I’ve been a part of and watched the growth of various contests being done over social media. In most cases, when companies try to run a campaign without thinking about what goes around the campaign it doesn’t perform very well. The approach I like to take is to create an integrated campaign to ensure the maximum results of your campaign.
The contest app – The contest app is obviously something that plays a part in this. You want to make sure that you create an app with a low barrier of entry. While I know companies want to extract as much information out of people when doing contests, you need to temper that and strategically ask for information. If you keep the barrier of entry low, the application simple to use, and the user experience your top priority, you will have a solid contest app.
The editorial calendar – Around the application you should plan content to compliment the contest and not just a link to the app. Content can be around the prize, additional small giveaways, additional information, fun facts, etc. Keeping an editorial calendar around the contest combined with your regular editorial calendar will keep a consistent flow of people entering and sharing.
Social amplification- I’ve seen some contests on Facebook where there is no call to action to share the contest once the entry is completed. That is a massive mistake. Throughout the steps of the contest you need to ask yourself, “where can people share their experience with their friends?”
Social amplification doesn’t just end with enabling the ability to share. You need to leverage your social media network to get the word out about the contest, this ties back into your editorial calendar and creating content unique for these specific networks.
Additionally look beyond your networks. You should work with bloggers that you have previous relationships with, brand partners, and other outlets to get the word about your contest out.
Ad spend- I like to use an ad spend to compliment the organic word of mouth a campaign will get. In the past I have used ad spends to give the contest a lift when it slows down after the initial burst of entrants. Depending on your available budget you can use an ad spend to be a consistent flow into the contest, help the initial burst of entrants, or use it to goose interest when things slow down.