There is an easy way to attract hordes of new prospective customers as well as engage with your existing social media followers. And that’s to run contests or social media competitions.

They present you with the possibility of getting lots of positive attention and encourage viral sharing. They also provide an excellent way to boost brand awareness, online conversation, customer loyalty and market presence. Plus they can help you to attract interest in your business and help your existing customers to feel rewarded and engaged with your business. Contests can motivate 52% of consumers to stay connected to a brand, according to market research firm Ipsos.

Before launching any contest, it’s important you pay attention to what Infusionsoft calls the ‘Seven Ps of online contest strategy: Purpose, People, Platform, Promotion, Particulars, Prize and Payoff.


Firstly, decide on your overarching goal for holding the contest. If you want to generate high-quality leads, it’s important to create an entry form that provides you with information that will guide your follow-up efforts.

That’s because your contest gives you a huge opportunity to increase your email list. The questions you ask in your entry form can provide invaluable information to help segment people into your list and personalise follow-up marketing.

And design your entry form so that it’s easy to share and to enter, particularly for mobile users.

Send your contest entrants to a landing page. You’ll get fewer entrants than if you were asking people to retweet or like your post, but you can gather information through a contest entry form. You can ask us to create you a bespoke entry form or landing page that will help turn entrants into qualified leads.


Keep your target audience in mind when you design your contest. It’s crucial that you know your target audience’s’ needs and motivation. There’s no point offering a prize, for instance, that no-one in your target audience will want to win.


Decide where you can reach the most people in your target audience most easily. Find out if they’re more active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and then create your contest for that platform.


To be successful, your prospective audience needs to be aware of your contest and enticed to interact. For that to happen, you need to launch your contest with a strong distribution and promotion strategy.

You’ll need to post on social media often to make people aware of your contest and motivate them to enter it. Use what you know about the best times for engagement to post your contest. Identify and approach key influencers among your followers and ask them to share your contest with their audience.


Make sure you comply with the rules and regulations of each social platform on which you post details of your social media competition or contest. For example, you can no longer use the following as conditions of entry in a Facebook contest:

  • Like a page to enter
  • Share a page to enter
  • Tag yourself in a photo to enter
  • Share a page on a friend’s Timeline to enter
  • Like multiple pages to enter

But you can make any of the following a condition of entry:

  • Like a post to enter
  • Post on a Page to enter
  • Like as a voting mechanism
  • Comment on a post to enter.


The only reason people will enter your contest is to win a prize. Your prize must be a fit for the platform and your target audience. It must:

  • Be of interest to your target audience.
  • Relate in some way to your brand and identity.
  • Be low-cost but perceived as high value by your customer.

The winning prize must be of great value to your prospective customers but of little interest to everyone else. Think of prizes like extended trials of your product, an upgrade of your service or a giveaway of your products. If prospective customers don’t see the value in your prize, they won’t enter. And if you make the prize appealing to everyone, you’ll end up with tons of poor quality leads.


Use metrics that directly relate to your goal of lead generation. Track the number of entrants the contest attracts, and how many of them opt-in to your email list. You could also measure the percentage of contest entrants or traffic convert into subscribers or customers.