Running a competition on social media can be a great way to build brand awareness, attract new fans and generate buzz. But like any communications activity it’s worth spending time upfront assessing the potential risks with your campaign. Competitions played out on social media are available for all to comment on, share with friends, and as we’ve seen this week with Qantas and Nissan, open to public criticism.
If you’re thinking about running a competition on social media here’s some brief pointers to keep in mind…
- Timing – In the same way as news announcements, competitions need to be launched at the right time. The right time involves knowing what customer sentiment is toward your brand at a particular moment and that means regular social media monitoring. If that monitoring, for example, shows customer sentiment is negative toward your brand you might want to consider holding off launching a competition until later.
- Transparency - It’s important to be open and honest about the terms and conditions surrounding any competition, but especially so when it’s being run online. For brands, that means being upfront about who can enter, what prizes can be won and the deadlines for entry.
- Platform – Deciding what platform, such as Twitter or Facebook, to run your competition on is also important. On Facebook, for instance, there are clear guidelines on how to use the platform to communicate about or administer a promotion that need to be carefully adhered to.
- Rewards – When thinking about prizes for a competition consider whether offering one big prize is likely to be as attractive as multiple smaller prizes. Often, people are more likely to enter and talk about a competition online if they believe they stand a good chance of winning, so lots of smaller prizes could be the way to go. Ensuring your prize is relevant or desirable for your target audience is also crucial.
- Participation – When thinking about how you want people to enter your competition, striking a balance between promoting your brand and not being too self-serving is important. Think too about ways to best engage participants. For example, could people enter by uploading a certain picture online or by downloading an app?
- Regulation – Before launching a competition it’s worth reading up about online competition legislation, which can vary from state to state. For example, in NSW an online competition permit is required for all ‘game of chance’ promotions, regardless of the prize value. If the promotion is deemed to be a ‘game of skill’ then no permits are required.
These are just a few thought starters. If you’ve got others to add based on your experiences let us know.