If you’re using social media, it’s likely you’ve come across a contest at some point. Did you participate, or just ignore it? While many social media contests are unappealing to fans, the companies that engage customers with successful contests will reap impressive benefits.
What’s in it for your company? Well, a few solid advantages. First, running contests allows you to reach the masses fast, due to the vast consumer presence on social media. Second, you can build a community by encouraging consumer interaction. Third, contests can be creative, innovative, interactive and easy. Finally, you can take advantage of crowd-sourcing, a powerful tool for generating a pool of free ideas from your customers.
As a guide to running a successful contest, check out these 10 steps to a successful contest, or this beginners guide to running a social media contest. And here are some additional tips. Be sure to plan your contest not only from start to finish, but beyond that. Consider sharing photos, prizes and winners on your page to engage consumers post-contest. You should also find a way to reward everyone, whether through a drawing with all entrants, or future discounts for those who sign up. Finally, be sure to collect emails from all participants. Take advantage of the long-term benefit of collecting data, and segment the data to help you better understand your customers in the future.
As an example, Jet Blue has a smart Facebook contest running right now called THINKUP – Make ideas fly. Contestants can submit their ideas for a “JetBlue tablet experience idea” in a number of specified categories. JetBlue picks their favorites, and users can vote every day for the winner. Contestants with the top five ideas win free flights for a year, and JetBlue acquires a wealth of ideas by their customers, an invaluable prize.
A successful social media contest is a win-win for both your customers and your company. While you reward customers for participation, you’re also engaging fans and generating valuable ideas to benefit your company in the long run. Consider implementing social media contests and take advantage of their powerful potential.