Social Media Contests in 2018: Do They Still Work?

Social Media Contests in 2018: Do They Still Work?

For years now, brands have utilized social media contests to excite and engage their clients.

In 2007 Twitter delivered the hashtag–the perfect vehicle for social sharing.

In 2009 Facebook brought us “Promotions” and “Fans”–ideal for companies who wanted to expand their reach with customers.

In 2015 Facebook started to roll out its “Facebook Live” feature–great for a visual-focused contest audience.

Yet, as social media continues to evolve, the question becomes, are social media contests still a winning strategy?

In the past, contests were a fast and insightful means to gain the attention of your consults in a saturated market, appealing to their desire to take something for nothing. Only the nature of the customer in 2017 has changed. This means your contests need to change as well.

Why Use Social Media Contests Anyway?

Before we start exploring what brands will need to exercise to maintain their social campaigns relevant in the year before, it’s worth attending at why contests can be so beneficial to your stain.

While it’s true that the age of the empowered customer has created more focused, cautious and “savvy” consumers, it’s also true these online enthusiasts still look for stronger relationships with the brands. What better way to optimize the connections you have with your audience than through a platform designed for social interaction?

Non only does social media help businesses to tie with the Millennials, Gen X and emerging Gen Z customers that own the marketplace, but contests can help hurry up your ability to build relationships by cutting into the principle of reciprocation. In other words, if you give today’s customer something they feel like they should grant you something in retort.

Social media contests can:

Boost Online Engagement: In an age where customer looks for deeper connections, contests inspire your audience to make the first move, reach out and interact with your brand.

Make your Email List: Social media contests can also be an excellent pattern of lead generation in a time where most clients are sick of old-fashioned advertising strategies. If you win over your follower that they’re receiving a reward for feeding you their email address, they’re much more likely to follow.

Inspire virality: Customers are obsessed with experience (particularly Millennials). If your contest is fun and exciting, they’ll want to divvy up that experience with their allies, improving your chances of going viral.

The simple answer to whether social media contests still work for 2018–yes, but only if you use them carefully. Let’s look at how you can adapt, enhance and turbo-charge your social contests for a new age of societal experience.

The simple answer to whether social media contests still work for 2018–yes, but only if you use them carefully. Let’s look at how you can adapt, enhance and turbo-charge your social contests for a new age of social experience.

Step 1: Understand Your Audience

No matter what changes in the world of social media, one rule will always remain the same. If you want to achieve your goals, then you need to know your audience.

Today’s most-socially active customers are more complex than the generations that came before them. For example, Millennials prefer vacations and music festivals to houses and cars and feel a stronger affinity with companies who pay something back to the residential district.

Remember that your contests should cater to your customers, not just potential entrants so keep everything you do as relevant as possible. For instance, add labels when you’re addressing your target audience. Tech companies might call out for marketers, while clothing companies appeal to “Fashionistas.”

Once both you and your audience know exactly who you’re speaking to, you can keep them engaged by tying your promotion to events and trends that matter to your target market. For instance, if you want to engage local game enthusiasts, you could tie your event in with tickets to an upcoming convention.

Step 2: Experiment With Different Platforms

Understanding your audience should help you to figure out where they spend most of their time. This is something that’s been reliable ever since social media contests first began. Even so, what’s changed in the market place, is the fact that there are today many new platforms available to experiment with.

Snapchat now has more than 300 million active users each month. What’s more, around 173 million of those people are active on the platform every day. In other words, your visually-focused customers could be some of the most engaged leads you have. The key to getting the most of these newer platforms isn’t just for sharing photos regularly and updating your campaigns.

If you truly want to breathe in your audience, then you plunge deep into what’s possible. For instance, in 2017, Taco Bell shattered a SnapChat record with its taco-head filter.

While the contest only cost Taco Bell around $750,000 to set up, it gave them 224 million views within a single day. If Taco Bell had transformed their use of Snapchat into a contest where users shared their filter pictures online, the results could have been phenomenal. Just like when Coca-Cola used Music.ly to invite their followers to share music videos inspired by their brand in a hugely successful contest.

Step 3: Know What Type of Contest to Run

Once you know who’s your audience and what platform you’ll use, you can start thinking about the type of contest to run for your modern customers. While today’s social advocates don’t exactly come in a one-size-fits-all box, they can often fit into a rung on the Technographic ladder:66+

If you know whether your average customer is more of a “creator” or a “spectator,” then you should experience an easier time choosing from the following campaign ideas:

Video-based campaigns: A new revolution in social video sparked in 2017, which we believe we’ll simply remain to be prominent in social media contests of 2018. Now that things like “Facebook Live” are more popular than ever, it makes sense to engage your customers with an active, visual and experience-based safari.

Comment Giveaway campaigns: While comment campaigns aren’t just new ideas for 2018, they are still a dependable way to get in touch with the masses at the rear of the Technographic ladder who don’t want to do much to acquire involved with your trade name. If a comment looks like too much, you could simply require someone to present their response to a poll using one of the newer Facebook Reaction.

Fan Content campaigns: As noted above, today’s customers like to acquire involved with their favored brands. Then why not invite your audience to share their own content and be a voice of the experience? Require them to create films, videos or live streams that respond to your brand.

Social cause campaigns: Social movements are incredibly efficient at improving customer engagement. This might be because millennials are more involved with philanthropy than many of the generations that came before them. If you can connect your contest with a charitable experience, you could significantly improve interaction.

Step 4: Rethink Your Prizes

When it comes to holding successful social media contests your customers are literally “in it to win it.” In other words, the prize that you’re offering needs to be something that appeals to the people you want to connect with. If the outcome of your contests isn’t appealing enough then there’s nothing to motivate your followers to get involved.

As we move ahead into 2018, it will become even harder to tap into effective social media engagement. So it’s worth keeping in mind that your target audience might not be looking for the same old prizes from their social media contests.

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Today, owning a product is easy, which is why millennials are looking for value elsewhere. Younger customers, and the masses who spend most of their time responding to brands on social media are exploring for ways to relate with people through experience. In fact, 72% of Millennials prefer to expend more money on experiential-related purchases.

With that in mind, you might want to re-think the tangible prizes that were so compelling in the past. Free iPads and gift cards no longer have the appeal they once had. Instead, you’ll need to think about how you can demonstrate your brand personality, appeal to your audience and generate even more social sharing power through experiences.

Remember, not only does something like tickets to a festival or a chance to go parasailing give your demographic groups a more appealing prize, it also increases the chances that they’ll share that experience on social media and link back to you. Your prize in 2018 could be a way to expand your social visibility even further.