If you’re going through a slump with social media, or just looking for a fun break from your regular routine, consider hosting a social media challenge! Challenges typically consist of a list of daily task items made into a shareable image, usually marketed with a specific title and hashtag. These tasks are usually comprised of questions or subjects that involve photo and caption replies, prompting followers daily to complete another item on the list. Here are the basic steps to set one up for your business:
1. Think up a unique challenge title, hashtag, and time frame. To make the challenge easy to follow and organize across social media streams, it’s best to have a cohesive title and hashtag to make the posts and mentions trackable. Make them specific enough that there are no existing hashtags for the name, but simple enough that people can remember them. For instance, “Picture Day Challenge” may be too vague, but “Get Inspired with Design Challenge” is a specific enough starting point. It may also be helpful at this stage to know how many prompts you’d like to include, usually listed as the ‘days’ of your challenge. Common options are a week, several weeks, or even a month long. This may be useful information for your title!
2. Make the prompts easy and relatable to your business. The list of tasks needs to be appealing and simple to complete so that your followers will join in and engage! Your tasks should also be related to your industry, to best suit your business marketing. For instance, a financial advisor may base tasks on goals or purchasing decisions, whereas a florist may keep to flowers, nature, and other related themes.
Asking for pictures and posts of something simple and relatable is also key. A simple task to include may be “a long-term goal”, for instance. Followers could post any variety of pictures about any of their goals. Just keep the request easy enough that a wide variety of people could accomplish it. The prompts can also be useful in collecting information for your business and marketing purposes, coming to a better understanding of your audience.
3. Set an example by completing your own challenge. If you want your followers and customers to join in and engage with you, it’s best to lead by example. This will also help clarify how your business relates to each prompt, with posts explaining the relations to the prompts as well as answering them.
4. Plan your posts! It can be difficult to keep to a timeline of posts with challenges going by days, especially between marketing them, interacting with those getting involved, and finishing the challenge yourself. So, finish the challenge beforehand! Or, at least have a plan for how to. Once you make your list of prompts, make a timeline for yourself on which posts to schedule when, as well as what challenge marketing you want to include, or how you’d like your business’ page to answer the daily prompts.
5. Announce your challenge. Let your followers, employees, and business partners know about the challenge once it’s begun! Encourage them to get involved, whether by offering incentives, or just spreading the word as much as possible. Complete the challenge for your business and personal pages, and encourage your network to complete it as well! The purpose of the challenge is to gain attention for your business and to learn about your customers, so spread the word to increase your engagement levels.
6. Interact with challenge participants. When your audience begins responding and completing the challenge, encourage them moving forward! Make comments and likes on posts, and consider following some of the businesses that participate. These people are interested in your brand, and with some further encouragement, could become valuable customers or partners.
7. Do a recap of what was sent in. When your challenge is completed, and possibly even during, feature some of the replies in your hashtag! Show off audience responses or the number of results earned, just be sure to keep it positive. The purpose of this is to make those involved feel appreciated and supported, meaning their continued favor, as well as spreading the word of your success, which may earn you more attention.
Give it a try yourself! To start organizing a social media challenge for your business or for more tips, questions, and assistance, give i3 a call today!