Hey marketers! back again on Socializer with this guide that includes 20+ Creative Social Media Contest Ideas and how you can do, step by step. A little inspiration goes a long way when it comes to brainstorming social media contest ideas.
To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve rounded up more than 20 ideas across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat—and even TikTok.
And to make things easier, we’ve sorted them by objective, from increasing engagement to generating leads.
7 Social media contest ideas to increase engagement
Turn up the likes, comments, and shares with these social media contest ideas.
1- Like and/or comment to win
The classic “like and/or comment to win” is a tried and true way to increase engagement. It can be held on just about any social platform, from LinkedIn to Instagram.
Simply create a post with an explanatory caption, include an entry deadline and simple guidelines, and voila! You can also share the post in Facebook or Instagram Stories to better spread the word.
Like and/or comment to win contests prompt engagements with your base, but by pairing the contest with a share or RT requirement, you can reach more people. If you ask followers to share to Facebook or Instagram Stories, keep in mind that you’ll only be able to confirm those shares within 24 hours.
3- Tag a friend
Bring ideas 1 and 2 together with a “tag a friend” entry requirement, since a tag is technically a comment and a share wrapped into one. Ideally, this approach will benefit from the ripple effect: A friend tags a friend kind of thing.
A “caption this” prompt is a fun way to encourage followers to comment on your photo and engage with your brand.
5- Create the best comment competition
Giving followers a prompt can inspire more comments. Ask them to tell you why they—or a person they nominate—deserve to win. Or ask them to come up with a name for a new product.
6- Vote to win
People love to have their say. Create a contest where a vote counts as an entry. Ask users to vote in the comment section of a post, or create an Instagram Stories poll. This is also a quick and easy way to collect feedback from your audience on something important to your business.
7- Create a play-to-win game
Over the course of one week, Chipotle kept its Instagrammers on their toes with a series of successive games intended to get people excited about the addition of queso to the menu.
On the first day, fans were asked to comment with the letters “Q-U-E-S-O” on a post in uninterrupted succession. That led to 22,000 comments and a year of free queso for the winner.
On day four, Chipotle launched a “spot the differences” game using Instagram Galleries, a game that 450 people played.
1- Follow to win
The most straightforward way to broaden your audience is to require a follow for contest entry.
This contest structure is usually combined with a “like” request, too, as in this example from Riedel UK.
Brookes Blooms ran a similar contest. But, instead of using a date as an entry deadline, they set a goal of 100 followers before drawing a winner.
There’s little point in asking your followers to follow you. The best “follow to win” contests are supported by an amplification strategy.
Ask people to follow and share your post. Or ask them to tag someone in the comments so you can reach and hopefully entice non-followers to come aboard.
3- Weekly or monthly draws
It’s easy for followers to unfollow. But accounts that run monthly contests or draw winners weekly have a better chance of earning loyalty and maintaining follower counts.
4- Follow to win + influencer
Another great way to reach new potential followers is to partner with an influencer. These contests can require entrants to follow both accounts for a mutual gain, or just your company’s account.
5- Follower milestone campaign
Brands that are on the brink of passing a follower milestone like earning that capital K or M beside a number can use the occasion to build momentum.
6- Stage an exciting unveil
Brands can ask people to follow them, or they can give people a reason to follow them. Use a contest as an initial hook, and secure followers by creating an incentive to tune in for the results.
1- Enter to win sweepstakes
Sometimes the most obvious solution is the best one. The old-fashioned enter-to-win sweepstakes formula still works like a charm, especially with tools like Facebook’s Instant Forms feature.
2- Chat to win
A chatbot can offer a more tailored experience than generic form registration.
1- Create a hashtag challenge
Hashtag challenges have been around for a long time, starting with Cinemagram and Vine, and now TikTok. Thanks to their popularity, it’s easy for companies to join in with branded hashtags that prompt users to engage and become brand ambassadors.
2- Take over an event
This is not the same as an influencer “takeover”. Frank’s RedHot scored a touchdown on Twitter this year with a #FranksSweepstakes that asked fans to help bring its “Put That S#!t on Everything!” catchphrase to life.
During the game, fans were asked to put the chili pepper emoji on every ad they saw. In other words, when a car commercial comes on, you’d tweet the pepper plus the auto emoji. Franks RedHot made use of an event that wasn’t officially “theirs”, but at which they knew lots of customers would be in attendance.
3- Use a branded filter/lens to win
Why not ask fans to create a Snap or Story with a branded filter for a chance to win a prize? Many companies, including Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, and HBO’s Game of Thrones have created branded filters to promote a new product or simply increase awareness.
4- Play to win a Snapchat game
We’ve all been caught in a Snappable snafu, whether you’ve been walked in on trying to catch imaginary Twizzlers in your mouth or fulfilling some other odd objective.
With a built-in games setup, brands can use Snapchat to create video-gamified contests.
GrubHub created a Snapchat game called “Food’s Here” game that offered players $10 off their first order for winning, and $15 off if they downloaded the food delivery app.
5- Create a Pinterest Board to Win
Asking followers to create a Pinterest board can be a great way to encourage engagement with your products.
Creative Social Media Contest Ideas and Examples
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