And the Winner is:

The thing about contests on social media

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People love free stuff. Even more, people love free stuff from companies they love and support. To receive a coveted new product or a basket full of stuff is an amazing way to say thank you to your community and also gather new followers. No brainer, right?

Here’s the thing.

  1. Contests are so freakin’ spammy. Requiring people to repost in their grid or their stories is not the kind of content people want to see on Instagram. Sure it brings more eyes to your contest ( see above, people love free stuff) and temporarily brings you more followers but it also is not a great reflection of who you are as a business. (read: disrespectful of people’s attention) When the contest is over, if you aren’t posting stuff that’s interesting, people are going to split faster than a banana.

  2. Contests bring a lot of followers without you having to do a tonne of heavy lifting in the marketing department. I agree with you. It’s an “easy” way to attract people’s attention. Whose attention are you trying to attract? If you are trying to attract everyone’s attention, this article is not for you. Everyone knows that a business’ products or services are not for EVERYONE. Attract the people you want to be in business with. You’re more likely to have an engaged community who is more likely to buy what you’re selling, literally and figuratively.

  3. If you are trying to say thank you, find a way to say thank you to more than one person. Find out more about your past customers or your followers and give them something they would actually use. Not another one of your products. Gift them someone else’s products based on their likes and current life. How extra special are you going to make that person feel? And how likely are they to recommend you to EVERYONE they know!

  4. Contests are a great way to leverage the network of biz owners who are aligned with you. It’s been done, and done and done and it’s like Nickelback’s “You Remind Me” playing for the 12th time on the radio today, I am going to turn you off! See above. Instead of asking people to follow 9 different accounts, like this photo and tag 5 people, see above. What if you all agreed to send each other’s products or services to your followers who you really feel deserve it. So much more work? Much higher pay off. See above.

  5. Your going to have a lot of sad faces after the winner is announced. Sure, you have someone’s attention but now they aren’t as happy to be following you as they were a couple of days ago. You’re going to have to work so much harder and give so much more to that follower to convert them back to a baseline of someone who found you just because of your great presence, content and community.

Bookmark this page for the next time you are considering running a contest. Give it a once over and decide if it’s worth it for you and what you are trying to accomplish.

Leave me a comment below and let me know how you feel about seeing, participating in, or the craaaaazy success you have had running contests.

Jessica HamiltonComment