Winning Fans through “Sporty” Engagement

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Are you looking for a different method for drawing awareness to a new program? Maybe you need a new way to breathe relevance into an older product? Perhaps, and this happens more than we’d like to admit, you need to make some news at a time when there is no news.

If you answered yes to one of these scenarios, it’s time to consider a contest! It doesn’t matter if you work for a B2C or a B2B brand, contests give you a great way to bring traffic to your website and build some meaningful engagement with your customers.

Color commentary

If you’re trying to increase awareness quickly, try a like and comment to win contest on Facebook. It’s easy to take part in contests like this, so it will probably drive a lot of participation. Ask a question about your new product or program and offer a prize to a randomly selected participant.

Picture-perfect finish

Try a product selfie contest on Instagram. Ask people to post photos of themselves using your product, or posing with your equipment of machinery. This is a great way to connect your audience to your product and pull some social context into your marketing. If you don’t sell a physical product, you can still employ a selfie contest by asking your audience to selfie themselves holding a sign telling why they like your brand.

Instagram is also a great vehicle for a simple photo contest. This is where a user posts a photo on their personal account using a specific hashtag created by your brand. A repost-to-win asks users to repost an Instagram image you already shared using a specific hashtag. A caption contest asks users to create a caption, and reward the funniest or most liked caption with your prize.

Tweet sweep

If you try a sweepstakes contest on Twitter, you don’t have to give away gobs of cash. Free tickets to a pricey trade show are nice, and a free gift card to The Texas Roadhouse or The Cheesecake Factory is always appreciated! This is a great way to drive customers to your website. Make sure you request retweets and replies to grow followers and increase brand reach.

Vote of confidence

A voting contest with your email list is an easy way to get users to interact and connect with your brand. You can keep it simple. Ask your customers to vote on the name of a new product or which color you should use on your new packaging. You’re disguising your market research as fun customer engagement.

The fine print

Before you choose the type of contest, it’s important to set a clear goal and outcome expectations, and make sure you plan how you’ll measure those results. You also need to choose a prize that grabs the attention of your audience and clearly define your entry rules.

Once you choose and build your contest, there are a few more steps to making your contest successful:

  • Make sure to promote and share your contest on your social networks your website.
  • Don’t forget to include share buttons on the contest page.
  • During its timeframe, monitor the metrics of your contest.
  • After the contest, it’s time to profile the winner/s and repost their submission to encourage future participation.
  • Follow up with contest entrants, and share your plans for future contests to keep everyone looking for more.


Good luck!