Social media contests can be a great way to build a fan base, gather data and engage your audience. Whether you’re running a contest for the first time or you’re a seasoned pro, there are some important things to keep in mind as you prepare and execute your campaign.


  1. Make it fun!
  2. Your prize should be exciting and generate interest.
  3. Start with a clear understanding of your target audience and choose the appropriate channel – Twitter, Facebook, your website or blog.
  4. Know your marketing objectives. Are you interested in building your mailing list? Are you looking for insights about your market?
  5. Ensure that the entry process is easy to navigate and the entry requirements are clearly explained.
  6. Devise a well thought-out marketing plan that spans the life of the contest and engages your fans and followers.
  7. Spread the word – use public relations, social media and word of mouth to spread the news of the contest.
  8. Encourage sharing. Offer bonus prizes to those who bring in more fans.
  9. Allow the promotion to run for at least a month to have ample time to reach people.
  10. Be sure to comply with all applicable state laws, as well as the promotional rules for each social media platform.

Bonus Tip: Once your social media contest has concluded, review and improve for your next campaign.

Social media contests should not be treated as stand-alone events, but rather as one part of a complete social media strategy. Promotions can be a great way to engage with your customers and gather insight.

What are your experiences with social media contests and online promotions? Share them in our Comments section.

Originally published June 7, 2015, updated February 7, 2017
Tags: Marketing facebook social media twitter Social Media Marketing promotions