Consider your objectives
Who are you trying to get to enter your contest and what is the objective? Is your goal # of entries or is it awareness about a certain product/service? Establish KPIs from the get-go so you know why you’re running a contest.
Know your contest’s channel – channel: singular!
There’s no point creating awareness about a Twitter contest through a promoted Facebook post. Target your message to the appropriate channel and ensure the contest message feels native and authentic to your channel.
It’s also easier to run a contest on a single channel, from an entry collection process to general participation. Don’t dilute it by including more than one social channel. It you’re running a hashtag contest on Twitter, don’t also include a Pinterest entry mechanism. Determine the optimal place for participation (comment, UGC photo) and select your channel wisely.
Contest, or Surprise & Delight
Are you sure you understand the difference? Contests require rules and regs, legal buy in, a contest period and third party selection of winners.
Surprise and Delight is a nice way to award fans who participate with a prize, without them having known what’s in it for them. It’s a great brand strategy.
Start by creating a social media post on the topic of your would-be contest. Say you’re giving away 2 movie passes. Create a post that asks your audience to share their ultimate movie date night. Then randomly (or deliberately) select participants from comments or tweets to receive the prize.
Invest and target wisely
Once you have your creative and your strategy, determine your contest spend using the channel’s best practices. Develop multiple contest tweets targeted to different groups to optimize reach. Use Facebook ads to target and utilize your budget over the course of a lifetime to better optimize spend.
Bonus: don’t forget to engage with all entrants with a like, favourite or reply! A little goes a long way
For more tips you can follow Melanie on Twitter at MelanieReiff.