To build excitement many business-to-consumer brands and occasionally business-to-business brands turn to giveaways, events, and promotions. Sounds fun, right?
But before you get started, make sure your contest will be beneficial for both you and your customer. Only mutual wins make for a good game. If you wear out your employees trying to run a contest that doesn’t really connect with your clients, was the whole thing worth it?
Here are three quick things to consider before you start the party:
- Decide ahead of time what resources you’ll need to conduct a successful promotion – employee hours, money to buy prizes, time for follow up, etc.
- Know what’s important to your customers. If you offer something of high value to your business but low value to your customer, you may have done more harm than good with a promotion or contest.
- And like anything involving your business, determine what your goals are and how you’ll measure success – this includes success for your customer as well as your business.
If you decide that promotion in the form of giveaways, events or contests is right for your business, then take a quick peek at this short list of ideas to get the party started:
We love pictures – pictures with your products, at your establishment, pictures to complete a scavenger hunt of things in your stores, etc. Invite your customers to share pictures and then post the best, the first to finish a challenge, the picture voted top on your page. Share photos taken by customers in your next e-mail, as your next profile picture, on your website, and more. Here’s some additional insight from Jeff Bullas on how to run a successful photo contest on Facebook.
Compose a list of items – in your community, at your locations, of specific activities to capture (i.e. a Kansas sunset), or even a scavenger hunt for items hidden in your store. Take your list and publish it telling your fans, customers, and others that the first person to find all of these items and submit pictures of themselves next to, doing, or completing each item on the list will win a prize. Provide gifts for the next place winners or ask contestants to stay tuned for another contest at a later date.
Tony Hawk did a great job with his scavenger hunt and has now turned it into an annual event. Think about how a successful hunt might turn into an annual event for your small business.
Ask fans and customers to come up with different ways to wear, eat, or use your products. Have them submit ideas to you and allow other fans to vote. Large brands have begun using these ideas to create some incredible marketing for their businesses. Small businesses can too. Check out these clever crowdsourcing campaigns.
P.S. Don’t forget the rules. When using social media, each channel has their own rules for contests. Study these first. Additionally, states like Kansas have additional laws that restrict you from operating the appearance of a lottery. For more about social media promotion law, click here.
Also check out our previous post on Social Media Do’s and Don’ts!
About our Author
Logan Hildebrand is an aspiring intern at the Kansas SBDC and is currently attending Washburn University in pursuit of three degrees: business marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. She has a passion for capturing the awes of consumers through social media and marketing, and has been interning at the state office and the Kansas SBDC at WU for the past 2 years in order to develop her experiences. Adapting to the ever-changing field of marketing and social media is a strength of hers, as well as making a delicious cup of coffee. Her dream is to one day open her own coffee shop and continue her marketing aspirations through that venture. Until then, she will be providing this blog with insightful, interesting, and useful posts to help aid in the development of marketing in businesses that need assistance.