How to Use Contests and Sweepstakes for Increased Social Media Engagement

How to Use Contests and Sweepstakes for Increased Social Media Engagement

When it comes to interacting and connecting with customers, you are always on the lookout for existing and new strategies. When it comes to gaining engagement, social media contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways are hard to beat. Contests pump up the excitement of the fans of a brand. And if done right, they encourage sharing among other fans and motivate them to spread the word about giveaways.

Launching a contest through the social media channel of your choice is great and can be the best way to engage with customers. Also, it provides valuable data which can be used in your marketing tactics. However, unlike other strategies, launching a sweepstakes or contest is much easier said than done.

Check out these methods on how to create fun contests which your audience will love –

1) Select Valuable And Interesting Prizes

The primary reason why individuals take part in sweepstakes and contests on Facebook and Instagram is the prizes. So, you must choose a prize which is valuable to your audience. For example, if you are the owner of a bookstore, a basket filled with the popular titles of the year can be a great prize. If you have an electronic gaming store, then the latest, popular gaming device will be perfect to award contestants.



Frankly, whatever you select, just make sure that it is something that your audience like and enjoy to use. Most of the time, the prizes that you give away needn’t be valuable, as long as they are useful. If you are not sure what kind of reward to select, then you can do deeper research on what the customers like by checking out their profiles.

2) Connect Emotionally With Customers Through Contests

Holding sweepstakes or contests during popular holidays and events can be great. This will assist in engaging members of Facebook and Instagram who have an emotional tie to the event. Plus it helps in forming a deep connection. For example, many experts feel that tweeting about the popular event on Twitter will get a lot of people excited. And if you are offering products that are directly linked to a particular event or holiday, then you have hit the  jackpot. Just imagine how impactful it would be for your users to get free discount coupons for a romantic candle light dinner or couples’ massages on Valentine’s day.



No doubt, it is always a good idea to show the audience that you care about the same things as them and incorporate that into the contest. Furthermore, creating an emotional connection with the audience will develop anticipation for the upcoming sweepstakes and contests.

3) Collecting Information From Entries

Sometimes the most valuable information you get from your audience may be through entry forms. These forms are valuable resources which you can use before launching any contest. For example, PharmaFreak announced a Black Friday Giveaway, where participants had to fill an entry form and post pic of them using their favorite product to win an awesome Freak Mode T-Shirt and sample product of PharmaFreak.



When a contestant enters the contest, don’t simply collect his email address and name. Instead, try to think of questions which can identify how you can serve them better especially in the future. Just imagine how helpful this information can be in your wheelhouse. It will easily help in increasing the quality of the strategy that you are going to use.

4) Utilize Contests To Increase Participation In Surveys

Sometimes you may not like to ask extensive questions in the entry form or you audience might resent it. In such cases, you can at least ask your customers if they are willing to reply to the surveys in the future. This is commonly used in Facebook where people interact using the survey for promoting their cause or services.  


If the reply is ‘Yes’, go ahead and add their details to the email list which is targeted to customers who are ready for surveys related to their experience. Now if you don’t have the list, then get one immediately.

5) Keep A Benchmark

Make sure that before you launch any contest, think about the goal which you want to achieve. It is not a good idea to just fly blind. You need to keep a benchmark of what you are aiming to achieve once the sweepstake or contest ends.


If you had run a contest previously on Facebook or Instagram, then check out the results from the last round to see what kind of changes you want to bring in. Now if you are quite new to launching sweepstakes and contest in social media websites, then you can find out how others in your industry have fared in getting success out of contests. Plus, you can design goals based on their results.

6) Encourage Sharing Among Audiences

No doubt, people like winning prizes, however, they love competitions even more. Now even though it doesn’t take a lot of work to enter sweepstakes and contests, still it is fun for individuals to display to their communities and network that they have the chance of winning your prize.

So, go ahead and motivate them to share such exciting news. In the end, sharing the awesome news of winning the competition will result in increasing the number of entries for the next contest.

Final Verdict

The premise of a social media sweepstake and contest is quite simple. You need to give something valuable to your audience. In exchange, they will socialize and interact with you on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. Furthermore, it will encourage their friends to do the same. Here the ultimate goal is to gain attention and get social media engagement as well as shares.


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