Want to run successful social media contests? Consider this:
What makes a contest attract 10.000 participants or only 20? The difference might be about the way the it’s promoted, or possibly due to the perceived chances of winning the prize(s).
Contests and online sweepstakes are attractive by nature, because you gain the opportunity of winning something in exchange for your personal data.
Some promotions stop at this point and choose not to leverage the power available from other hooks, which are neither expensive nor complicated.
How can you take advantage of these tactics whilst attracting the right people (instead of prize hunters)?
Let’s get back to the basics of human behavior …
#1. Relevant grand prize
A very expensive grand prize, such as an iPad, may attract thousands of entrants, which is problematic because these people probably just want to win the prize.
The ideal grand prize attracts your potential customers, rather than prize-hunters. You could offer:
- Your own product: Instead of giving away a coupon for another company, your own product can make a great prize. This is because those people who want to win it are actually interested in your offering.
- A complementary product: You can identify potential customers based upon the products they already own. For example, if you sell photo cameras, then give away a tripod as a grand prize. This way you can ensure that photography-lovers will enter, who then may want a new camera at a later date.
- 1 to 1 consulting: Those who seek advice are more likely to buy. For example, if you sell clothes, then you can offer a one-hour 1 to 1 style coaching session, to help the winner find their best style.
#2. Multiple, smaller value prizes
Research shows that offering several sweepstakes small prizes can help close the entrant’s opportunity cost of entering the promotion. The more prizes you offer; the better the perceived chance of winning.
Just consider which sounds better: “Win a beauty pack worth $250”, or “Win a beauty pack worth $100 or 1 of 6 other beauty packs worth $25 each.”
The second version is more appealing, because there are 7 prizes, which means there are 7 chances to win.
#3. Drawn winners
Another tactic to increase the perceived chance of winning is to involve luck and draw the winners from a pool of entrants.
For example, for a photo contest you could use the following: “Upload a photo and ask your friends to vote for it. The winner will be drawn from the top 3 entries.”
#4. Opportunity to stand out
People like having the illusion of control, so if they act then they can increase their own chance of winning.
To help them stand out you should allow them to earn bonus points if they invite their friends. The more entry points one has; the better the chance of winning.
The end of a sweepstakes or contest on Facebook is just the beginning of your email marketing campaign. The next step is to convert the contest and sweepstakes subscribers into paying customers, through the use of engaging emails and offers. This is the fruit of running successful social media contests.
Tools like Antavo can help engage contest and sweepstakes entrants with emails that they really want to receive.