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SMSS: All about social media contests with Michael Stelzner

Today’s post was written by SmartBrief’s Abe Silk.

As part of the ongoing Social Media Success Summit, Michael Stelzner, who has run a number of social media contests via his website Social Media Examiner, gave a great primer on how to run a successful social media contest. With the advent of social media, businesses and organizations can now create effective contests that generate a lot of buzz with even a very small budget, Stelzner said.

Here are some of Stelzner’s tips for great contests:

  • Keeping it simple. According to Stelzner, the key to a successful social media contest is to make the reward valuable and compelling, while keeping the work people have to do to win to a minimum. As a case study, he used the example of SMSS itself, which gave away one ticket for just tweeting a pre-created tweet and two tickets for writing a blog post or commenting on the official blog.
  • Creating a winning tweet. Twitter is a great tool for spreading the word quickly, and Stelzner argues that the wording of the tweets you create is crucial. He suggests using a tracking link to monitor sharing, creating a hashtag so that you can easily identify winners and creating compelling language that invites interaction. For SMSS they used, “I want to win.”
  • Promote well. For SMSS, Stelzner began with a blog post, but quickly followed-up with an e-mail to “fence sitters,” or people who had expressed an interest but hadn’t yet bought a ticket. He also suggested leveraging affiliates and crafting tweets and blog posts for them and also crediting them with a sale if someone they sourced won the contest.

For more great social-media sessions, check out the continuing 100% online Social Media Success Summit that (full disclosure) SmartBrief helped plan. For access to the whole session and many others, sign up here.

Image credit, Viorel Sima, via Shutterstock

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