Many social media programs are goaled on the amount of friends or followers as well as the engagement levels of those friends and followers. Contests, give-a-ways and polls are all great ways to build your followings and increase your engagement. Here is a list of some of the great ideas I have seen work for small businesses:

Offer a gift card to your store to a randomly picked Facebook Fan every month. This builds your fan base and keeps them coming back every month.

Give a free service to the first 5 people who answer a question about your company on Twitter correctly. This gets people tweeting to you while they learn more about your company.

Poll your audience on pop culture facts, industry news, their daily life or habits. The polls that do not directly relate to your business tend to have some of the highest engagement rates. If you host these polls on your Facebook Fan page, LinkedIn profile or Blog you will benefit from the added attention it can bring.

Host a scavenger hunt. Hide a badge on your blog or website and give your social media audience hints for what they are trying to find. The first person that sends you an email with a correct guess will be featured in your next email newsletter. An even better idea would be to get together with a few of your partners and each hide something on your blog – the first person to get all of the items correct wins a prize. This would help you get in front of a much larger audience while still engaging your current one.

Start a photo, video or blog contest. Ask your audience to submit photos of them using your products, videos that relate to your industry or blogs that you could post as guest blogs. Pick the best submission then feature and promote it. The person’s item that you choose will show it off to their audience as well, helping you build your friends and followers.

Social media isn’t a one to many interaction like much of your traditional direct marketing, it is a many to many. Your audience freely takes your message, interprets it and passes it on. So make sure that you always have something for them to talk about.

Has anyone had any success with a contest? Social media or other?

© 2010 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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