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5 Tips for Using Contests and Giveaways to Grow Your Social Media

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5 Tips for Using Contests and Giveaways to Grow Your Social Media

Hosting contests and giveaways is a great way to promote your blog. Everyone loves to get something for free, and contests and giveaways help drive traffic to your blog and increase exposure for your brand.

Contests and giveaways are also great ways to grow your social media presence, which can be used to grow your blog in the long-term. Growing your followers through social media is a great way to capture leads that you can connect with again and again to promote your brand and your products and services. Contests and giveaways can help you do that.

Here are 5 tips for using contests and giveaways to grow your social media, which will, in turn, help you to grow your blog:

Select a Great Prize

You need to get people excited about what you have to offer. A $10 Starbucks gift certificate might be nice, but not too many people are going to be tripping over themselves trying to win it. Sure, you might get entries, but you won’t get much buzz. Now if you offer a brand new iPad, you are sure to watch the entries come pouring in, the links start lighting up your analytics, and the social media shares go viral.

Not everyone can afford to offer a new iPad for every contest. (We aren’t all Pioneer Woman.) However, you can take the time to find a unique and interesting prize that will get people excited and ready to act.

Provide Numerous Options for Entry

Here’s where you can really take advantage of your contest or giveaway to grow your social media presence. You can require that your readers do just about anything to enter your contest. You can ask them to subscribe to your blog, follow you on Facebook, or do a handstand in a monkey costume and post a picture of it.

Provide numerous options for entry that will help you grow your social media presence. (The monkey costume might be fun, but it won’t get you more Twitter followers.) Options for entry could include becoming your friend, fan, or follower on any or all of the social media sites where you have a presence, sharing a link to your blog or the contest (or both) on any number of social media sites that you select, or sharing the link multiple times for multiple entries.

If you have a good prize and you do this right, you could see your fans or followers grow exponentially.

Allow Enough Time

You might want to run your contest fast and furious to make the most impact in the shortest amount of time. However, limiting the time for your contest won’t necessarily encourage fast action by your readers. Instead, it could mean that a lot of people never even learn about your contest at all.

Give your readers time to build up buzz about your contest and to send new visitors your way. A week is a good place to start, but you should consider at least two weeks. The bigger your prize, the longer you should give. We once saw a successful contest run for the whole summer to give away 7 iPads.

Promote the Contest

If no one knows about your contest, it won’t matter how great your contest is. You won’t get entries, and you won’t get social media buzz or followers. You have to promote your contest both leading up to its start and throughout its duration.

E-mail other blogs in your niche to share the giveaway, send out an e-mail blast to your list, and share it on your social media. Search for blogs that promote giveaways (there are hundreds) and start sending out your link. You’ll start to see traffic in no time.

Follow Up with Great Content

Once your contest is over, don’t fall victim to the dreaded social media attrition that plagues many blog owners. You may get a lot of new fans and followers from the contest, but once that’s done, many will drop you, leaving your numbers to dwindle quickly.

Make sure you are ready to share interesting, useful, or entertaining content on all your social media channels to give your fans and followers a reason to stay. Don’t start spamming them with information about your company. Start offering them valuable information right away so that they have a reason to stick around and learn more about you.

Contests and giveaways are a great way to get exposure for your blog and to grow your social media presence. Following these steps can help you make this most of this opportunity so that you can see real growth in your social media that lasts long after your contest is over and helps you secure the success of your blog.

Have you used a contest or giveaway to grow your social media presence? Share your tips for success in the comments!

Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go college, where recently she’s been researching criminal justice scholarships and engineering scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and hogging her boyfriend’s PlayStation 3. To keep her sanity she enjoys practicing martial arts and bringing home abandon animals.

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