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How to Run a Facebook or Instagram Contest to Increase Followers

Increasing your followers on social media can be a hassle at times, especially for smaller businesses that tend to focus on local crowds. Earning valuable customer attention online is critical, however, to successful marketing. So, how do we start to gain better interest? One way of amping your follower count without much cost to you is by running a contest. Social media contests are especially popular on Facebook and Instagram, where a desirable prize is promised in return for people engaging with your page. Let’s break down how to start a successful one:

  1. Do some research. With contests being such a popular aspect of both Facebook and Instagram, it shouldn’t be difficult to browse through #contest, #win, or #giveaway to find a few. Look at the most popular ones and see what they’re asking for as entries. What are their prizes? How many people are engaged on their page? This will hopefully give you a good idea as to what prizes people may be interested in and what sort of engagement you can request in return for their entry.
  2. Determine where to host your contest. You can choose multiple social media platforms, but sticking to one at a time may be best to streamline how you count your entries. Where you host your contest may also alter what aspects you add into it, such as what’s required to join. Where are your current followers the most engaged? Looking at where you’d most want to improve your follower count or how often they engage with your page is a good way to decide.
  3. Consider your market. What will your most optimal customers want to win? How do you market your contest specifically for them? Even in the early decision-making process, keep your ideal customers in mind. While any engagement numbers are nice, a contest is most beneficial to you if you earn reliable customers through it.
  4. Decide what type of contest it will be. There are a number of contest types out there, among the popular being: like-to-win, photo contests, tag your friends, share this image, or a combination. On Instagram, photo contests are one of the most popular; people will submit photos with a specific hashtag and tag your business in order to be a part of it. On Facebook, “Like, Share, Follow” is rather popular, and also rather simple to track. Whichever type you choose, we’d recommend asking that to enter, they follow your business and like the contest posts.
  5. Determine a unique hashtag, prize, and duration. A unique hashtag to post with the contest will not only help you sort out entries, but it will give some sense of organization to those entering. It will seem more official, and it will let them see others entering if they haven’t already. The prize should be chosen with your customer base in mind, and will hopefully draw in new customers as well. As for duration, some businesses have seen a lot of success in running many, short contests over the year instead of longer ones. However, based on your prize and what you’re hoping for in terms of entry numbers, this may not be best for you. Choose a deadline you’re comfortable with. Many times, a deadline doesn’t even have to be a set date– it can be when your follower number reaches a certain amount, or when the post is shared over a certain number of times.
  6. Start it up! Name your contest and start posting images with its info on whichever platform/s you choose. Make sure to repost every so often, and track who has successfully entered. When it comes to the deadline, feel free to post about it more frequently and be sure to post the winners once they’ve been chosen! Seeing the winners of a past contest may sway more people into entering next time.

You should be all set to start up a contest on your own, following these guidelines. However, if you have any questions or concerns, or you’d like help in doing so, contact i3 today!

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