Enter to Win: How to Host a Social Media Contest

If you’re looking to drive engagement and participation for your camp or business, one tried-and-true method is to offer contests or sweepstakes through social media. Contests create buzz about events,  encourage people to visit your website, and add an element of fun that strengthens relationships with your participants. Enter to win.croppedContests can be a true “win-win” for you and your participants. They can be easy and inexpensive to offer, but you need to make sure your contest is legal and effective. Here are some guidelines and ideas from around the web for holding an effective contest:

  1. Decide the type of promotion you’ll hold. There are 3 types:
    • Contests involve “skill” or action, such as the best answer, first response, most votes, etc.
    • Sweepstakes involve chance. It’s all about the luck of the draw and no requirement can be made (such as “like” or “share”) for a chance to win. “Enter to win” is the name of the game.
    • Lotteries involve fees and chance. Lotteries are mostly illegal except for the government.
  1. 30 Contest Ideas. Start here to prime your creative pump.  Here are a few of our favorites:
    • We’re almost to 40,000 fans. Click like to celebrate! The 100th like will get a free [INCENTIVE]
    • Comment below for your chance to win a free T-Shirt: “The best kind of [INSERT] is _____________.” Get the most likes on your comment by 2pm EST tomorrow to win!
    • Gearing up for Halloween! Post a picture of your costume in the comments for a chance to win [INCENTIVE]. Winner will be picked tomorrow at 5pm EST.
  1. 13 Ingredients in the Perfect Social Media Contest

If you want to do it up right, this is the most comprehensive guide we’ve seen. Any guide that contains an “Amplification Strategy” is not-to-be missed!

  1. Know the rules and guidelines of the platform where you’re hosting your contest. Multiple Twitter blasts could get your followers’ accounts deleted or annoy your fans! Facebook promotions guidelines change frequently (We’ve included several links with updates. Look for the latest information you can find.):
  1. Use a 3rd party tool like Heyo or Random.org to choose your random winner.

Above all: HAVE FUN!

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About Gina Calvert

Gina Calvert is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, camps, schools and endurance events, for more than six years.