free offers for some of your most-loved services, just to name a few.

By putting together rewards that include your most popular products and services, you are showing customers that you want to provide them with the best you have to offer. Not only that, but you are also opening the door to new potential customers.

But don’t stop there! Your contest offers should also work to enhance customer loyalty by improving or helping their lives.

Whether you’re a restaurant offering a free dinner for two or a roofing company raffling off a TV to encourage customers to stay home, these are all efforts to provide value for your customers and complement your products or services.

4. Understand contest rules

While putting together a social media contest may seem like a simple process, there are a lot of rules and regulations to take into consideration, and they differ between platforms.

As contests tend to be discouraged by platforms, they are still allowed with stipulations. Without following the proper measures, it is easy for social media platforms to flag contests, making them less accessible to users.

RevLocal Digital Content Manager Tiffany Ware finds that “transparency and ease of entry are key” in navigating these obstacles.

Follow these links to read up on the contest guidelines for the top social media platforms:

These guidelines will help you understand processes to follow, actions to look out for in contest applicants and more.

To remain reputable to social media platforms and respected amongst customers, you must stay informed on and follow these rules and regulations.

PLEASE NOTE - In addition, laws governing social media contests vary by industry and according to the design of your contest. To ensure that your contest meets the legal requirements regarding contest rules, consumer data and any registration and regulatory approval requirements, we advise you to have your plans reviewed by legal counsel or a social media contest design consultant.

5. Promote and engage

No one can be a part of your contest if they don’t know about it! Remember to keep your followers and other social media users excited and in-the-know on your contest.

To get the word out, consider running ads that include essential information on your current or upcoming contest. Make sure it is eye-catching and straightforward.

Keep in mind that this contest promotion is a chance to introduce social media users to your business. Your advertisement or contest promotion should be representative of your brand, whether it’s through visuals or content for example; let them know what kind of business they are supporting.

Also, remind people who have entered your contest or seen your ads to share them! Here is your opportunity to grow engagement and an audience without the added price ticket or content creation.

If you choose to have your audience share your post as part of the contest rules, please note they must adjust their social media privacy settings to public in order to be seen and entered into the contest. 

To learn more about advertising opportunities for your local business, click here.

6. Analyze your results

So, you’ve run your contest, and it was a success! But how can you make it better from here?

Look to the future of contests for your business!

Analyze the information you gathered on entries, engagement, advertisements and more to determine which strategies were effective and which fell flat.

Digital marketing gives businesses the advantage of collecting data in a way that we have never seen before, so make sure to utilize it by keeping a watchful eye on patterns, outliers and other key results.

By recognizing and strategizing around these results, future contests will go off without a hitch, and you will be meeting new social media goals in no time!

Final Thoughts

While it may sound easy to offer your customers fun and interactive contests through social media, there are complexities to planning and running them effectively.

Follow the steps we’ve outlined for your business in this blog, and you are on the way to overcoming the many social media contest hurdles that countless businesses can’t overcome.

Check out the social media blogs linked below to learn about other strategies that can help your social media presences flourish:


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