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Using Contests to Connect with Your Customers

Contests are a great way to connect with your customers online and can be a win-win (pun intended!) for your store and your customers. In this blog post, I’ll walk through how to create a contest that delivers delight to your customers and provides real business value to your store. Wondering why you should run contest or promotion in the first place? Be sure to check out Melanie’s blog post on the why and how of social media promotions.

First Things First – Set Your Goal

When you first set out to create a contest, think about the goal you have in mind. Are you wanting to create more engagement on your page? Are you looking to collect customer email addresses for your email program? Defining these goals up front will help determine the right type of contest to run.

Choose the Right Type of Prize

After determining your goal of the contest, ensure you have selected a prize that will be desired by your audience. After all, if you’re giving away something that no one really wants, you’re likely not going to achieve the goal you’re wanting to accomplish. Here’s a tip: If you have a Facebook page for your store (and you should), view the Facebook Insights tool on your page to understand what type of fans you have.

I would also recommend that your prize be representative of your store. Don’t just give away an iPad to get entries — people who enter into that type of contest aren’t going to engage with your store after the contest is over, they will likely just be entering to sell the prize. Instead, give away something that your loyal customers will appreciate. Do you have a great meat department? Perhaps a gift card for a meat purchase would be a great prize.

Choose the Right Type of Contest

To choose the right type of contest to run, think back to the goal you’ve set. If you’re looking to create more engagment and likes for your social accounts, it’s best to run the contest right on your Facebook or Twitter timelines. For example, you could set up a contest for customers to like and/or comment on a post to be entered to win.

If the goal of your contest is to collect customer data for your email program, or to send customers to your website, then you’ll need to utilize a 3rd party tool for your contest. Using a tool, you can create a form for customers to register online, which then can be hosted on your website or a landing page for you to link to.

contest-example

This Contest Went Viral — Here’s Why

Let’s look at a quick example of a well executed contest that far exceed its goal of creating engagement on a Facebook page. During the 4th of July holiday week, I created a contest for a retailer that resulted in 430 shares, 1,500 likes and 1,450 comments and reached over 40,000 people. At the time, this retailer had approximately 2,000 Facebook likes, so how did we increase their reach on the contest by nearly 2,000%? By following the tips laid out above, of course! We set the goal of increased engagement, so the contest was run directly on their Facebook page. Entry was simple, just like the post and comment with an easy 1-2 word answer. The prize fit the store and the audience because this retailer is particularly known for their meat department, and it was during the peak of cookout season. We also boosted the post with a $25 Facebook ad, but the organic reach performed much better than paid reach (see the orange bar in the graphic). Since this contest, we’ve seen a big spike in overall engagement with their Facebook page.

If you’re looking to engage with your customers online, contests can be an excellent way to accomplish that goal. Follow the tips in this post, and you’re sure to create a contest that delivers delight to your customers. Have a question or want to learn more about contests? Leave us a comment below!

Why do I work at AWG? “I love helping local businesses grow and compete at the next level. I also think it’s exciting to take grocery shopping, something everyone does, and make it a very personal experience through new digital marketing tactics.” – Jason