Social media

You can stimulate more meaningful relationships with your audience by creating social media competitions that sit across digital and social media channels.

You can generate thousands of entrants into hugely successful competitions and here, we will be outlining some of the secrets in doing so which have been shared by Salons Direct.

What do you think makes a good competition?

  • The prize is an important factor; it has to be of value and relevance to your target audience to keep them engaged.
  • Ease of entry for entrants. With technology advancing people are looking for instant interaction, make your competition simple and quick to enter.
  • Always offer a runner up prize for your competition. The higher the chances of winning, the more interaction you will get.
  • Communication is key. Email confirmation of the visitor’s entry maintains communication and interaction with each visitor.
  • Remember, you have just captured first party data via your competition, so it is crucial that you utilise the data to contact entrants once the competitions have closed.
  • The education around the prize (if it needs it). Highlighting benefits, features and even demonstrating the product via a video can increase interest in the competition.
  • Social sharing options after entering gives your business the opportunity to increase the visibility of your competitions.
Why do you run competitions?

We run competitions to create social buzz around new professional hair and beauty products or to generate exposure to special offers. We often use the data captured to contact the unsuccessful entrants with an exclusive offer to entice them to buy the product they missed out on. Competitions are also useful for businesses to expose their own brand and create customer attraction.

How do you promote your competitions?

We promote the competitions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, often boosting Facebook posts to increase exposure from fans. The competition entry form is then embedded within Facebook, or a blog post, we are always sure to add a link to a blog post for further education of the product. Highlighting features and benefits of the prize encourage them to purchase the product, even if they’re unsuccessful. Directing the entrant to a blog post also encourages them to read about your business and hopefully interact and purchase from you, or influence returning custom next time they’re looking to purchase the particular product that your business is offering.

How do you choose the prize for your competitions?

When suppliers launch a new product or run a special offer with us, as part of our proposed online marketing plan, we prompt them to send in some products that we can give away as a competition to help raise awareness of the new line/special offer.

More often than not, suppliers now come to us with products they’re willing to give away as a competition. We have the highest social following within the UK professional hair and beauty industry meaning more exposure for their brand/product.

What advice would you give to someone looking to run a social media competition for their brand?

  • Boosting posts on Facebook is a great way to generate exposure as you pay Facebook to push the post to more fans timelines to gain a wider reach.
  • Embedding the entry form into a blog post is good when there is more content than just an entry form. For example, you could introduce the product or service, explain its features and benefits and in some cases embed a step-by-step video guide, and then at the end give them the chance to enter to win the product or service.
  • If the competition is embedded into a Facebook app, ensure you feature the special offer, whether it is in the image or the text. Those who are really interested will buy the product on the special offer anyway.
  • Follow up with an email offer to the unlucky entrants.
  • Advertise the prize for sale as well as related items to encourage sales and hype on the product.
  • Make sure the prize your giving away is a prize available to purchase from your site. Don’t advertise a product you can’t offer.
Do you run the competitions across multiple social media channels?

We predominantly run our competitions through Facebook or our blog but promote them across our other social media channels.

In your opinion, what is the overall benefit of using a digital marketing automation platform?

Our digital marketing platform of choice is extremely user friendly and allows us to easily create entry forms that can either be added to our Facebook page or embedded within a blog post. It allows us to capture data, and easily use the leads for follow up emails and exclusive offers.

By Steve Evans, Managing Director of Akero Labs