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6 Social Media Contest Ideas to Engage Your Audience

How do you keep your audience engaged on social media? Running social media contests is a great way to boost your brand online and increase engagement. In fact, social media contests have the potential to generate thousands of entries and reach millions of people. We’ve gathered six social media contest ideas to help you keep your audience interested and engaged.

#1 Create an exciting hook
Your hook must be exciting and intriguing enough to get your audience on board. However, before you rush to choose your hook, it’s crucial to choose the prize first. The award can consist of a pre-paid vacation, a gift card, your product, or another brand-related product.
Now, as you’ve figured out the prize, let’s determine the hook for your contest. Some prizes will sell themselves. Who doesn’t want to go on a fully paid vacation to the Bahamas? In this case, the prize itself can be the hook.
If you can’t afford to send the lucky winners to the Bahamas, there are other ways to hook your audience. For example, you can hype up the exclusivity of the prizes. Award the winners with the best-selling products or with the items in their wishlist.

#2 Encourage user-generated content
Encouraging entrants to create branded content is one of the best ways to engage your audience. User-generated content (UGC) is any content (e.g. pictures, reviews, posts, videos, etc.) that has been created and posted by users on social media. For many brands, UGC is the primary method of engaging their audience. Not only does UGC engage your audience, but it also has an impact on purchase decisions. Additionally, UGC contributes to building trust and credibility as customers display your products in their online “testimonials.”


How to encourage UGC in social media contests? You can require entrants to post a picture of your product on their Instagram or Facebook story with a particular hashtag to participate in the contest. For example, the world-famous brand Heinz launched a competition with prizes. According to the rules, users must take a photo of their holiday tables, leave a request on the website or hashtag under the publication on Twitter or Instagram. Among the participants, there will be a drawing of certificates for $ 100 or a trip to visit relatives. In this way, Heinz has stimulated the generation and distribution of user-generated content.


Important note: Always request permission before sharing UGC and credit the original content creator in the description.

#3 Put on a vote contest
Running a vote contest is another great way to boost user engagement on social media. Regardless of the size of your company and your budget, vote contests are easy to put on and can be used by all. Also, vote contests are a great way to show your followers that their opinion matters.
Provide your customers with more interactive opportunities as you post vote contests regularly. To increase engagement, make sure that the topic of the vote resonates with your audience. Vote contests that are fun and relate to audiences’ lifestyles are the best engagement boosters. For example, Mediacorp managed to put on a voting contest using Votigo customize contest platform.

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You can also set up a simple guessing game to engage your audience and award the contestant whose answer is correct. For example, you can post a picture featuring a bunch of your products and ask how many of a particular product your followers see. Don’t be afraid to get creative on this one. Try to create a guessing game that will grab your followers’ attention.
Additionally, you can ask for the email of your voters as they submit their responses. This will help you build up your mailing list and reach a wider audience with your email marketing campaign.

#4 Run a sweepstake
Sweepstakes is an easy and fast way to engage your Facebook followers. A sweepstake is a lottery that rewards a prize to a randomly selected winner. Your followers enter their personal info, including their email, and click ‘Enter Sweepstakes.’ Once they’ve entered the competition, your followers can share the post and invite others to participate.
Alternatively, you can ask your participants to come out with a creative comment, follow your Facebook account, or like the post. Professionals from Ivory Research, an essay writing services company, suggest that running sweepstakes are a great way to boost engagement rates and generate more leads as participants must interact with your page and share their email to enter the competition.
This AccuWeather sweepstakes campaign created by Votigo is a great example.


#5 Run a daily prize contest
Running a daily prize contest is another effective way to keep your followers engaged and interested in your campaign. The main idea behind daily prize contests is that you have a series of prizes designated specifically for each day of the campaign. For example, you can give out your products to the winners of the sweepstake each day of the week.
Besides improved engagement rates, you’ll get a valuable insight on which products motivate contestants to participate more.

#6 Use contests to support a cause
Did you know that the majority of Americans are supporting socially responsible organizations? In fact, running a charity contest is an amazing way to keep your customers engaged. Use your social media contest to support a cause that aligns with your company’s values and social mission. For example, you can run a vote contest asking your participants to choose a non-profit for you to make a donation.

How to select a prize?
Now, let’s figure out how to select a prize worth participating in a contest. It’s best to have a prize that is somehow related to your industry or your product. For example, you can give out an exclusive gift card or some of your most popular products.
Many service providers fail to create social media contests as they can’t offer a tangible prize to the winner. If you’re a service provider struggling to come up with a prize, consider giving out your services.
Here is another great example by Votigo of how you can offer products and coupons as a prize. Notice how they include multiple prizes.

There are many ways you can employ contests to boost user engagement. Hopefully, this article has given you a better idea of the different types of social media contests.