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    3 Ways to Win Ambassadors With Social Media Contests

    3 minute read

    There are lots of reasons for new customers to get engaged with a brand, but occasionally they may need an extra push. And what better way to get fans motivated than with some healthy competition?

     

    Running a basic contest or sweepstakes via social media can bring strong ROI to your referral marketing strategy…if done correctly.

    With that in mind, here are 3 ways to get the most out of your social media contests and start winning engaged brand ambassadors:

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    1. Have a Goal In Mind:

    It’s no secret that social media contests generate more likes, retweets and shares. But while having a large following is an effective way to garner awareness, these vanity metrics do little in the way of identifying who will continue engaging with your brand post-contest.

    The success of your contest shouldn’t be judged on a roll of the dice; referral marketing is not a game of chance. As with any marketing program, having a clearly defined goal at the onset is key to tracking and optimizing the success of your contest.

    What do you hope to achieve? Are you looking to highlight new products? Or boost user engagement? Determining targeted goals will help better develop your contest down the line.

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    2. Find the Right Type of Contest

    Choosing the right type of contest is essential to reaching your objectives. To start, there are two basic types: content and sweepstakes.

    A content-driven contest involves photos, essays or videos. While this will generate lots of new content for your page, it imposes a high barrier to entry that may deter new fans from entering.

    But the fans that do enter are clearly willing to invest time and effort into your brand, which identifies them as potential brand ambassadors down the road.

    E-commerce powerhouse Volusion ran a contest in early-2012 that exemplifies a content-focused sweepstakes. Their “Product of the Year” Photo Contest asked fans to like Volusion’s Facebook page and upload a photo of their favorite product along with their contact information and a link. The winner was chosen as the entry that received the most votes, prompting fans to share the contest across their social networks.

    Volusion not only generated publicity for their brand through photo sharing but also collected data on potential leads. That’s a one-two punch of social media marketing success.

    On the other hand, a sweepstakes is easy to enter and will help build out your fan base but may attract people who are only interested in the prize. That being said, it’s an ideal tactic for brands with smaller fan bases looking to grow their reach and expand their pool of potential of brand ambassadors.

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    3. Choose the right prize:

    Shiny prizes get people excited about contests, but throwing an iPad at the wall and hoping it sticks is not the best way to find passionate fans (it also breaks your iPad).

    Instead focus on first-party prizes, or ones that come directly from your business. If you’re a B2B SaaS looking to identify target customers, offering a free trial period will ensure that entrants are actually interested in purchasing your software. Otherwise why would they take the time to enter?

    You’ll also be well positioned to develop brand ambassadors from satisfied winners and fans who were engaged in the contest and liked what they saw.

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    The most important thing to keep in mind when developing a social media contest is that the contest is not the ultimate goal but a tool to realize a broader business strategy. Whether that’s building a stronger fan base or engaging an already existing one, winning the marketing game comes down to knowing what’s best for your brand and your customers.

    Posted in Social Media, Referral Marketing

    Jeff Epstein

    Written by Jeff Epstein

    Jeff Epstein is the founder and former CEO of Ambassador Software, the World’s #1 Relationship Marketing Platform which enables brands like Hewlett-Packard, HubSpot and Madison Reed to build & scale referral, affiliate, partner and influencer programs.

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