Facebook and other social media contests can be great ways to engage your followers and grow your fan base. A good social media contest will not only keep your fans interested, it will encourage shares to generate more fans; moreover, it can help your fans feel as though they’re members of a special community and, of course, even reward a few fans for their loyalty. If you want to leverage that kind of power, consider the following five social media contests to launch this year.
1. Naming contest
Do you have a new product, service or mascot that needs a name? Challenge your fans to come up with an exciting and interesting name, then reward the winner. Naming contests are quick and easy to respond to, and can generate tons of user comments for your social media pages.
2. Sports score contest
This is a fun, interactive contest that will keep fans on their toes. Offer a freebie or discount to the first person who posts the score of a big local scoring contest on your social media page. Here’s a real-world example: when the Detroit Tigers went to the World Series, one of my Detroit-based clients offered a free pizza to the first person who posted the correct game score on their Facebook page after each home run.
3. Scavenger hunt contest
This is one of my personal favorites. Hide envelopes with (unactivated) gift cards near well-known public landmarks, then snap photo “clues” to their location. Post the clues on your page, then tell fans whoever finds the gift card first can call in to have it activated. Post photos of the winners on your pages. One of my restaurant clients ran this promotion with $50 gift cards and had an outstanding response – even those who didn’t find the gift cards first posted thank-you’s on their Facebook page for giving their family a reason to get out and explore their local community.
4. Unique photo or caption contest
Photos generate better interest on Facebook than plain text, so challenge your customers to post unique photos (or even unique captions to your photos), then vote to see which photo wins. Come up with a unique way to tie the contest to your business, and make it fun and interesting so others want to see your albums. A hairstylist, for example, might offer a free styling session to the person who is in most need of a makeover, as voted by fans.
5. Video contest
Videos are also big winners on social media, and the introduction of auto-play on Facebook promises to make videos even bigger. Challenge fans to submit unique and interesting videos within your given theme to win a prize. One of my clients, a small nonprofit, wanted to get local schools involved in a campaign to save a local lake from pollution. They launched a video contest that challenged teams of students to submit funny public service announcement videos to “save the hoedage,” a fictional Loch Ness Monster-type creature that supposedly lives in the lake.
The kids had a great time making their videos, and they shared them with hundreds of parents and other students, who then voted on the winners. The nonprofit gave scholarships to four winning groups, and earned tons of local exposure for their cause.
What’s your favorite type of social media contest?
Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint