Creating Your Social Media Sweepstakes

If you are ever looking for a creative and enthusiastic way of boosting your brands appeal and driving traffic to your website(s), look no further than social media sweepstakes! These are contests where subscribers enter to win a prize you are offering (free tickets to a show, a gift card, best-selling book you are offering, etc.) by taking a desired action like subscribing to your newsletter, promoting a hashtag, following you on Twitter, etc. 

Hootsuite for example is a platform that will allow you to run photo, video and sign-up contests hosted on their server where fans/subscribers can compete for a free giveaway you are offering. Your promotion can go something like, "100th person to subscribe will win a free dinner with me at(whatever exquisite restaurant you like the best" or "Submit your favorite photo by(give a deadline date) to enter our contest and get your chance of winning a limited edition copy of my best-selling book!" These are just a few of many examples that can be given. The choice is yours on what type of campaign is best suited for your needs; as long as it is boosting your fan appeal in the process. This is where Facebook really comes in handy for generating leads because of it's huge potential reach(1.6 billion active monthly active users as of Q2 2016) and the organic leads(free page likes, page visits, post shares, comments, etc. that are unaccounted for) it provides for your Facebook page. Facebook is bigger than China right now in terms of active users! As far as where to begin in setting up your campaign, here are a few suggestions I recommend:

Find Something To Promote

Using things you would normally use as a lead magnet such as a free report or video would work for this, but it should be a rare limited edition copy that you are not offering anywhere else to be of practical use for your deadline date. I would recommend creating an expanded and improved version of whatever lead magnet you are already offering. Something like, "The strategies I teach in this free report have already led hundreds to financial freedom, now it gets even better!" is sure to drop a ton of jaws when it comes across their news feed.

Decide What Type Of Contest You Want To Run

This largely depends on what end goal(s) you want to accomplish. Are you trying to get more followers on Instagram? You should use a photo contest with a hashtag linking to your brand. Are you trying to get more subscribers to your email marketing list? You should use a sign-up contest with a reward for whatever position a subscriber reaches. If you are still confused on what type of campaign you should run, I think the best to do would be to just test out a few and see which ones are the most responsive to your campaign. Don't worry about a few bombed campaigns because failure is the best teacher.

Choose What Platform(s) You Want To Promote Your Contest On

Like my last suggestion, this is also another area where trial and error will play a huge role in your success. For example, I recommend using Facebook for promoting your contests, but that is based almost exclusively on size and potential reach. I don't know what you are promoting to give you tailor-made advice beyond that. As I previously stated, different promotions and campaign types will trigger different responses for different audiences. 

Decide How Long The Contest Will Run

This will depend largely on budget and/or response rates. If you are using paid ads to promote a campaign that lasts a month long that offers a prize to the 80th subscriber but your campaign has only reached 39 subscribers with 2 days before your deadline, or if you just happen to run your advertisement budget dry beforehand, you will have to extend your deadline and revise your next campaign according to this. I would start with a low number(maybe the 10th or 13th subscriber) until you have a feel for the response rates to your ad. Studying how others in your niche are doing  this won't hurt either, but their results are not guaranteed to be reflective of yours even if you do follow the same strategies.

Be Creative And Stand Out

If you are sending paid ads to targeted leads you have to remember that they are likely seeing ads from your niche in their news feed all of the time they are on Facebook or Twitter. So ask yourself, what makes you so different from them? Regardless of what platform you choose to promote on, this is the decision that will really make or break your campaign, so take your time and be tedious about it. Also, visit Hootsuite Campaigns to see examples of what your campaign should look like. 


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