Social media contests and promotions can be awesome. They build recognition, increase your followers and fans, and interest people in your products.
On the other hand, if not properly executed, you could have a potential public relations disaster.
Many companies spend time and energy developing a great promotion, but kick back once the winners are picked.
But problem is what can really make or break your promotion is how quickly you respond to your winners.
So here are four tips to ensure that your winners are happy, and your brand makes it through your promotion unscathed.
1. Contact your winner(s).
Pick your winners in a timely manner. I use the vague “timely manner” because response time depends on the type of contest and how many entries you have. If you have a thousand essays to read, that may take weeks; if you have a hundred Instagram pictures to sort through, that only needs days.
Social media has shortened the patience of the average consumer. So even though they are receiving a free product or service, they will criticize if you take too long to respond.
Pro tip: Pick alternates; though don’t advertise that you did.
2. Collect necessary information.
Once you’ve made your selection, contact your winners via email or their social media accounts. Give them clear, easy information and guidelines about how to contact you about collecting their prize.
If you don’t receive a response, try contacting them again in a few days. If there’s still no answer, you’ve done the most you can. Either drop that particular prize altogether, or move on to one of your alternates.
Pro tip: Check your email and accounts often to catch responses. Make sure you browse through your spam filters to see if their emails landed up there.
3. Keep your winners informed.
Once you have all of the necessary information from your winners, be sure to send them a confirmation email. If possible, give them a very loose estimated time of arrival. Feel free to send multiple email updates about the state of your contest.
Keeping your winners up to date won’t just delight them, but it will also save you the hassle of having answer each and every “When is my prize coming????” email, wall post, or tweet.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to tell your winners if it will take a while to get their prizes shipped out. Waiting is far better than wondering.
4. Send out your prize.
Once you have everything in order, get those prizes sent out! Ask your winners to take pictures with their prizes and post them on your Facebook wall. Happy brand advocates and user-generated content? What more could you ask for?
Pro tip: Announce that you’re sending out prizes on your social media accounts in addition to emailing the recipients. You’ll generate a ton of buzz with anticipation!
Without acting fast and keeping your winners in the know, you risk the possibility of losing valuable customers and generating negative word of mouth. And nobody wants that!
Have you held any social media promotions? If so, were they successful? Any tips you’d like to add?