Running contests and sweepstakes on your brand’s social media is a great way to interact with your customers, promote your products, associate your brand with a cause, elevate your brand identity, and, of course, grow your social media audience

Any social media contest should always be defined by the 5 Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance! We’ve put together a strategic direction we steer our clients to ensure their proper planning leads to the best performance possible.

Here are our top 10 tips to run a better social media contest for your CPG brand: 

1. Have a Clear Objective

A clear objective helps steer the direction of your social media marketing strategy. When it comes to contest marketing, you have to be specific – pick one thing and do it well. 

Is your goal to drive traffic to your website or boost customer engagement? Are you trying to gain traction with a new item, or do you want to encourage user-generated content on existing items? 

Whether it’s product promotion or brand loyalty, you have to define the purpose of the contest so that you can structure it properly. 

2. Define Your Target Audience

Next, find the buyer persona that best matches your goal. Not everyone is going to be drawn to your social media contest, so clarify who you want to speak to. 

Once you pinpoint the demographics of an ideal market you’re hoping to reach, it’s easier to craft your contest marketing strategy. 

3. Stay on Brand

One of the most important social media contest tips we can offer is to stay on brand. 

Sure, everyone loves getting cool swag, but don’t just give away an iPad if it doesn’t connect to your brand. Now you’re just another brand at the event with an iPad giveaway…

Instead, if your brand offers a line of barbecue sauces, consider a social media contest to win a new grill. If you’re a frozen pizza brand – give away a wood oven. This type of promotion is on brand because it emphasizes your existing product line and what your company has to offer. 

4. Keep it Legal!

It is important to keep all of your social media contests legal. Understand the official rules a social media contest must follow and outline some clear, concise rules to govern your contest and protect your brand – this is a contract between you and the customer, and you’re both bound by them! 

This is where partnering with a contest marketing agency guards your investment because they have expertise in creating rules to protect your brand. 

5. Set a Budget

The saying ‘If you build it, they will come’ may apply to some aspects of business, but not to a social media contest.

Set yourself up for success with a promotional budget that allows you to market the contest to your followers on a wide variety of platforms. 

6. Include a Clear Call to Action

When you promote your social media contest, be sure to include a clear call to action. 

Explain the specific steps you want the user to take to participate – don’t bury the lede. Your followers want to know exactly what’s in it for them, so make it clear and concise so they’re convinced to enter your contest. 

Learn more about the benefits of contesting and sweepstakes

7. Emphasize Graphic Design

Since your contest is taking place on social media, make it look good. Too many brands fail to emphasize the look and feel of the contest by trying to do it without the help of a graphic designer. 

Trust us when we say – your customers can tell – so be sure to put some effort into the images you’re displaying. You’re opening yourself up to a wider audience, don’t miss the chance to wow them.

8. Cross-Pollinate Your Posts

Are you limiting your brand to one social media platform? According to Statista, the average person has over 8 social media accounts. Take advantage of this! 

Your target audience may not see the message if you only post on one platform, so cross-promote across all of your social media platforms and direct them back to the main post. 

9. Manage the Contest Effectively

Managing an efficient, effective contest is just as important as setting it up properly. 

Engage with users and answer their questions along the way. Be sure to offer help to anyone that is stuck at some point in the journey so that they can successfully enter and participate in your contest. 

10. Establish a Wrap-Up Process

Finally, don’t forget to establish a rapid process that doesn’t leave any of your followers hanging. Announce the winners and thank everyone for entering – use this as an opportunity to provide a conclusion for the story that you’ve shared. 

Internally, this process should include a post-mortem where you discuss what worked and what could be improved for next time. 

Take the First Step in Social Media Contesting

Partner with a contest marketing agency like Cliffedge Marketing to get the most out of your social media contest investment. 

Our contest marketing specialists have extensive experience with retail & shopper marketing, and we offer a variety of ways to partner – from ideation to strategy to execution, we’ll make each promotion count so you can keep your focus on running your business. 

Contact us today for a free consultation on your next brand contest!
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