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Internet Marketing Strategy: Social Media Based Contests

Updated on October 9, 2011

The success of your internet marketing strategy solely depends on how effectively you are being able to engage online customers. If there’s one thing marketers are recognizing these days, it’s the importance of interactive and engaging campaigns, thanks to the growing popularity and relative ease of execution of social media promotions.

Today’s successful marketers not only rely on Facebook or Twitter in the traditional way to capture their audience, many of them many are going one step further with social media-based contests that really get customers excited. Whether it’s a challenge to create an excellent Facebook App or a fascinating t-shirt design, these social network challenges invite users to visit a brand’s Facebook page or Twitter account to take part. In this way it’s possible to increase the customer base of your online business because contests result in increased engagement as well as viral message-spreading when users share their own contest submissions or other submissions they like with their online friends.

So if you’re thinking of running a contest or sweepstakes entries, carefully follow the step-by-step process discussed below:

Objectives: You should have a crystal clear and well defined objective to accomplish from running social media based contests. Do you want to generate leads or Facebook Likes, engage or activate your existing user base or reach a new audience?

Budget: Although it’s a fact that social media contests can be run on relatively low costs, your budget is the only determining factor in selecting the type of promotion for your business.

Creativity: Creating your contest can be a lot of fun and sky is the limit to select the type of contest depending on your budget. A video contest can be very effective to invite users for creating commercials for your product or service, or a photo contest related to your business can excite your existing customers to spread your message virally to attract new customers.

Evaluation: Launching a contest wasn't just for fun; it was to achieve a specific marketing goal. After the contest is over, you should evaluate the impact the contest had on your business. You can use your social media tracking tools to measure the success metrics like click-through to your site, conversion, and bottom-line sales.

Consumer Engagement Pyramid

Analyzing this model helps you to assess where you should be on the consumer engagement pyramid. The base of the pyramid consists of contestants suitable for sweepstakes entries. Running sweepstakes entries can generate Facebook Likes for your business or website! At the top of the pyramid you’ll find content creators as contestants. As an advanced marketer your goal should be to engage more and more user-generated content creators who would be excited to participate in video, photography or text writing contests for your business or website.

For those looking to run a promotional contest on Facebook, it’s important to be familiar with Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines.


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