Running A Social Media Competition - The Hows & Whys - Sparx Digital

A social media competition or contest can be incredibly valuable to your business, generating sales and new leads in large numbers. When done well, social media contests don’t just deliver entries; they boost your brand awareness and your bottom line.

Running a social media competition is a fantastic opportunity to overcome the decline in organic reach that many businesses are experiencing. With only a very small promotional budget, it enables you to amplify your brand and showcase your products and services.

Social media contests can be large or small. You may elect to run a simple giveaway or operate a large and comprehensive marketing campaign attached to your contest. If you have a strategy for social media marketing, social media competitions should be a part of your marketing arsenal.

Why Run a Social Media Competition for Your Business?

There are myriad benefits to running a social media competition for your brand or business:

  • Generate leads and gain more followers
  • Build your database by increasing your social following
  • Generate direct sales
  • Generate content for social media that is user-generated
  • Generate action in your followers
  • Elicit customer feedback for a better understanding of them
  • Reward your customers and followers

Rules Governing Social Media Competitions

There are some steps involved in planning, creating, and executing a social media contest.

First and foremost, you need to understand and comply with the Australian laws governing a social media competition in Australia. There are specific laws for each state.

Australian Competition Guidelines for contests that promote goods or services in Australia recognise two types of competition:

  • A Game of Skill requires entrants to perform an action (e.g. “upload a photo of …” or “explain in 25 words or less”, etc). For a Game of Skill, if the prize value total is less than $3000, a permit is not required Australia-wide, however, it must be free to enter, it must have a clearly-defined start and end dates, and winner announcement and notification methods and timing must be clearly explained in advance.
  • A Game of Chance involves winners being randomly selected (such as traditionally in a raffle). In NSW, a permit is legally required to run a Game of Chance.

For a Facebook Competition: you may request that people like your page, comment on a post, or message your business page. You may not ask people to tag friends, share on their timeline, or share on friends’ timelines to enter. You must also state that Facebook is not in any way affiliated with the competition.

For an Instagram Competition: you may request that entrants like your page, like your post, comment on your post, share your photo, or share a specific #hashtag relating to your competition. You must state that Instagram is in no way affiliated with the competition.

How to Run a Social Media Competition

  1. Decide upon the prize. It must be appealing and it must warrant the audience’s interest and compel them to enter the contest. It must also be reflective of your brand and, ideally, from your pool of products or services. Decide whether there will be a single prize or runner-up prize as well. You may even consider partnering with another company to increase your reach and align your brand with another that is appropriate.
  2. Choose the entry structure and the social network the contest will operate on. Determine the requirements for entry and stick to them. Remain in compliance with Australian laws governing this.
  3. Keep it Simple. Complicated entry instructions will discourage the audience. Maximise entries by making it clear and concise, for example, request they like or comment on a Facebook post, to Tweet using a competition hashtag, or to follow an Instagram account. You could ask them to submit a photo or video; get creative!
  4. Target your Contest. Make it appealing to entrants and followers as well as prospective leads. Tie your contest to an event that’s relevant to your target audience. Select prizes that will appeal to and be of value to your target audience.
  5. Timing is everything. Determine the length of the competition, create a sense of urgency and excitement, and be consistent. Stipulate your terms and conditions clearly and ensure they are lawful.
  6. Promote your contest. Do this via both organic reach and paid advertising to reach the highest possible number of people. Remember that every single entrant you captivate is a potential customer and a potential lead generator.
  7. At the end of the contest, select the winner/s, announce them promptly, and distribute prizes quickly. Analyse the results for you as far as leads and sales are concerned, and apply this knowledge in your next social media competition.

There are some great ways to effectively captivate and attract your audience, and a social media competition is just one of these that you should be implementing for your business and brand. Sparx Digital is perfectly positioned to assist!

Choose Sparx Digital!

Sparx Digital is a dynamic, premium digital marketing agency in Australia, and we are passionate about empowering our clients’ businesses. If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency that is creative and fun to work with and offers a strategic approach that works, look no further than Sparx Digital! Contact us today by emailing us at or give us a call for a free consultation (07) 5475 1911.

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