Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy & Social Media Services

June 22, 2017

Social Network: Powerful Contest Ideas












Want to build a buzz for your business? Sponsoring giveaways are a great way to get your target audience involved, especially when there are prizes they normally wouldn’t purchase themselves. If your company can organize giveaways events correctly, you have the possibility of reaping thousands of dollars in advertising by running a free giveaway activity. In addition, everyone who joins the giveaway promo event is seen as a prospect for your business. In order to catch this information, direct your prospects to your website where they enter their email and name. Remember to always have a set of rules before entering the contest so they know that they are agreeing to receive more e-mails from your company.

Some tips in doing the contest include: making it simple for your audience to understand,  giving valuable prizes, requesting them to spread the news through word-of-mouth (make them retweet or share on their wall) in order to join.

Now here are some ideas for a giveaway contest that your customers may enjoy:

1. “Worst Giveaway” – Have a giveaway contest where you come up with prizes for the worst outfit ever. The prizes can include: custom apparel, business cards, or dinner for two. It does not have to be the worst outfit In fact, it could be the worst date, hair-do, make-up, food, etc. This is your chance to get creative with it.

2. Ugliest Giveaway- When you have a business, you can have a giveaway contest in which they have to submit photos or videos of the ugliest “blank” in order to win a prize. For example, Firehouse Pacific Beach had the “Ugliest Sweater” giveaway contest in which the ugliest sweater during the Christmas season won.

3. Special People Giveaway- Do you already have a loyal following? Organize a giveaway contest in which people are able to nominate a person deserving to win the prize. This makes it fun for your target audience to get involved. Not only do they win a prize but they will feel grateful for the Nomination.

4. Man or Woman of the year: Come up with the criteria for winning and this could lead everyone to become anxious about who is going to be honored as the person that most likely represents your brand.

5. Father’s Day: Father’s love to get rewarded. When you allow the audience to nominate a father, the father has a chance to win a set of prizes that are tailored to his wants and needs. This not only gets the fathers involved, but the target audience involved because they will be the ones nominating

6.  Mother’s Day: Instead of simply suggesting possible gifts for mothers, why not hold a giveaway contest that will entice mother’s to be challenged for a greater prize. The prize could include a day of pampering, make-up, apparel, shopping gift cards, and other items mom’s enjoy. This would be a great reason to get sponsorships. You could even enter a deserving mother or grandmother to win the prize of her wishes. This could include: vacations, family photo shoot, gift baskets, or even a “Queen of the day” title.

7. Win a “Free” Giveaway: Honestly, who doesn’t like freebies? In this case, why not have a contest that you can sponsor. For example, the NBC show ‘Heroes’  sponsored NBC Heroes' Nissan Mobile Device Giveaway Sweepstakes. In fact, this was valued at over $16,000.

8. Service Person Reward: You can give special recognition to someone special such as your brother, sister, armed forces or other volunteers that have made a difference within an organization as well.

9. Lawyer, Dentist, Doctor of the Year: Now, let’s say your target audiences are doctors, and then have a contest for the doctor of the year. They can decide if they want to nominate themselves or be nominated. You can get as creative as holding a ceremony for the winner in which they can invite their friends and family over.

10. Win “Scholarship”- One of my clients was an orthodontist and we decided to sponsor a contest for the local junior high students to win a scholarship for braces. In order to win, the students had to be nominated by a counselor or teacher. The student must also have a need for it. This contest generated free publicity and got the community involved. In fact, they were able to generate new patients from the community as well.

11. Win Free house cleaning for a year, win free chips and salsa for a year- Seriously, who wouldn’t love to get free chips and salsa for a year? This is to entice an audience to earn something they enjoy for an entire year. How great is that? 

12. Holiday Giveaways: You can never go wrong with holiday contests. How about holding a giveaway contest for an unusual holiday. For a list of unusual holidays:

13. Special Monthly Contests: This include for example May is BBQ of the month. People love to eat, so how about hosting a barbeque giveaway contest. Do you have a favorite restaurant? How about nominating your favorite barbeque restaurant?

14. Show America Love: Hold a contest in which you can write a patriotic essay, submit a patriotic photo, and nominate a patriotic person. This could spark out to be a great idea for July 4th or even Memorial Day.

15. “The Best of Giveaway”- Newspapers have been using this method for years. Why have they done it this way? The places that want to be considered as “winners” buy advertising with them. This is a giveaway contest that you would want to hold for your own publication, or even a marketing company.

16. Naming Contests: Say you are launching a new product but you can’t think of what to name it. How about using a naming contest to get ideas? It is a win-win situation.

17. “Win a Dream Night” giveaway, this will be a giveaway contest that allows you to win a customized night out.

18. Food Lovers Giveaway: How about hosting a food eating giveaway contest. If you are a restaurant and you have food that is about to expire, then you can use this as a giveaway.

19. Cooking Contest:  Want to offer something new and special to your target audience? How about having a cooking contest in which the participants can help you come up with a special for the month.

20. “Oldest” Giveaway- Trying to find out which of your loyal consumers keep their old items. You can have a giveaway between items you the oldest pairs of jeans, suit, and other apparel.

21.  “Television Show Contest”- This can consist of a contest in which people can participate in a contest similar to a TV show. For example, for one of my gym clients we hosted a “Biggest Loser” contest, similar to the show, but the gym version of it.

22. Costume Contest: Don’t just limit yourself to Halloween as the only popular time to be dressing up. You can even have a baby costume contest, have a dog dressing contest. In this case, the more unusual the better.

23.  “Make Your Own” Giveaway- Have a giveaway contest in which the candidates get to design their own T-shirts or other items and other people will get to vote on them.  Threadless is one of my favorite examples of this, because they had their audience design their own T-shirts and the public got to vote on them.

24. “Talent” Giveaway- Are you still trying to figure out your brand? Have your audience create a masterpiece of what they imagine your brand to be like and have them perform so you can learn more about your brand and award your loyal consumers as well.  Remember, the winner will represent the company in any type of advertising for a whole year.

25. Look Alike Giveaway- Want to create something fun for your audience. Have thought someone close to you resembled a celebrity? Cartoon character look alike is always fun. Start a giveaway contest in which you have the public vote on their favorite look alike character.

26. Mysterious Giveaway- This type of giveaway activity are mostly featured on radio stations where they play the first notes of a song and then ask the audience to name the tune. Have a giveaway promo in which the audience has to fill in the blank of a certain scenario, the person with the most precise answers wins. If there is a tie, then have a bonus tie breaker question to break that.

27. Scavenger Hunts: Use the internet and different social networks to place different clues that the audience can utilize and submit. For example, the Contra Costa Times, sponsored the 2009 Great Road Trip Scavenger Hunt where the public had to find 20 items from the clues that were given to them. The newspaper said, the entrants loved creativity and adventure involved in the contest. There were over 400 people who entered and 6,000 photos were submitted.

The possibilities are truly endless and you are limited by your imagination. Take your turn and start building a buzz for your business. 

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