Contests through social media let you build an audience on the cheap!
Social media is a powerful tool for any size of business, and for smaller companies, it can mean the difference between paying the bills or closing the doors. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for example, offer your brand a chance to communicate directly with current and potential clients. There are so many benefits to Social Media, I could write a book, but I will just save those for upcoming posts. For now: Contests.
I am going to focus on a few business types as i discuss this topic, and if you find I haven't touched on your own, try typing in "contest ideas" beside your industry term in Google. You would be surprised how much may already be available for your consideration. If you still end up stuck, send us an email. When I have a moment, I will respond.
When it comes to promoting your business locally, nationally or globally, Facebook is a giant. With over 500 million active users, and over 600 million users using it's other company Instagram, virtually no other platform comes even close in voice.
Considering it is a (mostly)free service, this should be your first stop on the path to developing your customer base. A thriving Facebook presence will make it very difficult for you not to be busy processing sales. Very Worth Your Time.
Two quick things:
- You will need to create a Facebook page if you don't already have one for your company. If you need a guide, I advise you to click here and get started. That link will open in a new window, so you can return when ready.
- Never ever ever buy Facebook likes. Not from third party sites and not from Facebook. This would normally be a long rant, but I will hope you will just take my word for it and hold on to your money.
Launching Your Contest
Getting a successful contest rolling requires some planning and some careful consideration regarding execution. I am going to use a few scenarios to help explain the process, which I hope will shine a light on what you need to do for your own brand.
You're the owner of a new restaurant in your town, and you are looking to turn a lot more tables quickly. You know your atmosphere and food are good, and so you want to tell as many people as you can that they need to get out and try your food RIGHT NOW!
You have already launched your Facebook company page, added some pictures/info and even asked a few of your excited new customers to leave you a review. You decide to launch a contest to get people to engage with you, and after some contemplation you decide you will ask customers to create a dish for the restaurant. Since it's spring you decide to ask people to create a new menu item featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients for that month. The winner will win dinner for 4, and get to pick the name of the dish. You also mention that in order to qualify, the winner needs to have liked your company page.
The image you share with the post is simply a picture of fresh ingredients on a clean surface. The customer submitted meal idea with the most votes wins, you have them in for dinner, get pictures of the new meal to share on Facebook, and launch the next month's contest.
This serves a number of purposes. It gets people considering that your restaurant uses fresh ingredients, it gets them to like your page, and it gets other to engage with your page as well. In your local area, this will help your brand spread quickly.
You've been open for a few years, and competition has really grown locally. Your client base seems to be dwindling, and after letting one of your main staff go due to cost issues, you realize a large portion of your clientele have followed your ex-employee to their new place of business. Time to grow your audience.
You create a post on Facebook letting people know that if they like your page and share this post, they will be entered into a monthly draw for a spa day. This is an ideal prize because the cost is your time, and it's done at your convenience. Whenever one of your winners comes in, be sure to take photos to show on your Facebook timeline which will continue to encourage others. As long as your service is good, word will spread and your business will grow.
Facebook Promoted Posts
One very helpful aspect to running a Facebook page for your business is the ability to run a promoted post for $20-$40 dollars and have your post seen by thousand in your local area. Even a simple $20 "Boost" can really fire up your contest.
One Final Tip
As a rule, 80% of the content you post on your page should be useful things for your customers. 20% should be about you, the brand and your staff. Keep this balance and you should continue to see gains online and offline.