If you’re seeking increased fan engagement, you can’t go wrong with social media contests. They pique people’s interest and keep them coming back to see how the contest is going and whether they’ve won. So our social media experts at 101 Management, Inc. want to give you some ideas for contests you may want to use to boost fan engagement.

But first, here are a few useful guidelines.


  1. Decide what you want from your fans

To conduct a successful contest, you must first define the goal. What is the purpose of your contest? Do you want to collect more email addresses? To promote an event? To gain more followers or re-tweets? Knowing this will help you decide which type of contest to run.

  1. Keep it mobile-friendly

Because most people access social media on their smartphones, make sure the contest is optimized for mobile devices. And forcing people to complete numerous steps to be able to enter is a sure way to lose them. Unless your prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii, they won’t bother to hop from platform to platform or follow other confusing rules just to win a $10 Amazon gift card.  Unless you’re running a loop giveaway, which by definition requires entrants to jump through a number of hoops, keep entry requirements to a minimum.

  1. Clearly spell out all rules in writing

Protect yourself from any possible legal complications by thoroughly researching the contest rules of whichever platform(s) you intend to use (Facebook has some very restrictive terms and conditions regarding contests, for example). Also research any local legal regulations that might apply.

Spell out entry dates and ages to participate, requirements to enter, how winners will be selected, how long the contest will run, and how winners will be notified.

If your goal is to collect email addresses, be sure to let participants know they are agreeing to receive future emails from you.

  1. Make your prize irresistible

To entice entrants, it’s important to make the prize something they can’t resist. The prize you offer will depend on your budget, but make it as tempting as possible, either something people might want (tickets to a game or show, for instance) or something they wouldn’t ordinarily buy for themselves (a spa trip, makeover, or massage, for example).

  1. Keep them interested

Send out regular reminders about the contest, share updates (“just three days left to enter and win this fabulous prize!”), and answer any questions you may have received. At the end of the contest, always notify all entrants and fans who the winner was.


Now that you know how to run a successful contest, let’s look at some types you may want to try.

  1. The simplest form of contest to increase engagement is the one that asks people to like or follow a post to win.
  2. Another simple contest asks fans to share, tag a friend, or re-tweet to enter. It’s easy for participants, and—not incidentally—gains you more fans.
  3. Another fun contest is one that asks fans to caption a picture you’ve provided.
  4. Voting on, say, which of your products they like best is a simple, quick way to get them to pay attention to what you’re selling.
  5. Sweepstakes contests predate social media by decades. Think of Publishers Clearing House, which has been running regular sweepstakes since 1967 and is still going strong, because people love to have a chance to win by simply entering a contest. Regular draws—held weekly or monthly—induce followers to stay engaged with you.

If all this seems more than you can handle, why not let the experts at 101 Management, Inc., run your contest for you? We can show you how to get the most from this terrific engagement method!