10 Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations With a Social Media Contest

10 ways to exceed customer expectations with social media contest blog post title
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Every brand wants to exceed customer expectations for a social media contest. Generally, customers set expectations for social media promotions based on the image of your brand that your customers already hold in their minds.

For other social media contest participants, entering your sweepstakes or giveaway will be their first customer experience with your brand. Customers need to have these expectations met in order for them to feel comfortable enough to share your brand with their friends or buy your product or service.

10 ways to exceed customer expectations with social media contest blog post title 1

10 Ways to Exceed Customer Expectations With a Social Media Contest

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Social media contest participants also have participant expectations that aren’t so easy to see. In this article, you’ll learn what customers expect from a social media contest and how to exceed their expectations every time!

Let’s get started.


  • What are the common expectations of social media contest participants?
  • How you identify customer expectations?
  • How to manage customer expectations for a sweepstakes or contest


Managing Customer Expectations Is Vital to Social Media Contest Success

Knowing what your fans expect from your brand when it comes to sweepstakes and contests is essential whether you’re a small business or a large global company.

Customer expectations matter when it comes to giveaways because if you can meet them, participants are much more likely to spread the word about your brand. A recent study found that customers spend 140% more when they’ve had a positive experience with your brand.

If you want your giveaway to boost sales and create future customers, you need to close the gap between participant expectations and your social media contest customer experience.

How Do Customers Form Expectations of Your Social Media Contest?

What do customers expect from your social media contest experience? The truth is that customer expectations don’t just form in one sitting. Sometimes customers have bought something prior to entering your social media contest which means that they will already have preformed opinions about your brand.

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Here are some of the common ways that participants form expectations about your contest:


They experience a competitor’s social media giveaway first

If your direct competitor runs sweepstakes or contests, and provides a better participant experience, your audience will at least expect you to match that experience. For this exact reason, 81% of companies say that customer experience is an effective way to gain competitive advantage over time.


They had a past interaction with your brand

Whether a potential customer contacted your company for customer support, followed or DM your brand on social media, their initial interaction and your response have helped them to form customer expectations for your brand.

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They heard news about your company

Viral marketing helps social media content spread fast. Whether you have previously run sweepstakes and giveaways that went viral or you do some form of advertising, word gets out fast. The way your company also deals with online reviews and complaints are something that customers will review ahead of time.

Make sure that any information about your company that potential contest participants might find helps them to form positive assumptions about your brand and what to expect from your giveaway.


Top 5 Sweepstakes and Contest Customer Expectations

Here are the top customer expectations for sweepstakes and contests:

  1. For the entry process to feel seamless
  2. For brands to have multiple options for customer service (if they decide to make a purchase or have questions)
  3. To see immediate action being taken regarding their request
  4. For all giveaway-related communication to happen on a channel that is convenient for them
  5. For the experience to be personalized

Social media contest participants are trusting you to carry out your sweepstakes or contest by delivering the prize to the winners as promised, ensuring that all participants abide by the Official Rules, and that the Terms and Conditions of your promotion are transparent.


1. Learn What Your Customers’ Expectations Are

Are other brands giving away cooler prizes than you are? Does another company use a sweepstakes platform that makes the experience more seamless and user-friendly for participants than your own social media contest?

Identify what your participants’ expectations are so that you can meet and exceed those expectations.

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2. Provide Excellent Customer Service

While your contest participants should be able to figure out the entry process on their own, make sure to have customer service agents available to respond quickly. Help your participants find the answers they have about your promotion with an Official Rules FAQ section with answers to commonly asked questions.


3. Choose an Easy to Use Contest Platform

Participants want an easy experience that allows them to enter your social media contest in just a few minutes. Complexity is not your friend if you’re trying to attract contest participants. If you want to ensure that the contest experience begins on a positive note, choose the contest platform that works best for users.

Free Advertisement Maker with Templates

Canva lets you create eye-catching advertisements with their free ad maker. Customize your sweepstakes, contest, or raffle ads with trending images, fonts, and high quality design assets.



4. Personalize Your Contest Experience: Customize Everything

A study conducted by Salesforce found that 52% of customers always expect offers to be personalized. Additionally, 66% of customers also expect brands to understand their unique needs and expectations. This means that you need to have a deep understand of your target audience before you launch a social media contest in order to maximize your reach.


5. Participants Expect Innovation: Get Creative With Your Social Media Contest Marketing

Social media contests allow you to create just about any unique experience that you can imagine. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, customer experience is increasingly the differentiator when it comes to brands that consistently see positive ROI from social media contests.

So don’t be afraid to push the limits when it comes to creativity in designing a sweepstakes or contest. While it is useful to tap into historical data regarding contests, don’t ignore that fact that customers are always on the look out for something new.


6. Let Your Customers Be Heard

Do your customers regularly share ideas about your brand? In a survey conducted by Microsoft found that half of customers believe that companies don’t really listen to the feedback that they provide.

Make sure to act on contest participant feedback, especially when it comes to reviews of your product or service. You can also use social listening tools that track customer sentiment, engagement, and other contest experience KPIs.

» MORE:   5 Reasons to Run a Social Media Contest for Your Brand


7. Create a Multi-channel Contest Experience

Social media contest entrants should be able to enter and follow your social media contest using their preferred platforms. If you want to create a next-level participant experience for your contest, consider creating a multi-channel contest experience that spans multiple social media platforms.

Now that you know what contest participants expect, here are 10 ways to exceed your customers’ expectations when you run a social media contest for your brand.

While you must have an entry method, and an Alternate Method of Entry (AMOE), ideally mail-in, hosted on your own website, and/or SMS shortcode (for text to win giveaways), you should advertise your contest across as many social platforms as possible.

8. Provide Rapid Response to All Engagements

It’s not enough to respond to customer tickets promptly, make sure that you have your social media management team on hand to ensure that you respond promptly.

Likes, comments, shares, mentions, clickthroughs, mentions, and tags of your brand name or contest hashtag should be closely monitored. This will ensure that you give your participants the quick and accurate responses they demand.


9. Allow First-time Customers to Easily Start the Sales Process Online

A percentage of your social media contest entrants will be customers who want to purchase products or services from you during your contest. Make it easy for customers to find out the information they need to educate themselves before making a purchase (such as FAQs, tutorials, knowledgebases, videos, and blog posts).

You can even create a customized sales experience specifically tailored to first-time customers if your social media contest is intended to celebrate a product launch.


10. Collect Feedback Regularly

Social media contests give you a unique opportunity to gauges how participants feel about your social media contest in real-time. Social media contest surveys allow you to ask participants about their readiness to enter the sales process so that you can separate followers from potential customers.

Furthermore, you need to know if your brand, product, or service actually lives up to customers’ expectations. Asking these questions, will not only help you to get a sense of the experience that your brand delivers, but also the kind of optimization and testing that you can try for future giveaway campaigns.

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