9 Types of Social Media Contests and When to Run Them

9 types of social media contests and when to run them blog post title
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Social media contests are easy to create but how do you make them unique? From social media contest ideas to optimization for your contest marketing campaign, you need to know what works.

To help you start planning your contest promotion, we’ve put together 9 types of social media contests and when to run them across TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more.

To make it even easier, we’ve also got the details you need to know about how to ensure that your contest complies with each social media platform’s Terms of Service.


  • Why should I run a social media contest?
  • Are social media contests legal?
  • What are the rules for social media contests?


Plan Your Social Media Contest: Get Contest Administration Quotes

To main reasons that you should plan a contest well in advance:

  1. You need to make sure that your promotion is legal according to applicable federal, state, and local laws and comply with the social site’s TOS.
  2. You need to come up with a promotion that will attract hundreds or thousands of followers make sure that they convert.

This is why we recommend that brands request contest marketing quotes for help with contest administration and marketing. By working with a social media contest company, you’ll be able to ensure that your social media contest follows all of the rules for the top social media platforms.

Click here to create your free Premium Account at Sweepsify.

A contest could be the best tool for your brand to use to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and boost sales. However, you want to ensure that you do it the right way.

These tips are designed to help marketers set themselves up for success when it comes to running contests on social media.

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1. Photo and Video Contests

Have your followers post an image of your product to a unique hashtag that you selected just for your contest. You can select a winner at random or have the contests entries judged to select the most creative contest entry as the contest winner.

To make things even more exciting, you can ask contest entrants to take videos instead.

However, keep in mind that the more you ask your contest participants to do when it comes to their contest entries, the better the prize should be!

Make sure that entering your contest is worth the effort.

Anytime is a good time to run a photo or video contest. Just make sure that you choose the right prize for your audience.

2. Customer Survey Contests

Many brands use contests to get feedback from customers.

Create a survey using a survey platform and let customers know that completing the survey gives them one entry in your contest.

However, make sure to make it clear in your official rules and contest advertising how their answers will impact their odds of winning.

Let participants know that a winner will be selected at random to avoid skewed survey data if you want to ensure that participants answer survey questions accurately.

Consider running a survey contest if you’ve recently made changes to your products or services and want feedback from customers.

3. Social Media Contests With Influencer or Celebrity Judges

This is a great way to get a lot of buzz for your promotion. If you are running a photo or video contest, you could select a few of the top favorite among contest entries.

Then have influencers or celebrities and your followers comment on the contest entries as to which ones they think should win.

People will be attracted to this type of contest thanks to the recognizable names of the influencers or celebrities.

» MORE:   How Successful Social Media Contests Create New Opportunities for Your Brand

This is a great type of contest to run during the holiday on the high volume shopping days where your promotion is the most likely to attract attention.

You could also use this type of contest with a new product line or product launch to boost its reputation and build customer loyalty from the start.

4. Multiple Entry Social Media Contests

Multiple entry social media contests are pretty much the standard these days on contest platforms that allow you to run your own contests with self-serve contest management.

However, the types of actions that you ask contest participants to take in order to earn more entries matter.

Don’t ask them do to mindless things that do nothing to boost your lead generation or sales, such as liking your post.

Do ask for shares of the the contest page in order to receive another entry. This helps to attract even more participants to your social media contest.

Here are some examples of actions for daily entries:

  • Watch a YouTube video
  • Post a message
  • Visit your brand site
  • Visit your Facebook post/video
  • Vist your Instagram post/video
  • Visit your TikTok post/video
  • Visit your YouTube channel
  • Answer survey questions
  • Submit a photo or video

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Do create multiple entry actions and assign specific goals, such as:

  • Get More Subscribers
  • Increase Social Media Engagement
  • Increase Sales Leads

This makes it easier to ensure that all actions that your participants take to obtain multiple contest entries benefit your promotion in the biggest way possible.

Multiple entry contests are ok to run anytime.

You’ll get the most benefit from them if you run them on a recurring, monthly basis and give away small prizes.

5. Location Check-in Contests

Social media platforms allow users to check-in at specific locations. Make your contest more exciting by creating locations for contest participants to visit.

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Then reward them with additional entries to win for each check-in.

6. Write a Caption Contests

A relevant caption for a photo or video is always an easy win for a fun contest.

7. Answer the Question Contests

How well do customers know your brand or product? Ask them a trivia question about your company and reward the first contest participant to answer correctly.

8. Fill-in-the-Blank Trivia Contests

This is contest that makes it fun for contest participants to discuss the contest among themselves (and share your contest in the process).

You could use prompts like “My favorite thing about eating [your food product] is ” or “I want to win a trip to Tahiti for 2 because .”

You can ask participants to include your brand’s social media username and a specific hashtag to identify their submissions as contest entries.

9. Sweepstakes

A sweepstakes simplifies the process of winner selection because sweepstakes winners must be chosen at random.

With a sweepstakes, all you have to do is simply ask users to enter your contest and then you’ll immediately have a list of potential customers to market to.

Next Steps: Social Media Contest Official Rules

Before you start your social media contest, you need to make sure that you follow the rules.

Social media platforms, especially Facebook, have cracked down on contest promotions due to potential liability concerns, so make sure that you review their TOS carefully.

For best results, hire a contest company to assist you from start to finish with contest administration.

Looking for a contest company to help you with your next promotion? Sweepsify helps you find top contest companies in seconds. Create your free Premium account now to get started.


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