To make your social media marketing a continuous success it means constant and never ending engagement with your audience, which in turn means being creative.

Using Contests to Create Leads
The rules are few when it comes to social media, but unless you know how to engage your audience by asking interesting questions and taking the time to know who you are socializing with, none of the rules will be of much of an advantage. It’s what every good social media marketing company does, but you also have to be unique to keep it interesting. A fairly easy way of doing this is by running a contest. Yes, many marketers do this, but it’s the content itself that makes it unique and how well you plan it will determine your success. Your contests are going to generate engagement in three very important ways.

You are going to get interaction
Even those viewers who aren’t contest seekers find it hard to pass up good content when it’s right in front of them on your Facebook page. Once you have tweaked their interest with what your contest is comprised of, you can set the rules to expand its worth to you from a marketing point of view.

Fan base increase
You don’t want to pass up the opportunity to build your fan base and it can be as simple as having your contestants to “like” your page as a condition of contest entry. Then, if you are posting a really good contest you are going to increase the shares, and it’s a real bonus to get them to leave comments as well. This is where you will start to reap the rewards of news feeds.

List building
Don’t neglect getting prospects to opt-in by providing their email address. As part of the contest entry process, you want ask your prospects for their emails address to build your email list. You can then use the email addresses for email campaigns in the future. And if you make sure that the contest you are running is relative to your target market, you are going to build a targeted list that can drive revenue for years to come.

The crux of the contest
There definitely has to be something of value in it for the contest winner, otherwise you aren’t going to generate enough interest to make the effort you are putting into the contest itself worthwhile. If you are just giving away a report or small eBook, viewers are going to perceive this as something that a an experienced internet marketing company would include as their hook for any opt-in list. However, if you are giving away a free training course, free membership, or a relevant product, then it has a monetary value to it that appeals to the market you are trying to reach. What’s vital is to ensure that your offer is related to what you do as a business to ensure that you get relevant, qualified leads.

So, now you have an idea of what the value of the contest has to be. What is the meat of the contest? What do people have to do to possibly win it? You could have a simple draw, but that will not allow you to capitalize on your social media marketing efforts. If you devise a contest that requires interaction, you are meeting your goals of engagement. You could run a contest for a slogan for a product, or have entrants submit their best photo, or write an essay. Not only are you getting user generated content, this could serve a great purpose for you if the entries are something that can be used by you, such as a slogan. You can even engage your followers further by letting them cast votes for the winning submission.

Think about how you can push the contest to its fullest potential. Instead of restricting the entry to one, allow an extra entry for each share a participant performs. And don’t forget to market your contest my maximizing exposure through as many channels as possible.

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