How to have contests that actually get value to your brand's social media presence?


"Win big by sharing a selfie with us!"

An all-too-common sentence, right? Contests like these are not only common on the internet, but also on the radio, and on TV too. A number of brands are calling it "cross marketing". Either the in-house team is lazy, or the agency is engaging hundreds of paid contest players, because believe me, this is not going to get you any value, no matter what!

Contests can be a real boon to a brand, if executed properly. If they are poorly executed, they will just end up attracting professional contest players, and never serve any purpose to your brand.

Here are some tips to make contests work for your brand:

  1. Give people a chance to rack their brains and be creative!

A 25-something is sitting in the office and has some free time on hand. What would he do? Scroll through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram most likely. He sees tens of brands asking him to share his "Best Friend Selfie" or "Holiday Photograph”, which 500 professional contest players desperate to win the contest have already done, very likely. Do you think he will enter the contest? No, right?

So, do not create contests to simply attract people who do it all the time. Give value to people, give them a chance to think and be creative.

For example, if you ask questions such as "What do you like calling your best friend?" or "Who's that one person in your friend circle that keeps cribbing? Tag them." or "If gulab jamun and rasgulla were cricket teams, who would you support?"

  1. If it is on Twitter, choose hashtags that are usable and fun to complete

Brands usually use hashtags like "DashkartContest". These will attract only those who scour the internet for contests all this time. If you want real people to take interest, use interesting hashtags which go beyond the contest. Hashtags that people would want to use even after the contest has ended. We once did a contest for Lenskart called #GandhiJiKaChashma and another time, for cbazaar, called #MomKiDaant. These not only trended on Twitter, but also got heavy appreciation from all over the world. Be creative, not deadbeat!

  1. Get people to tag their friends out of interest, not for spamming

We did the contest #AWomanCan for Zivame, asked the audience to tag women who inspire them. Most people tagged celebrities and women of importance. Through this, our contests saw celebrity involvement, because all the tagged celebs began sending out tweets with our hashtags, and tagging the brand. Celebrity involvement thus happened for free!

The takeaway is to have people tag their friends and other people on Twitter and Facebook, but you’ve got to achieve this by having a great creative angle.

  1. Involve influencers and bloggers, but ensure quality first

Influencers and bloggers play a role in initiating the process, and help your brand find its footing with the audience organically. But as I mentioned, do not rely on them to drive your contest. You need to take their help to initiate the fire, but the focus should be on getting organic users; your friends, people that matter!

A successful contest is not just about iPads and iPhones. If you give people the chance to have fun and be creative, they will engage with your brand no matter what the reward is!

About the author:

Garima Juneja is the co founder of a digital marketing agency based out of Delhi/NCR. Her first love is content marketing and social media! She can be found rambling at @busiestvehli on Twitter

(image credit: Shutter Stock)


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