The Ultimate Guide to Running Social Media Contest


Welcome to our blog post on how to create a successful social media contest! If you’re looking to boost your brand’s social media presence, increase engagement with your followers, and attract new potential customers, then hosting a social media contest is a fantastic way to achieve those goals.

But what exactly is a social media contest, you may ask? Essentially, it’s a marketing tactic in which businesses or individuals create a promotion or event on their social media platforms, encouraging their followers to participate in exchange for a chance to win a prize or recognition.

Social media contests can take many forms, from photo or video contests to caption or trivia challenges, and their benefits are numerous. Not only do they help to increase brand awareness and reach, but they also promote engagement and interaction with your followers, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and sales.

So if you’re ready to take your social media game to the next level, keep reading for our top tips on creating a successful social media contest that will have your followers buzzing and your brand soaring!

Define Your Goals and Objectives

The first step in creating a successful social media contest is to define your goals and objectives. What do you hope to achieve through this contest? Is it to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Identifying your goals will help you create a contest that aligns with your overall marketing strategy and delivers the desired outcomes.

Once you’ve determined your goals, it’s essential to decide what metrics you will use to measure success. Will you be tracking the number of contest entries, engagement levels, social media follower growth, or website traffic? Having clear metrics in place will help you evaluate the success of your contest and make informed decisions for future campaigns.

For example, if your goal is to increase engagement, you may choose to track likes, comments, shares, and mentions on social media. Alternatively, if you’re looking to drive website traffic, you may track the number of clicks to your website from the contest post.

It’s important to note that the metrics you choose will depend on your goals and the type of contest you’re running. For instance, if you’re running a photo contest, you may focus more on user-generated content and the quality of submissions, while a caption contest may emphasize engagement and humor.

In conclusion, defining your goals and objectives, and identifying metrics to measure success is a critical first step in creating a successful social media contest. By doing so, you’ll be able to develop a contest that resonates with your audience, drives engagement, and achieves your desired outcomes.

Choose the Right Platform

Choose the Right Platform

After identifying your goals and objectives for your social media contest, the next step is to choose the right platform to host it on. There are many social media platforms available, and each one offers unique features and advantages for running contests. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular social media platforms and what they offer for contests:


With over 2.8 billion active users, Facebook is the most extensive social media platform available. Facebook offers a wide range of contest formats, including photo and video contests, sweepstakes, and quizzes. It’s a great option if your goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement.


Instagram is a highly visual platform, making it an excellent choice for photo and video contests. It has over 1 billion active users and offers many features, such as stories and hashtags, that can be used to promote your contest and encourage participation.

Grow Your Instagram Following


Twitter is a fast-paced platform that’s great for running contests with short entry periods. It’s best suited for contests that involve user-generated content or voting, such as caption or hashtag contests.


If you’re planning on running a video contest, YouTube is the perfect platform. With over 2 billion active users, it’s the second most popular search engine after Google, making it an excellent option for increasing brand visibility and engagement.

Factors to consider when selecting a platform include your target audience, contest format, and the platform’s features and limitations. It’s essential to choose a platform that aligns with your goals and objectives and has the tools and capabilities to execute your contest successfully.

In short, choosing the right platform for your social media contest is crucial to its success. Consider your target audience, contest format, and the platform’s features and limitations to ensure that you’re selecting the best platform to achieve your goals. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach your target audience, drive engagement, and achieve your desired outcomes.

Define Your Target Audience

Identify Your Target Audience

After selecting the platform for your social media contest, the next step is to define your target audience. Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to engage with your brand, participate in your contest, and become customers. Here are some tips for identifying your target audience:

Conduct market research: 

Conducting market research will help you understand your audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and pain points. You can use surveys, focus groups, or social media analytics to gather this information.

Analyze your existing customer base: 

Look at your existing customer base and identify common characteristics such as age, gender, location, and interests. This will give you an idea of the type of audience that is already engaged with your brand.

Check out your competition: 

Analyze your competitors’ social media presence and see who is engaging with their content. This will give you an idea of the type of audience that is interested in your industry or niche.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s important to tailor your contest to their interests and preferences. For example, if your target audience is younger, you may want to host a video or meme contest, while an older audience may prefer a photo or essay contest.

Tailoring your contest to your audience will help you increase engagement, generate leads, and build brand loyalty. It will also help you create a positive user experience and improve the chances of your contest going viral.

In conclusion, defining your target audience is a critical step in creating a successful social media contest. By identifying your audience’s interests and preferences and tailoring your contest to their needs, you’ll be able to increase engagement, generate leads, and build brand loyalty.

Choose the Type of Contest

Once you’ve defined your target audience and selected the platform for your social media contest, the next step is to choose the type of contest you want to run. There are many types of contests to choose from, each with its own advantages and challenges. Here’s an overview of some popular contest types:

Photo contest: 

A photo contest involves participants submitting a photo related to a specific theme or topic. This type of contest is great for increasing user-generated content and engagement.

Video contest: 

A video contest involves participants submitting a short video related to a specific theme or topic. This type of contest is great for engaging younger audiences and increasing brand awareness.

Caption contest: 

A caption contest involves participants submitting a witty or creative caption for a specific image or video. This type of contest is great for increasing engagement and brand loyalty.


A sweepstake involves participants entering their contact information for a chance to win a prize. This type of contest is great for generating leads and increasing brand awareness.

When selecting a contest type, it’s essential to consider your target audience and the goals of your contest. For example, if you’re targeting a younger audience, a video contest might be a better choice than a photo contest. If your goal is to generate leads, a sweepstake may be the way to go.

It’s also important to consider the entry requirements and judging criteria for each contest type. Some types of contests, such as photo and video contests, may require more time and effort from participants, while others, such as sweepstakes, may be easier to enter.

Concluding all, we can say that choosing the right type of contest is crucial to its success. Consider your target audience, the goals of your contest, and the entry requirements and judging criteria for each contest type. By doing so, you’ll be able to select the best contest type to achieve your desired outcomes and engage your audience.

Create the Rules and Guidelines

Create the Rules and Guidelines

Once you’ve selected the type of contest you want to run, the next step is to create the rules and guidelines. Clear and concise rules and guidelines are essential to ensure that the contest runs smoothly and that participants understand what is expected of them. Here’s why it’s important to create clear and concise rules and guidelines:

Protect your brand: 

Clear and concise rules and guidelines can help protect your brand by outlining what is and isn’t acceptable behavior from participants.

Rules and guidelines can help you avoid legal issues by ensuring that your contest complies with local laws and regulations.

Increase engagement: 

It can increase engagement by providing participants with a clear understanding of how to enter and what they can win.

Here are some examples of common rules for social media contests:

Eligibility requirements: 

The rules should clearly state who is eligible to participate in the contest.

Entry requirements: 

There should be guidelines on how contestants can enter, what content they should submit, and any restrictions on what they can submit.

Judging criteria: 

In addition to describing how the winner(s) will be selected and what criteria will be used, it should also explain how entries will be judged.

Prize details: 

Detailed information about the prize(s) should be included in the rules, including the value, quantity, and any restrictions on how and when they can be claimed.


In the rules, the contest start and end dates and any other relevant deadlines should be clearly stated.

It’s also important to keep the rules and guidelines simple and easy to understand. Use clear language and avoid legal jargon or complicated terminology.

To summarize, creating clear and concise rules and guidelines is crucial to the success of your social media contest. By protecting your brand, avoiding legal issues, and increasing engagement, you’ll be able to create a positive user experience and achieve your desired outcomes.

Plan Your Contest Promotion

Now that you have defined your contest type, target audience, and rules and guidelines, it’s time to plan your contest promotion. Without a well-planned promotion strategy, your contest may not gain the traction it needs to succeed. Here’s an overview of different ways to promote your contest:

Social media ads: 

Social media ads can be a great way to promote your contest to a wider audience. By targeting your ads to specific demographics or interests, you can reach potential participants who may not have heard about your contest otherwise.

Email marketing:

Email marketing can be an effective way to promote your contest to your existing subscribers. By creating a dedicated email campaign, you can inform your subscribers about the contest and encourage them to participate.

Influencer marketing: 

Partnering with influencers in your industry can be a great way to increase awareness of your contest. By having influencers promote your contest to their followers, you can reach a wider audience and generate more participation.

When planning your promotion strategy, it’s essential to consider your target audience and the goals of your contest. For example, if your target audience is primarily active on Instagram, it may make sense to focus your promotion efforts on that platform.

It’s also important to consider your budget and resources when planning your promotion strategy. Social media ads and influencer marketing can be effective promotion methods, but they can also be expensive. If you have a limited budget, email marketing or organic social media promotion may be a better choice.

Thus, planning your contest promotion is a critical step in creating a successful social media contest. By considering your target audience, contest goals, and budget, you can develop a promotion strategy that maximizes participation and achieves your desired outcomes.

Further, you simply need to launch your contest, monitor the results, and measure them. This is all you need to do.


Alright folks, we’ve covered a lot of ground on how to create a successful social media contest, and I hope you’re as excited as I am about putting these ideas into practice!

To summarize, the key to a successful social media contest is to plan, plan, plan. You need to know your audience inside and out, set clear objectives, and create content that will engage and excite them. But don’t stop there! Make sure your contest is shareable and interactive so that your audience can spread the word and generate buzz about your brand.

Importance of Social Media for Small Business

Every business has its features that are used for the upliftment of its values. In today’s modern age, small businesses are striving hard to create their presence on social media.

Being a social media amateur or a veteran, you need to glorify your business in every possible manner with vital steps to enhance its visibility before the audience.

Social Goals

Setting up social goals for a small business is very important from the growth perspective. Many marketers don’t know how to use a social media platform impactfully.

Maintaining social goals will not only help you prove your success but also let you know which marketing strategies are working for your organization.

Sometimes it becomes very difficult to choose the right goal at the right time. Just keep three things in mind that don’t be much promotional – this will cause a decrease in followers.

You just need to track your requirements with the industry norms and look after your alignment of social media goals.

Importance of Social Media Analytics 

Clearing your competitors from the foreground is one thing but analysing your growth and tracking the business progress is an essential part of your strategy.

Many social media networks offer you this tool where you can check your rising footprints and dropping essence of profits.

Impressions, engagement, engagement rates, visits, mentions, followers, subscribers, all come under one roof of the up-gradation process.

Using a social media analytical tool, you can go deep inside and verify the engagement reports.

Key points for flourishing Small Businesses

Identifying the audience

Before creating any campaigns, recognizing your audience is very important.

Marketers, through this process gain a lot of reports as to how your strategies will work on a certain type of audience.

Understand who your audience is and then produce the perfect blend of content.

Creating a social content calendar

Everyone is busy with their stuff. If in such a case you forgot to upload certain content, then it is a situation to worry about.

Sharing accurate content on social media is very important to attract your audience but at a proper time.

Try using a social calendar to avoid being late to show your presence.

Optimal posting

What could be the best time to post content on social media? This is a common question that comes to everyone’s mind.

Posting any content when it is fresh is worth looking at.

For example, using the optimal send times tool on social sprout can help you get an idea of when will a post get more engagement.

Hashtags matter

Any content without a hashtag is a tea without the tea powder. Hashtags are very important concerning your content marketing.

The hashtags will generate leads and help you stay in the search. It can severely increase your reach anytime.

Collaborate organic with paid

We tend to make visual graphical content, reels, short and long format videos with immense hard work but do not get reach sometimes.

If you’re lacking in this section, you need a boost to your content. Getting impressions and views are much more important and hence, spending some pennies for marketing your work will give you a tremendous social presence.

Simple Steps for Mastering a social media networks

Social Media has played a vital role in advertising brands’ products and services and fulfilled their requirements. Media networks have made themselves available to every organization no matter what the needs would be. Success with regard to social media is not new for anyone as numerous companies have flourished their reputation through various social media networks. Today, even a small entrepreneur relies on these networking sites to gain much attention and stay presentable before the audience.

Mastering a social network is a big task to accomplish. There are various factors that need to be taken care of.

Any organization completely relies on its marketing tactics on account of the social media platforms.

Any marketing plan includes planning and execution which helps in attaining the target in less span of time.

Social media glorifies this act and produces reach for a company. Let’s have a look at some of the important steps that would lead to a perfect mastering aspect of the social media network.

Identifying your marketing targets

Planning in a shorter format will always benefit any organization to fulfil its aspirations.

Developing brand loyalty in consumers, telling them to advertise the same, traffic diversion on your website, creating a unique thought process in order to create a different image in the industry, and expansion of brand reputation could be some of the principles that would define your marketing goals.

Identifying the best platforms

Every piece of success depends mostly on the social media platform you choose. For example, Facebook can help you with live video content, Instagram can give you reach with respect to reels & stories, Twitter can help you with short messaging, Pinterest can help you circulate your photos. You need to figure out the best platform that would enhance the presence of your products.

Social profile inauguration

Making your profile is the first important part of your strategy. Adding logo, description, and cover image could lead to the engagement of your audiences. Featuring your products on an eye-catching account will grab more attention from the visitors.

Updating content

Once you have made your profile, you need to stay updated with regard to your content. Content is the key player that would help you win a game.

Visitors want to see a fresh feed containing photos, videos, and branded content associated with your account. You need to keep one thing in mind, good content can drive the audience to view it.

Social Media Engagement

Engaging with the audience is an essential streamlined aspect of marketing. You need to raise your bar in terms of comments, shares, and replies to your consumers’ verdicts.

It is the same as retweeting to keep everyone glued to your shared content. Keep in mind that the self-absorbed ability could lead to the loss of followers.

Put automation in action

Automation helps you reduce the burden of the workload on your shoulders. Scheduling updates and processing regular activities come under this process. Using automation to save time can be a boom for the marketers for keeping their marketing tactics technologically well.

Track your results

When you have completed everything, from making concepts to marketing your products or services, the need of an hour is tracking how much the above factors have gained you profits. Analytical tracks build on social media networks always prove to be your companion in judging the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. You can use many big names such as Hootsuite, Buffer Zoho Social for the same purpose.


Social media networks came into existence with an aim of marketing and building some social relations. Optimization of such an important aspect could generate profits and leads to your organization.

Mastering such a platform could make your stay higher in the list of organizations that offer good returns to their audiences. By creating an interactive base, you can help your accounts drive more engagement that would give you future consumers.

When settled properly, your social media pages and accounts would feature as one of the best lead generation strategies.