In 2007, Facebook and Twitter did ground work for the social media competition by introducing features such as fan pages and hashtags respectively. However, contests by brands do not really take off as long as platforms that support visual content, such as Pinterest and Instagram, gave users the opportunity to create more compelling content.
Since its inception, social media competition has proved meaningful for brands as a means of facilitating user generated content (UGC). There are various approaches and advantages that brands should be aware of.
Social media contests
Part of the appeal of engaging users with competitions is the freedom they allow to both brands and participants. Brands have a variety of options when it comes to the type of competition they want to run, but it is important to consider which one is best to engage their target audience and manage it Resources will be required.
Companies looking for an approach requiring very little time and effort may prefer a raffle or sweepstakes, as the winner is chosen at random. The entry barrier for sweepstakes is low, as users are asked to do very little, but do not enjoy the benefits of brand-new construction. Similarly, “Like to Win” and Vote Contest ask very few users, encouraging the promotion of a product or service.
Photo and video contests give users the opportunity.
Photo and video contests give users the opportunity to be more creative, but it can take longer to choose a winner – unless users are also charged with who wins during the turnout. Captions and essay contests are additional ways to get useful feedback from customers.
A real-life example is the container store creating the hashtag #containyourselfcontest so that customers can show the organization’s own tricks using container store products. As a prize, the company gave the store two $ 500 gift cards. Hashtags are particularly useful in that they organize all entries in one place for everyone to see.
Eggo also wanted to see how customers use their product, so they hosted a recipe contest – all entries had to include Eggo waffles – and let their followers vote on the best recipe. The winner was gifted $ 5,000.
There are very good reasons to take advantage of UGC and social media competitions in particular. While not an unbreakable list, the benefits are generous.
Increased User Engagement
Perhaps the biggest advantage, social media competitions are great for increasing user engagement. This is true for several reasons.
First, by leveraging social media, brands can most easily reach young people (Millennials and Gen Z). Secondly, regardless of participant age, the competition gets people excited. They give users the opportunity to be creative or express their opinions, not to mention a chance to win a prize. In the end, enthusiasm is contagious. A well run competition is a better chance to reach more people as any contestant can easily inspire their own followers to join it. This sense of community, as well as the rule of reciprocity, can also help strengthen the bond between the brand and the customer.
Followers gave the brand a great opportunity to convert followers into customers; And they can encourage conversion by providing some incentives. Incentives can be more passive – say, by providing access to gated content – or brands can more actively grow their mailing list by requiring an email address to enter the competition.
Believe it or not, social media competition can improve search engine ranking and domain authority. This is because Google’s Panda algorithm favors fresh content. What’s more, social media platform algorithms favor personalized content over ad content. For example, Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes “meaningful interactions” and prioritizes the user over Twitter’s timeliness.
It is worth noting that, although the advantages outweigh any disadvantages, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind when running a social media competition.
Lack of inclusion
This strategy works when reaching certain age groups and demographics, but companies risk excluding any customers who do not use social media. Brands that want to cast the widest possible net should host the competition on the company’s website.
Likewise, companies are at risk of low participation if the entry barrier to the competition is too high, meaning the user is being asked too much. Customers will be less likely to participate if eligibility is too complex.
Competitions cannot drag on forever (nor do they), and companies should not expect customers or followers to be permanent. There is always the possibility that some new customers and followers will close after the competition ends.