Table of Contents
- 1 Why social media contests are so effective in referral marketing
- 1.1 How social media contests work
You’ve heard of the best social media contest ideas that were so popular in many social media campaigns this 2017. There’s the Qwertee.com’s 30 free tees giveaway if you help them reach 100,000 Facebook page likes, Dove’s “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” Facebook contest where it involved uploading of photo and fill-in-the blank form about why your friend represents real beauty, Vans Custom Culture that was about national high school shoe customization contest which was opened up for students to show their art and win cash , and many other social contests. The results? Amazing level of engagement with each of these brands’ audience. Their social media channels were all flooded with new referrals and followers. It was all good social media marketing!
The truth is, entrants are motivated to keep on sharing to all of their social media networks in the hope of increasing the odds of winning. As for your B2B business, each share gives you more exposure and sends more visitors to the campaign microsite. Mind you, this microsite is also heavily branded and contains many links to your website. Another reason why social media contests are very effective in bringing new referrals is, the user-generated content, once published and seen by the public, highly inspires others to join. And it’s a big plus for your B2B, as you may reuse them for marketing purposes once the contest is over. But make sure to get their permission first, by asking them in the contest rules section, during the submission process.
We all know the rules of the game, people only do business with companies they know, like and trust. Social media contests go a long way to closing the gap on all three. When visitors discover all the fun your customers and website visitors are having in the contest, they won’t want to be left out.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of running a social media contest as part of your referral marketing campaign. First, you need to ask your customers and social connections to submit a photo, video or essay to your contest microsite. The winners will be chosen based on the number of votes. And so, you have to encourage them to share their entry with everybody they know. Sharing must be done both at the time of entry and throughout the contest period. When their friends click the link to view their entry and vote, they also get to be invited to enter the contest or visit your company website.
With the overall process in mind, here are six simple steps to get started with your own social media contest and drive massive traffic to your B2B site.
Step 1. Determine the appropriate theme for your contest.
As a B2B business, it will be good if your social contest can directly involve the products you sell or the services you offer. You can leverage on this later, when you’ve generated enough number of user-generated content. This opportunity will also allow your products or services to be introduced to the contestant’s social network when they share their entry.
Other options include trying out a seasonal theme. For example, Thanksgiving is almost near. You can make a Facebook photo contest around the dinner table set. Now, maximize sharing by creating a theme that would generate some funny or shocking entries.
But don’t make it so eccentric that it might cast the entrant in a bad light or embarrass them. If that’s the case, you might not get many entries to begin with. You have to test different themes to find out the sweet spot that works for your particular audience. You’ll know that you found it, when there’s a good number of participation and level of interaction with them.
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Step 2. Determine an appealing grand prize and, possibly second and third place prizes too.
Whenever possible, it’s best to give away your own products or services. It will be to your advantage because you’ll have a lower likelihood of fraudulent voting. You know this, since you can be sure that only your target audience will be interested in the items you’re promoting as a prize. The more universal the value of your prize is, the more you’ll get professional contest takers entering your contest. Also, your social contest opens up an opportunity for your B2B to promote the features of your products or services in-line with your contest marketing.
When you give away your own high margin products or services, it’s still less expensive compared to having to purchase a prize from a third party. Once you let the contest winners have a “taste” of the products or services you offer, it’s more likely that they’ll purchase or avail of it after the contest period is over. Now, if you’re not getting audience interest on your own products or services as a prize, you might need to offer something that appeals to a wider crowd. You can try giving away prepaid Visa cards, Starbucks gift cards or Apple products (iphone, ipad, etc.). Just a warning though, be sure to use a software that identifies and purges fraudulent votes.
Step 3. Write your contest rules.
You need to come up with your own contest rules. One inexpensive way of doing this, is to find a similar program promoted by a large company. Then use their rules as your guideline as you write your own rules. Once you’re satisfied, have a business attorney review your rules. Don’t worry if you’re just starting out and have limited budget. You can sign up for a prepaid legal service at a monthly cost of $25. They review 10 pages or more of legal documents, which is more than what you need.
Step 4. Create the contest microsite.
You need to build a dedicated microsite where you can send your followers and customers so that they can sign-up for the contest, agree to the rules and get their unique referral links. You can do this quickly and easily by using automated softwares that will create webpages for you, and, let you customize the design with your brand’s look and feel. These softwares also take care of tracking all your referrals. There are more advanced ones, like Sociamonials, that can automatically issue rewards and block fraudulent activities.
Step 5. Launch your contest.
All set with steps one to four? You’re now ready to launch your social contest. It’s time to let everybody know that your B2B business is running a contest. Make mention of your social media contest in your marketing campaigns. Use every marketing opportunity to reach out to your audience, so they would know about it and when it will happen. Make them more excited by keeping mentions of your big prizes.
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Step 6. Add your contest information on strategic locations of your online marketing efforts. Here are the four best places where to implement:
Location 1) Email
Send an email to your entire list inviting them to enter the contest. Don’t forget to provide a link to the contest microsite.
On your website’s home page, make sure to add an eye-catching banner about the contest. When clicked, it will direct visitors to the contest microsite.
Location 3) Facebook page tab
Leverage on Facebook’s sharing culture by creating a tab on your Facebook page, and asking your followers to share it. This tab should have your contest microsite, where your Facebook friends can vote or enter the contest without leaving your Facebook page.
Location 4) Social media news feeds
Before and during the contest period, regularly post a link to the contest microsite on all of your social media feeds. Update all your social media network followers with what’s currently happening with your social contest. They’ll surely love to be involved.
Creating a social media contest at this time of the year is the best holiday marketing that you can do for your business. Online shoppers are generally on the look-out for holiday offers and promotions that will help them save every buck possible so that they can prepare as many presents as they can for the festive gift-giving. Joining a social media contest, especially to their favorite niches, can be most appealing if the rewards are attractive enough to get their attention. So, go ahead and take this opportunity for your B2B business to drive the most number of referrals to your products and services. Spread the word out, make your followers excited and start the ball rolling.
To learn more about how to start a social media contest with public voting, work on the best social media campaigns and receive five more great referral marketing ideas that you can quickly implement for your B2B business, you can get your own copy of our latest whitepaper. The six unique ideas that we present have helped many online businesses already, do you want to be one of them? Download our whitepaper.