Understanding Social Media Competitions

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It’s ‘U’ in the #AtoZchallenge of writing a blog post for every letter of the alphabet in April.

Today I am looking at ‘Understanding Social Media Competitions’ and those rules that are set down by the various social media channels.

Facebook Competitions

Facebook-64 The most common error that seems to occur with Facebook competitions is when businesses, large and small, break the rule that could actually lose them their page. Yes, Facebook has been shutting down pages that break the rules and while businesses can appeal, there is no guarantee they will get their page reinstated. Yet, I see this rule-breaking on a daily basis. Some small business people aren’t aware they are breaking the rules as they see other businesses running similar competitions. Some are very aware but believe they will get away with it as these competitions are so prevalent and it seems such an easy way to raise your edgerank and boost your reach.

What is it? It’s the ‘Like and Share’.  Facebook did change its rules some time ago. You can now ask your fans a question for which their comment is an entry into the competition, you can even ask them to like your update as an entry but you cannot ask them to tag another person or share your update to their personal profile. However, it is against the rules to run a ‘like and share’ competition.

There’s a lot more to running an effective competition than you might think – starting with deciding on your aims. Do you want to increase fan numbers, get more subscribers for your email newsletter or promote a particular product?  Some will be more suited to using an app such as Shortstack to running your competition, others will suffice by encouraging interaction for a prize – as long as you don’t ask them to share!

Amanda at Spiderworking has a post devoted to the recent changes in Facebook’s rules regarding competitions and will be co-presenting a webinar next week, sharing tips and know-how on creating effective Facebook competitions.

Pinterest Contests

Understanding Social Media Contests Running a Pinterest contest is more straightforward in some ways yet there are quite a few rules that have to be adhered to too. I wrote a post recently on Pinterest contest but the main point for today is that the most common error seems to be calling the contest a ‘Pin it to win it’ contest which suggests that they have to pin your ‘Contest promotion’ pin to win or pin a number of your own pins from your website. Both of these would break two of Pinterest’s rules. The emphasis has to be on quality and curating images that are beautiful and inspiring – which is the whole ethos of Pinterest.

Pinterest is overtaking Facebook and twitter as a referral of traffic to many websites, hence it is a serious contender for helping you raise brand awareness, increase traffic and grow sales.  I haven’t heard of any Pinterest accounts being shut down for breaking the law but this post shows that repercussions can be serious if you don’t ask participants to make it clear that they are creating boards or tweeting in order to win a prize.

As with Facebook competitions, you need to decide on your goal for your contest. Do you just want more followers? Do you want email subscribers? Do you want to test the market with a particular product?  Your goal will determine the size of the prize, the amount of work that participants will do to enter (it is best to keep it simple) and the number of entries you will get.

If you would like to learn more about running a Pinterest contest, do sign up for the free webinar taking place on 1st May.

free webinar creating killer competitions with Pinterest and Facebook

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