5 Types of Social Media Contests Your Business Should Consider

Social media contests are a great way to engage the audience and popularize your brand online. On average, brands acquire around 34% of new followers using this digital marketing tactic, which makes it one of the most effective models of lead generation.

You also need to know that people, who use hashtag marketing with the business purpose via Twitter and Instagram have improvement rates about 12,6 %.  Instagram has over 80 % of its accounts connected with business or even watch modern business trends via their profiles. 50 % of simple users are followers for at least one business.

However, it’s not so easy to create a successful contest because you probably have to compete with dozens of companies in the same niche. That’s why it is critical to invest a lot of time in preparation and to plan each step very carefully. In this post, we will show you what makes social media contests so important and present you five different types your business should consider.

The Benefits of Social Media Contests

You might think social media contests are not such a big deal, but you will change your mind as soon as you consider the advantages that contests can bring to your business. We made a short list of the most important benefits here:

  • Boost engagement: The ultimate goal of every social media contest is to drive engagement. Since people love to participate in amusing online games, rest assured contests will inspire people to take action.
  • Raise awareness: The popularity of contests is helping you to raise brand awareness.
  • Grow the number of followers: As you keep raising awareness, you can expect more and more people to follow your brand across social media.
  • Generate leads: This tool makes an excellent lead generator, giving your sales team a lot of material to work with after contest completion.
  • Boost loyalty: You probably have a bunch of customers already, but you will strengthen mutual relationships very quickly using this marketing format.
  • Promote new products: Another way to utilize social media contests is by launching and promoting a new product. That way, you don’t only drive engagement but also ensure quick and effective product placement.
  • Learn more about users’ opinions: As your followers keep creating new content, you will be getting additional insights into the way your customers think and behave. It’s a huge data resource that you must exploit once the contest is over.

Best Social Media Contest Types

It is time to present you the most practical types of social media contests. Without further ado, here are our top five picks:

  1. Photo and video contests

This is the basic type of contest that works well for product-focused companies. The process is simple: invite your followers to create interesting photos or videos revolving around your brand or a specific product. All you need to do is collect participants’ emails in exchange for participation.

Craig Jones, a content creator at BestEssays.com, says this is an easy way to encourage user-generated content: “Today, almost everyone owns a smartphone with a high-quality camera. This allows participants not only to make photos but also to create videos, which often becomes a source of viral content.”

  1. Product customization contests

Another way to inspire users to engage is by organizing product customizations contests. The tactic has two substantial advantages:

  • It guarantees user engagement
  • It gives you a plethora of fresh and innovative product-related ideas

You just need to highlight the product of interest and invite followers to add more info about it, tailoring item design based on their own imagination and personal preferences.

At the same time, try to come up with a nice hashtag to increase the discoverability of your contest. A hashtag should be unique, brand-related, and logical. The easiest option is to combine “contest” and “brand name.” That way, you’ll get a good hashtag that helps you to promote both the brand and the contest. However, don’t be afraid to brainstorm and find a better solution if this one doesn’t suit your requirements.

  1. Tag a friend competition

One of the oldest social media contests is based on tagging. However, you should not directly invite users to tag their friends on social media (on Facebook, it counters the official marketing guidelines), but rather create compelling content that really inspires people to mention their connections in your posts. This type of contest represents the most productive awareness raising model.

  1. Ask a question

Launching a social media contest is sometimes as simple as asking your followers a question and rewarding the highest-rated answers. If you want to inspire people to write interesting comments, you need to ask open-ended questions that leave enough room for improvisations, humor, and creativity.

Keep in mind that your questions should be upbeat and optimistic. That way, users will follow the same pattern and write funny comments that point out the good sides of your products or services. You have one more task here: monitor comments to remove trolls and answers that completely miss the context of your post.

  1. Location-based contest

This is a great idea for businesses with physical stores. Namely, social media allow people to check in at a given location, which means you can ask followers to announce their presence at the point of sale. Once the contest is over, you will reward a few selected customers who did their best to stand out from the crowd of peers. For instance, you can choose winners based on follow-up captions or content.

Tools That Make Contest Organization Simpler

Administering social media contests can be a daunting task if you do it single-handedly. For this reason, a lot of marketers use digital tools to make the process faster and more efficient. Some of the most popular choices are:

  • Gleam: Gleam is a contest and sweepstake app that helps you achieve precisely defined objectives such as lead generation or increase in the social following.
  • Australian Writings: The content creation agency makes it easier to brainstorm ideas and write attractive posts, questions, and captions that inspire users to take part in contests.
  • Shortstack: It’s a digital tool designed with the purpose to make your contests, giveaways, and quizzes look more beautiful, offering a number of outstanding templates.
  • College Paper Writer: If you need help creating contest posts and announcements, you can try College Paper Writer. This agency employs experienced authors who can help you with every segment of the content creation process.


Brand followers are not passive consumers, but rather active participants who want to engage with your company and give the contribution to your marketing activities. This is exactly what makes social media contests such a powerful marketing tactic, so you should definitely try it out.

In this post, we showed you five types of social media contests your business should consider. These are the basic contest solutions that can help you keep pace with competitors. Make sure to check them out and let us know in comments if you need additional explanations – we will be glad to help you!

Author Bio:

Alexandra Reay is one from xpertwriters.com team. She is fond of horse-riding, reading and rock music. Alexandra keeps her spirit in writing fluent articles as well. Meet her at  Twitter. 

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