How to create social media contests like pro fashion brands do

social media contest4The word ‘contest’ has a zing of some kind to it. When you see a social media contest announced on Instagram or Facebook, for a minute there a very basic competitive instinct comes to play and all you want is to win the contest. It is a sweet marketing tool, that empowers your customers as they feel that their ‘vote’, ‘like’, ‘picture’ or ‘hashtag’ matters to your brand. Social media contests may seem easy breezy, but every fashion brand who has attempted it, knows that it isn’t uncommon to see contests fail or get lukewarm responses.

1) The social media contest must revolve around your main objective: What is the main objective of your social media contest?

  • Lead generation
  • Engagement
  • Increase followers
  • User generated content
  • Build a fanbase
  • Collect data

Some of the objectives mentioned above will directly impact sales, while some will just enhance your social media marketing strategy, but all of them will guarantee a pleasant social media experience for your customers.

2) Who is your customer? Have you observed how some of your followers are more invested in their social media activities, while some just sit on the side lines, casually spectating? But why should I care you may wonder? Well to explain this let us consider the following image .
social media contest

Design your social media contest in accordance to your follower’s social media behaviour, as it is directly translates into the amount of engagement your contest will receive. You obviously want to try to target the ‘creators’ category of the ladder, but don’t under estimate the potential of the rest. Consider Quertee, a limited edition Tshirt company, asked  customers to follow its Facebook page to enter a contest to win free Tshirts. The brand increased its following massively as there is very little effort required on the part of customers to enter this sort of contest.
social media contest2

This kind of contest may even attract ‘spectators’ or ‘joiners’ who otherwise don’t engage with your brand’s content. And who knows, you might convert mere spectators into loyal customers.This brings us to the next very important point.

3) Keep it simple and take on one platform at a time: The contest that you create should be simple, Period! Simple to understand, simple to participate, simple to engage and simple to share. Also try to create a unique contest for each social media platform, as each one of them has different rules and policies. Including all social media platforms in one contest is not just cumbersome and difficult for the brand, but also the customers find it difficult to understand and participate. The more easier it is for your customers to get involved with your contest, the more likely it will succeed in getting you leads, followers, brand engagement and awareness.

4) Choose the contest that is right for your brand: This is the part, where you put your most creative foot forward. There are number of tried and tested types of contests.

a) #Hashtag: This is one of the most common yet effective type of social media contest. All you are required is to create a witty and catchy brand related or campaign related #hashtag and ask participants to share a photo or video using that hashtag to enter. Consider the #everydayamazing contest by Espirit. The best part of this type of contest is that the customer is super engaged and your brand gets tons of user generated conten,t that you can further use in your future social media marketing.
social media contest3

b) Email gated: This one involves a brand asking customers to submit their email IDs to enter the contest. It can be a little difficult, as customers don’t like having a barrier to entry. Some might not want to take that effort, but the ones that do can prove to be excellent email leads, that you can use for email marketing in the future.

5) Plan for the pre and post contest preparations
: One of the main preparations prior to the contest is the prize, after all it is the main motivating factor for customers to join. The prize should be enticing to your target audience. Don’t choose a prize that is generic in nature, which may attract a lot of people, but won’t really help in finding new customers that are attracted to your brand. Set up a clear time frame for the contest too, thus the customers know stuff like the deadline for entry or when the contest ends. For example video and image sharing contests run longer than one day flash contests. This is also the time to prepare the amazing graphics and copy that you plan to use to introduce or promote your contest. Lastly do contingency planning and keep resources ready, by resources we mean, time, staff and money. If your contest goes viral, which we understand is every brand’s dream you should be able handle the large volumes of entries.

Contests can be a lot of fun for customers and very profitable for your fashion brand. So just put your thinking hat on and come up with a spectacular contest idea.

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