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How to Grow Your Brand with Social Media Contests

Social media contests are a powerful marketing tool, that have the power to grow your brand rapidly online. Despite being on the map since the dawn of social media, many brands overlook the importance of contests when creating a social media campaign.

Before getting started on your next social media contest, there are a few important things you should consider first.

Social media contests are intended to excite followers of a brand through the alluring premise of giving something valuable away to the target audience in exchange for positive word of mouth, shares and likes on social media pages. This is ultimately, done with the hopes of converting followers and friends to loyal repeat customers.


Social media contests can have many widespread benefits for your business. They have the power to swiftly grow your followers and boost online engagement, by encouraging audiences to start the conversation with your brand through the competition post.

The more fun and exciting the contest, the higher the chance it will go viral through contestants sharing posts. Social media contests can also increase your organic search and conversion rates, whilst maximising your return on investment (ROI).


Targeting is paramount when creating a social media contest, to ensure your business is reaching the target market of consumers, not just a potential competition entrant. Through understanding ‘who’ your target audience is, this will ensure the contest reaches this audience on the social media platforms they most frequently use.

Social media analytics will allow your business to understand if the target market prefer to actively participate in contests or spectate, which will shape your campaign design.

Choosing the right campaign for your business

Now, that you have started to establish who your target audience is and where they live online, it’s important to decide on the type of social media contest campaign that fits your business and target audience best.

These are our top three picks for campaign styles actively used by brands when designing social media contests:

Video-content Campaign: with the popularity of YouTube, Facebook Live and Instagram Live, businesses can cash in on this with a visual and experience-based campaign which engages audiences.

Audience Shared Content Campaign: This is a fun way for audiences to actively engage with your brand through sharing pictures, videos and captions in response to the contest.

Philanthropy Campaign: Through offering audiences a way to give back to a charitable experience via a contest, engagement rates and social sharing are likely to be substantially higher.


Prizes are the driving force behind any social media contest’s appeal to audiences and can make or break their success. Tangible prizes which may have worked in the past, like gift cards, don’t have the same appeal to audiences in 2019. Through offering audiences, a unique experience, you are more likely to drive engagement and post shares, increasing the contest’s chance of going viral.

Contest rules

Before hitting live on your next social media contest, it’s important you consider the legal requirements around hosting a social media contest and that different social networking sites have different rules. If you break the rules, you may not only have your page deleted, but face other consequences.

Need help creating your business’ next social media contest? Fill out the form below to speak to an expert!