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6 Engaging Social Media Contests

6 Engaging Social Media Contests

There are many ways to enhance audience engagement on social media, but one sure-fire technique to engage fans is a social media-based contest. Maybe you’ve considered a contest before, but didn’t know which one would best engage your specific audience.  

We’ve got you covered with a list of the 6 most popular social media contest types to help you decide which ones you’d like to implement.

Photo Submission Contests

A photo submission contest allows fans to submit their own photos for a chance to win a prize. This is a popular contest because it gives people an opportunity to show off their photography and aesthetic. You can even take it a step further and allow followers to vote on their favorite submitted photo, which engages your entire audience to get involved.  After the voting period ends, the photo with the most votes wins!

Contest Tip:

Include a required form that states, “By checking this form, you allow [your business’ name] to use this photo and all submitted content for all aspects of marketing, including use of photos on social media.”

A photo submission contest can benefit your brand by gaining valuable user generated content from your best source - customers! Use this opportunity to attain photos of your product or service, or to help foster a sense of community around your brand.

Example of a “photo submission” contest ad. Photo from: Marhaba

Like, Share, and Comment

This is by far the simplest and most popular contest across brands. The process is straightforward: Create content, share it on social media, and inform followers to like, share, or comment for a chance to win a free gift. The great thing about this type of contest is the ability to customize it according to marketing goals, as well as for getting conversions. Whether you’re looking for an increase in website traffic or a larger social presence - the options are endless!

Contest Tip:

Always remember, less is more! Fans are more likely to enter a contest if it only requires liking a photo, or your social page, instead of being required to do all three - like, share and comment.

This is a unique way to engage fans and keep them active on your social accounts. In addition to having current fans participate in the contest, reach new potential customers by sponsoring the post. Facebook allows you to define your target audience to attract the right people to your contest.

Example of a “like, follow, and comment contest.” Photo from @halotopcreamery

 Photo Caption Contests

This contest gives contestants a unique opportunity to engage with your brand, and a chance to see their caption displayed on your social media pages.  Customer created content is always great, both for the customer and the company.

Contest Tip:

Be careful when screening caption entries. Make sure the caption you choose is consistent with your brand guidelines and is entertaining to your fans - who knows, the winner may even become your next social strategist.

Photo captions give customers a chance to feel involved with your brand and some will absolutely love the idea of potentially being featured in front of your entire social audience.

Example of “caption the photo” contest. Photo from WordStream

Share a Review

Customers share reviews of businesses all the time, especially if they’ve had an outstanding experience with your brand. This type of contest encourages customers to leave a review on Facebook for a chance to win a prize. Keep the contest fair by having the winner chosen randomly.

Contest Tip:

People sometimes leave negative reviews as well, so be sure to monitor all submissions as they come through and address any problems or concerns your customers have. Never leave an unsatisfied customer in the dark.

This sort of contest can be extremely beneficial to your brand. Not only will fans and customers see all the amazing reviews that come in from the contest, but now you’ll have dozens, maybe hundreds of positive reviews to showcase on your social media - it can’t get better than that!

Example of a “share a review” contest. Photo from: Scoop Nest

Video Submission Contests

In a video submission contest, contestants will submit a video for a chance to win a prize or gift. Of course, you can add a voting feature and the video that gets the most likes or votes wins, but because creating videos takes time, it may make sense to have your own team carefully choose the winner based on a public set of criteria.

Contest Tip:

Be sure to create guidelines as to what the video should look like. Are you asking for a short skit? Maybe a mock commercial promoting your product? There are endless options as to how you can make this happen, but it’s important to specify exactly what you want to ensure that t submissions follow your brand guidelines.

Video content remains one of the top ways to reach your audience on social. Choosing to run this type of contest can be extremely beneficial to your business for creating both a positive image for your brand, and obtaining valuable social media content.

Example of “video submission” contest. Photo from: Donna’s Promo Talk

Tag Your Photo

Tagging a photo contest is an easy way to build a community of fans without putting in too much effort. Simply create content that explains the rules and prize being offered, and come up with a personalized/branded hashtag that fans can tag their photo submission with. For example, in the photo below Starbucks uses the hashtag #RedCupContest to promote its new holiday-themed coffee cups.

Contest Tip:

Make the hashtag you’re using easy to remember by keeping it short and sweet. Ensure it is branded in some way, and even slightly clever if you can manage it.  The goal is to come up with something different than other brands or contests on social media.

Additionally, you can ask people to tag their friends to enter the  contest. This will allow new people to get involved with your brand, and can give your business both unique content and extra exposure.

Example of “tag your photo” contest. Photo from: Business 2 Community

You’ve got the different types of social media contests swimming around in your mind, and now it’s time to take those ideas and implement the one that works best for your company’s social strategy. At Hudson, one of our favorite applications to create and track our social contests and campaigns is Shortstack - an easy-to-use, time-saving campaign tracker perfect for large companies and marketing agencies.

Do you have a favorite resource you like to use for social media contests? Let us know in the comments.