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And the Winner is… | Contests and Social Media

By: Katie Adkins, Social Media Strategist, ACS Advertising

People love to win. Whether it is a car, money, or a game of Chutes and Ladders with Grandma, everyone loves winning. Contests can be a valuable tool to use on social media if it is done right. If this is something you are considering for your brand, great! Do you know where to start? Do you know the rules? What is the prize going to be? Is this going to be effective and how?

· Follow the rules and terms of service. Yes, there are rules for brands to follow when hosting a contest or giveaway on social media and the consequences for breaking the rules are not worth the risk! For example, Facebook will allow you to administer a promotion on your page, but you cannot require any action to be taken on personal timelines of your fans or entrants; i.e. “Share this on your timeline to enter!” You can check out the latest Page Guidelines for Facebook here:

· Have a goal in mind. Whether you want to increase the “Likes” on your page, promote a new product, or reward your current followers, having an obtainable, reasonable goal is a best practice.

· Have a prize people want to win. The higher the value of your prize, the better response you will have. Simple as that.

· Set a time limit and make it reasonable based on how to enter. If the entry point into your giveaway is something as simple as “Like this post to enter,” 24-48 hours is plenty of time to run your giveaway. With these smaller giveaways, it is best to announce the winner when excitement is at its peak. If your contest entry point is something slightly more involved, such as a picture or video submission, give your fans a little more time. Anywhere from 4 days to a week is an appropriate time frame for entrants to be ready.

· Take advantage of Promoted Posts. Promoted posts are the best way to get your audience to see your giveaway and get in the line of sight of users who are not currently following you. You can target your post to specific demographics by age, gender, interest, etc.

· Make it fun! This is one is a no brainer.

Contest and giveaways are popular in the social media world, but make sure yours in meaningful to get the best results possible. Good luck!

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