Social media photo contests are a great way for companies to gain new fans. They are fun, and driven by fans you already have. Photo contests are based around a theme (i.e. a picture in your place of business, or a picture of the entrant holding something your company sells), and the winner is determined by which picture gets the most “likes.” But not all social media photo contests are equal. Here are 5 secrets of successful social media photo contests (the last one being the most important, and least intuitive).
1. A great prize! You need to offer a great prize, that appeals to the widest amount of people in your target demographic. Don’t skimp on this one – make the prize at least $100, or preferably more, so that people will take the contest seriously and do what they can to win.
2. Fan-gate! Fan-gating is making sure a person has to be a fan of your social media page to enter your contest or vote. This the heart of social media photo contests – a person trying to win till ask all of her friends to vote for her photo, and every one of them who votes will become your fan, and then get all of your regular updates in the future.
3. Clear instructions! This is important: no matter how obvious you think your instructions for entry are, make them even more obvious. Someone will get confused. Assume the person you’re writing the instructions for has never even seen a computer: customers comfortable with computers will be able to skip them, but you don’t want to lose a fan because they can’t figure out how to enter.
4. Shorter Contests! Don’t make the contest too long – people will forget, about it, and momentum is built through your fans asking their own friends to vote. A single determined fan can get you more new fans in one intense weekend than a bunch of people slowing entering for months. Keep the contest length to about a month.
5. Get into the real world! Even though these contests live on the internet, there’s no need to only advertise them virtually. Posters and mailers are great ways to get your existing customers to take notice of the contest. You can even use a QR code on the mailer or poster to take them directly to the contest web page! Mixing traditional marketing tactics with new online campaigns is the best way to get everyone’s attention to your company.