When considering an online contest for customers, employees or influencers, the question you ask shouldn’t be whether or not you should do it, but rather how you should do it. With this in mind, here are some examples of how to go about boosting the visibility of content by engaging online audiences in a little healthy competition.
One Thing above All Else: Visual Content
If there’s one thing all recent studies indicate, it’s that the most popular and engaging social media content is visual. Companies in a wide range of industries are using selfies as part of their communication strategy, whether it’s hotels with “selfie spots”, museums leveraging #museumselfieday or retailers inviting customers to photograph themselves using products. Meanwhile, the production of videos is on the rise across all industries, as brands look to engage online audiences through footage that features existing customers – often in unexpected ways.
These examples of user-generated content are powerful in themselves, as they enable brands to drive visibility through their fans and strengthen relationships with the latter. And they gain even more traction when turned into a contest; when a catchy hashtag and enticing rewards are used to boost audience engagement as well as the virility of user-generated content. With video consumption in particular on the rise on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, you’d be mad not to consider its potential as part of a customer-oriented social media campaign for your company.
Online Contests: Not Just for Customers
A lot is said about how online contests are an effective way of engaging customers, and rightly so. But they also hold great potential for employees. This was made clear this week, during Facebook’s Nintendo Hackathon. As this article from Wired reported, more than 150 Facebook employees were invited to come up with virtual game environments using Super Mario Maker, the Wii U game that allows you to build playable levels for Mario to solve.
Part of a promotional partnership for Super Mario Maker, the objective of the contest was to create something that embodies both Facebook (openness, honesty, fast movement and breaking things) and Nintendo (fun, surprises and creativity). The winning team will have the opportunity to create a level to be featured in the game’s launch this September.
Though not strictly a social media contest, the Facebook Hackathon is a great example of how to engage employees by allowing them to test their own skills and compete for valuable new opportunities, while at the same time boosting the online visibility of an important company development.
Gamification: When Brand Advocacy Meets Online Contests
Another incredibly effective form of online contest – and one that’s particularly pertinent when it comes to brand advocacy – is gamification. Imagine you decide to promote all content relating to a new product launch during a two-week gamification campaign. During those two weeks, employees compete for points and prizes by sharing specifically selected posts on their own social networks. Such contests drive visibility and engagement through challenges that are fun, but nevertheless tied to serious marketing goals.
To find out more, read Gamification: Who Says Serious Business Can’t Be Good Fun? or visit our Features Page to discover the gamification capabilities of the Sociabble brand advocacy platform.