5 Reasons Why Social Media Contests Should be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

With the digital space getting saturated by different brands trying to capture the attention of their target audience, social media contests provide an excellent way to generate buzz around their brand and re-engage their audience. When done properly and effectively, social media contests can bring a number of benefits to your brand. In fact, businesses, both big and small, are using this tactic to generate more leads,  promote their products and services, and increase brand awareness?

While your brand might not garner the same level of enthusiasm that game shows get, you can certainly benefit from hosting a contest or a giveaway on social media.

Here are 5 reasons why contests should be a part of your
marketing strategy.

Give people a reason to follow your brand

Most brands would share interesting and informative content in the hopes of capturing the attention of their audience. But despite their efforts, many of them are having a hard time standing out from the competition. If you want to have more followers and expand your reach, consider hosting a contest on social media.

When running a contest, most brands would ask people to like their social media accounts and share their content. Knowing that they’ll get an opportunity to win something, most people would gladly do as they are asked. This is a win-win for both the brand and consumers. You get the opportunity to reach more people while they get the chance to win something – a gift, a discount voucher, a gift certificate or a free period of service.

If you’re looking to grow your fan base, contests and giveaways are a great way to do it. We’ve seen brands grow their following from 100 to 1,ooo or 10,000 to 25,000 in a matter of days or weeks. While some may argue that follower count is just a vanity metric, having more followers will certainly be beneficial for you if you can keep your engagement rate high. So don’t just stop at running a contest. Make sure that you keep your audience engaged and you’ll reap all the benefits soon enough.

Improve brand awareness

Most people aren’t aware that your business exists until they hear it from their family and friends. Social media contests allows you to get the word out about your business without directly promoting it.

Regardless of how well established your brand is, contests can be a simple yet effective way to improve brand awareness. If your contest includes a voting component, people would tag their family and friends for support. This strategy helps generate buzz around your brand. People are already talking about your brand and promoting your business on your behalf. People get to join in on the fun. Some even walks away with a prize, and you get to reach a wider audience. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Collect data

Often, people are hesitant to share their information for the fear of identity theft. Social media contests provide an easy way to grow your email list and collect data. People will be more willing to provide you with their personal information, knowing that they get something in return.

You can ask people to leave their name, contact number, and email address to enter the contest. Also, think of the type of information you need for your future marketing campaigns. Want to know how many of them went to the local university? How many of them have kids? Now is your chance to find out.

Increase engagement

Contests are one of the best ways to boost your engagement. When you host a social media contest, your post is likely to get a lot of likes, shares, and comments. It’s a fun and interactive way to get people to interact with your brand.

More than the number of fans and followers, engagement is the most important element in social media. The engagement rate represents the number of people who are talking about your brand. The higher the engagement rate is, the higher the reach rate. That means, your content will be viewed by a wider audience. In addition to that, hosting a contest gives you more opportunity to interact with your audience and deepen the connection as well.

Collect user-generated content

Let’s face it. Most customers won’t leave  a review unless you ask them to. And if you’re looking for a way get tons of reviews and user-generated content fast, contests are the way to do it. Simply ask your audience to provide their photos to enter, and you’ll be flooded with user-generated content in no time.

Not only will you have lots of photos to use for your future marketing campaigns, but it will also give your target audience the perception that people love your brand. After all, those who submitted their photos are already invested in your brand.


Why social media contests are a good idea

Holding contests and campaigns

on social media is more popular than ever, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Any company can give out free gift cards or electronics, so that really is not enough to hold the attention of social media users anymore. What is taking your contest to the next level? If you are running a contest, you must make sure your contest stands out from the rest.

As we know, consumers are constantly interacting with social media on their mobile phones. This means it is vital to take advantage of location. Urge users to check-in on social media when they are interacting with your company’s physical location. Offer some sort of incentive such as a discount, a charitable donation, a few points in a contest, etc. Getting social media users to check in not only allows you to generate more traffic but also creates a deeper user interaction (physical and digital).

Do your users have a reason to keep coming back to your page? Include your fans and contest participants in every possible step of the contest. Brands often do this by allowing the fans to vote on a winner, respond to a question, or answer a poll. Get creative here and choose what seems most relevant to your brand and product.

Although your contest is Facebook based, ask yourself if other social media platforms would enhance your contest. For example, say you are the marketer for a line of gluten-free butter and your Facebook contest asked users to post pictures and recipes of things they made with your butter. In this case, it would make sense to start a Pinterest board, displaying the recipes.  Using more than one social media platform can allow you to reach a larger audience. The key here is to make sure your second social media platform is relevant to your contest.

The general goal of Facebook contests is to allow users to interact with your brand. Anybody can make a Facebook contest, but your goal is to expand that user interaction as far as possible. Think of ways to take your contests to other social media platforms, physical locations, and beyond.

5 Reasons Why Social Media Contests Should be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons Why Social Media Contests Should be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy5 Reasons Why Social Media Contests Should be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Aside from your website, social media provides an effective way to increase your web presence. It provides a way to generate PR for your company, build your brand and drive traffic to your website. You need to be active on social media if you are serious about achieving these goals. After all, you can’t expect any results if your page is inactive. The problem is that, social media marketing takes time.

If you are a business owner, you can’t afford to spend all day hopping from network to network, managing your social media accounts, planning future posts and checking analytics.

Are you looking for a better way to manage your social media posts? Here are 4 social media tools to add to your arsenal.


Hootsuite is one of the most robust social media management tools around, and social media managers swear by it. The tool has a feature called Autoschedule. If you have multiple accounts, you can use this feature to manage your posts and make sure that they don’t appear on different channels all at the same time. It also shares your updates at the best possible time of the day to give them the greatest chance of being seen. Hootsuite also allows you to monitor and analyze your performance on your main social networks.


Buffer allows you to easily distribute your content across multiple accounts. Just drop your updates to your Buffer queue and you don’t have to worry about when it will be posted. These posts will be posted for you well spaced out throughout the day.

Buffer also allows users to schedule up to 10 updates at once. The paid version, on the other hand, allows unlimited scheduling.


Twitter has become one of the must-have marketing channels for any business. If you are interested in automating your Twitter marketing, SocialOomph is the best tool for you. It has a feature called Twitter unlimited, which allows you to manage your Twitter followers and direct messages box from within the app. The free level also allows you to work on up to 5 Twitter accounts. It helps you track keywords and schedule tweets.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social allows you to manage all your relationships, interactions and customer support from a single dashboard. This tool also analyzes your audience to determine the optimal times to deliver content. Because it’s not free, this is recommended for larger businesses that are looking for an all-in-one solution to manage their social media presence.

As a start-up business, you are probably working on a limited capital. You’re trying to do everything yourself because you still can’t afford to hire people for your marketing campaign. It’s no wonder you chose to introduce your brand and reach out to your target audience through social media.

Social media is a powerful tool for business owners, especially for start-up entrepreneurs. In fact, it has grown in popularity over the past decade and has contributed to the success of several businesses all over the world. However, there are a number of myths floating around. These myths can ruin your chance of selling to your target audience.

Let’s put these social media myths to rest.

You need to be on every social networking site

Maintaining a social media account takes time and effort. There’s no point in opening an account on Instagram if your target audience isn’t there. What you want to do is to determine where your audience, and focus your efforts on those platforms.

Blogging is a waste of time

With so much information on the internet right now, some of you may think that creating a blog won’t help you reach your bottom line. But the truth is, a business blog is a great way to capture the attention of your target audience.

Make sure that you supply them with interesting and informative blogs, and they’ll surely be coming back for more. Give them tips and share your knowledge with your audience. Eventually, people will see you as an industry expert.

You need to be online 24/7 to be successful

While regular posting and fast response is important, you don’t need to monitor your social media accounts 24/7 just to build a strong social media presence. We understand that you’re busy, but please make sure that you have at least one social media post per day. Post less than that and your fans and followers will eventually forget about you.

Your social media accounts can replace your website

Although it’s easier to reach out and engage with your potential and current customers on social media, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t update your website from time to time.

Write blogs, provide updates about your recent projects, and then share them on social media. Use it to attract your audience. Encourage people to share your post or voice out their opinions. Because these social media posts are linked to your website, it can help drive traffic to your website. Remember, the more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain.

As business owners we are on the go a lot, it is great to find those apps to make your life just a little bit easier! Here are 5 apps we love and use on a daily basis!

1) Flipgram- Bring Moments to Life! Create beautiful short video stories using your photos, set to music you love!  This app is great for businesses they can take pictures of events they are at, or presentations or even new products and then take those pictures and create a nice short video to share on Instagram and social media.

2)  Web Recording Tool- Get ready to impress and be impressed, with this first of a kind app that is not only extra original but super useful too! Looking for the best way to explain or show someone how to navigate a specific area of the Internet but don’t have the words for it? Show it with a video! This is a great app for businesses when they are wanting to show someone their website, or how to explain something on their website, blog, YouTube, Social Media etc.

3) Dropbox- Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again! This app is a great tool for businesses that are virtual or on the go a lot, you can upload important documents that you use daily on your computer, upload to Dropbox then when you are out and about if you have this app you can view and edit from your phone or tablet!

4)  Hootsuite– HootSuite is a social media management system for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one secure, web-based dashboard. Launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audiences, and distribute targeted messages using HootSuite’s unique social media dashboard. This is a great app for businesses that are trying to keep up with their social media in a busy life style. You can log into 1 platform and be able to post to all your social media profiles. It is so easy!

5)  Evernote- Remember Everything- Evernote apps and products make modern life manageable, by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters. As business owners we are very busy everyday trying to manage a company, social media, the books, personal life, bills the list goes on and on, this is a great tool to help you remember those things!


You need to get to know your audience and find out what these people do on social networks. Developing a campaign adapted to your audience is the only way to get results. Start by finding out which sites are popular among your customers: most people use Facebook or Twitter but there are a lot of other sites designed for specific niches or age groups, including Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, and many others. If you sell products to customers from all over the world, you should also join foreign social networks too. You also need to find out what kind of content your audience is interested in: pay attention to how popular your different updates are to get an idea of what your audience is interested in and which format is the most appreciated.

Your social media marketing campaign needs to be connected to your other marketing ventures. Add links to your social networking profiles to your main site or blog and to the signature of your emails. Place social media buttons on your articles so that readers can easily share your content and give people a reason to connect with you on these sites. You could for instance share coupon codes or organize contests on social website. If you use mobile marketing, the two campaigns should be closely connected since a lot of people use their phones to access social networks.

Update your networks every day. Your goal is to get the attention of your subscribers in spite of the other updates their friends and other professionals are sharing. This means you need to create updates that stand out: do not hesitate to share pictures of your products or to put together a video since these elements will be more noticeable. If you want to share a link to an article or write a short paragraph, introduce your update with a catchy phrase that will encourage people to keep reading.

Encourage people to interact with you on social websites. You could for instance list social networks as a way of contacting you with questions, comments or complaints. Share updates that will make people want to react: ask questions, create polls or ask your customers to share their own content with you for a chance to win a prize. When interacting with customers on social networks, always remain professional and friendly. Take the time to answer to everyone and be as helpful as possible. Remember that your goal is not to make friends but to advertise your products or services.

Launching a social media marketing campaign is a lot of work but your efforts will be rewarded. You should read more about social networks and do some research about latest trends so you can try new sites and techniques before your competitors do.  Article Source:

At this time of each year we think about what we accomplished over the last year – and what we want to improve on for the upcoming new year.

From a marketing perspective, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all new ideas and bright shiny objects out there to pull our attention away from the marketing strategies that matter most – those that will actually improve your business and expand your marketing reach.

So, in honor of the new year – I present to you the 12 best online marketing strategies to focus on for 2012. There could be more – but these are in my opinion the best strategies to bring you quicker to your business goals using online marketing strategies that work.

Don’t choose them all! Focus on the 2 or 3 that you feel could impact your marketing effort the most – and carve out the time and plan for implementing them next year!

1. Improve your irresistible free offer. Perhaps it’s time to replace that outdated “free report” or “eBook” with an even higher value freebie to offer site visitors. As I referred to in my post about the best freebie out there – my favorite is still the Audio CD – which has huge intrinsic value because it’s a physical “thing” and you can capture mailing addresses in addition to just email address.

2. Launch a new product or program. There is always something you can “launch” whether it’s a new product or program. You can also “re-launch” something you did this year that performed really well. My post shares some great methods for launching a new product or program. Think about what you can do differently this time around to make it even more engaging and worthwhile for your audience. Add more bonuses and juicier incentives to help increase sales.

3. Do a new webinar or teleseminar. Each new year is a great time to host a new topic using either a webinar or teleseminar. It can also be a perfect time to switch up the format and see what works best. Been doing a bunch of teleseminars lately? Try a webinar? Doing just webinars? Try a teleseminar. And, choose a topic that is new to your audience and see what kind of response you receive.

4. Connect with a new joint venture partner. Have this year be the year you establish a great partnership with a new strategic alliance or joint venture partner. I explained how to do this in my post about joint venture as a great list building strategy. Someone that you feel can really pull you and help you in a big way – while you can do the same for them. I always like to think outside the box about who to connect with – and expect something great as a result.

5. Create an affiliate program. Perhaps this is the year you launch an affiliate program. Affiliates are a great way to spread your message and build your list – while also supporting your sales of products or programs. Pretty much most shopping cart programs support affiliate programs and are easy to establish.

6. Update your website / blog. Website looking a bit outdated? Perhaps it’s time to hire a graphic designer for that new logo you’ve been craving or hire a website developer to update your entire site. I shared how important design is when it comes to marketing online in an earlier post so don’t skimp on the important details when updating your website. First impressions matter most when designing your website.

7. Be more active on social media. Are you one of the folks who has a Twitter account but hardly ever uses it? Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what to post on that new Facebook fanpage you created? Have this year be the year you be more “social” on social media. Remember, you can’t be active on these social media sites unless you show up and do the work.

8. Start a pay-per-click advertising campaign. I’m a huge fan of pay-per-click advertising. One of my earlier posts about PPC explains that it’s one of the best and most effective ways to quickly and authentically build your list with highly qualified leads. Whether it’s Google AdWords or Facebook ads – they convert brand new prospects onto your list and you can target very specific groups of people searching what you have to offer. Yes, you gotta pay for the traffic – but – it’s definitely worth it on the long run.

9. Add video to your marketing. It’s 2012 and you’re still not using video in your online marketing? It’s time to jump onboard with the most powerful and effective way to connect and build trust online with visitors to your site. With the advances of technology and video equipment costs plummeting – you really have no excuse to do more video and start reaping the benefits immediately.

10. Generate more content. Only posting to your blog once every other week or once a month? This is the year you need to generate a ton more content – way more than you’re even doing now (unless you blog every single day.) Putting out high-content and high-value articles and blog posts is how you get new traffic as well as nurture the existing audience you have on your list. Content is king.

11. Be smart about SEO. Still don’t have a clue about search engine optimization or how it relates to your blog or website? SEO is critical for having massive success online – and can’t be ignored or overlooked anymore. Develop a comprehensive SEO strategy about how to improve your search engine rankings for your best keywords and let’s get to work.

12. Email your list more often. Only sending the email newsletter out when you have the time for it? This is the year we get you on a consistent and frequent schedule of emailing your list all this great content you’re now generating. If you’re doing monthly now – consider bi-weekly. Sending the newsletter every other week? Let’s make it happen by sending it weekly. The more you email your list – the higher your open rates and consumption of your content – which is all good.

There you have it! The official 12 best marketing strategies to grow your business with online marketing for 2012.

Until next time… Learn It, Love It, Live It!

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There are various ways of advertising or marketing your business. Internet marketing is one of the most effective ways of marketing and making your business visible all over the globe. Effective marketing strategies can help you gain more visibility and increase product sales. In this article we are going to look at internet marketing strategies that can boost your business sales and promote its growth worldwide. Some of the well known marketing strategies that are proven to have good results are:

Through the use of Search engine optimization {SEO} – This is one of the best of driving traffic to your site or business and thus increasing web recognition or visibility. In general the use of SEO in your website helps in improving website ranking. There are various form of SEO that can help you increase traffic in your site, let’s look at some form of SEO. There is the use of selected keywords phrases or words and placing them in search engines such as Google, yahoo, Bing among others. The choice of the keywords should be chosen diligently and in case you already know your targeted audience you can target them by using keywords that mostly use when browsing. In this way you will achieve your goals of drive traffic to your website. Keywords mainly helps web users to find website that have related content that they maybe looking for. Another way of improving ranking through the use of SEO is placing ads on search engines. Ads help in making your site or business visible in the search engines and this is a sure way of driving traffic to your site. Although placing ads on search engine site have a cost it is a perfect and proven way of increasing traffic.

Article marketing – Writing original content related to your site and submitting to article sites is another proven way of increase traffic to your site. All you need to do is to write quality and informative content and when submitting put anchor text that will help reader to click back to your site. You can also place part of the article as adverts on newspaper or daily magazines. Article marketing is an effective and long term marketing strategies as it brings steady stream of targeted traffic over time and will also continue to produce results even years down the road provided you do not remove the article from the sites that you had submitted it.

The use of social networking sites – Networking sites such as Digg, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook among others can be used and most people use them to market their product and their website. The use of social networking sites helps you keep your clients update. For instance you can use LinkedIn to build your credibility simply by participating in its Answers forum. One advantage of using social networking sites for marketing your business is that you can reach a large number of targeted customers and you can be able to keep them updated on any special offers or even on arrival of new products.

In conclusion internet marketing helps you to draw potential customers who are already looking for the products and services that you offer. In this way you can make more sales and grow you business.

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With the influx of different social media tools there are now so many different ways to target your chosen audience compared with 10 years ago.

When using social media one strategy is to remember that you can do so much more than provide just text based information, you can post videos, photos as well as links to other interesting resources that might add value to your followers.

There are many different ways that you can make use of videos, with this and general internet marketing activities such as, visual case studies, how to videos or client testimonials.

Pictures of you, your staff and perhaps even pictures from company social events, can also be very positive as users like to see who they are dealing with, it’s easier to build relationships with the people in the company if they can see who they are and interact with them.

Also when producing videos use the staff that your clients would see if they came into your store or office, this helps to maintain familiarity with clients and can help to build better relationships.

Social media strategies only work if your target audience access the outlet. To make sure you clients and potential clients know that you’re on Facebook or Twitter make sure that you tell them. Send out a newsletter to your clients and contacts to tell them they can follow you on Twitter etc. and ensure that any printed marketing materials feature the URL’s for your various social media accounts. Social media needs the social part to work; therefore you need to have people join for it to be an effective tool for your company.

Once you have people following you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ you have to keep them interested. One strategy is to have promotions, small things like posting sales through you tweets or putting coupons up for friends on your Facebook page keeps people interested and attracts more to join.

Social media strategies are slightly different from print or person to person strategies. You have to remember that you need to update your information and promotions so that more people want to follow you. It only works if there are members in your online community so you have to promote yourself to your audience to make them want to be part of your community.

The great thing about Social Media Marketing is that not only is the opportunity vast, but it is also one of the lowest cost marketing activities available to businesses today.

Clearly the way companies use Social Media Marketing will vary depending on the type of business or target market, but businesses that are serious about competing in today’s markets need to ensure they are making use of these tools. Simply having a website is no longer good enough, you must promote your business in the online world and engage with your target audience.

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This is a great article:

With over 750 million users globally on Facebook, Facebook marketing is a popular way to reach a wider target audience. Since Facebook marketing is totally different from any other type of marketing previously done on the Internet, it is important to learn how to use Facebook properly for business. Otherwise, it will cost you money, time and effort.

Tip #1: Keep it Social Before Selling

With the thought of millions of customers in short reach through Facebook, many businesses make the common mistake of pitching their product or service directly to the users.

The most crucial factor to remember is that people on Facebook are there primarily to socialize with other users. They are not primarily there to shop and purchase products. If you attempt to sell directly or hard sell to members of Facebook, you will not be successful.

However, if your business is serious about using Facebook as a tool to market your product or service, the first step is to create a Business/Fan page on Facebook and invite people to like the page. Use this page to create buzz around what your business has to offer. Your product or service should offer solutions to your target audience.

The next step is to post value driven content to the people on your page. You can post pictures, videos and other commentary that provides some kind of benefit to your target audience and fans. Urge your fans to take action by posting comments and queries pertaining to your post. The key here is to get them to engage with your page, and develop relationships with them. Since Facebook is an online platform where people go to socialize, ensure that it is an exciting experience for them to go to your page.

Tip #2: Increase Your LIKES or Fans

Why is it desirable for your business for people to click LIKE on your page? Every time you put fresh information on your page, each person who LIKED your page will see the post on their newsfeed.

Therefore, if two thousand people LIKED your Facebook page, there is a potential of up to two thousand people to see your post, and potentially create a viral effect.

Tip #3: Use Facebook Advertisements

You can spread the word of your page and increase the number of Likes to your page by using Facebook Advertisement (Ads). Facebook Ads are quite different from Google AdWords. With Facebook, it is easier to target a specific demographic audience. A crucial feature of a Facebook ad is the graphic or picture used in the advertisement. It is essential to select an image that will draw the attention of people, which encourages them to see your advertisement and click on it.

To achieve success with your ad, you should target your possible viewers, and you can use the services of a website like to access the demographics of the types of people who may be interested in your particular product.

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