Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. According to Social Media News, at the time of writing, 17 million Australians actively use Facebook, 16.5 million actively use YouTube and 9 million actively use Instagram. Australia’s population, again at the time of writing, is just over 25 million people. That means 68% of Australians are active on Facebook.
I’m going to say that again for emphasis – 68% of all Australians are reachable on Facebook.
So how do you access that huge, engaged audience on social media, show them your competition and encourage them to enter – and eventually purchase from you? In this post we’ll walk you through exactly how to use social media to drive traffic to – and gain entries for – your competition.
What’s the difference between running and promoting your competition on social media?
Running a competition on social media and using social media to promote and drive traffic to your competition are two very different things.
When running a social media competition, you keep your entry method and entrants on social media. Classic examples of these types of competitions are like to win, follow to win and comment to win (remembering that tag and share competitions are against Facebook’s rules and can land you in ‘Facebook jail’ if caught).
Leveraging social media to drive traffic to your competition, on the other hand. Involves bringing your audience off of social media to your competition landing page and encouraging them to enter via a competition app or ideally via a competition landing page on your own website.
WHY DOES THIS DIFFERENCE MATTER?
There are a few key reasons why it’s important to understand the difference, as well as why that difference matters, to your competition, contest or giveaway.
- Whether you run your competition on social media or simply use it to drive traffic to your competition, will affect the entry method you choose for your competition.
- The type of entry method you choose also dictates the type and quality of entries you’re going to attract, which also dictates the types of goals you can therefore achieve.
- In the long run, social media competitions may cost more to run, as once you’ve collected your audience as page likers or followers, you’ll likely have to pay to reach them again as organic reach is so poor.
- Social media competitions don’t convert as highly into paying customers compared to enter your email to win competitions, which means lower return on investment from your competition.
- The data and analytics you’re able to collect from your entrants will be significantly different if you run your competition on social media only versus using social media to drive traffic to your website, where you’ll be able to leverage Google Analytics for example.
From here on out, we’re going to focus our post exclusively on how to use social media to drive traffic (and entries) to your competition. For information on how to use social media to run a competition, you can check out the following posts:
- Where to host your competition: social media vs website competitions.
- Dos and don’ts for running a competition or giveaway on social media.
- How to run a fair competition on social media.
- Running a competition JUST to grow your social media following – is it ever a good idea?
- Social media competition rules – a quick reference guide.
- 7 ways to use social media competitions to smash your marketing goals…
- 10 commandments of running a social media competition.
Why would you want to bring people from social media to your website?
It’s no secret that we favour enter your email to win competitions over social media competitions like comment to win or like us to enter, which is all well and good, but social media is such a huge source of potential entrants (and customers) that it’s impossible, not to mention stupid, to ignore it.
That’s why we leverage social media to drive traffic to our competitions.
Instead of finding, collecting and leaving an audience on social media where we’re then at the mercy of algorithms, page shut downs and crappy organic reach dictating our contact with our followers and likers; we prefer to find an audience on social media and bring them over to a website.
Once an audience visits a website, we can collect all kinds of useful data, such as…
- Who they are and what they like
- Where they come from (both geographically and before they landed on our site)
- What they do once they reach a website
- … and most importantly, how many of them purchase once they reach a site
Thanks to various pixels, a visitor’s data can also be collected to be retargeted with ads after your competition is over, to further increase the chances of entrants turning into paying customers.
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So how do you use social media to drive traffic to your competition?
Excellent question – and probably the whole reason you started reading this post.
The good news is, it’s fairly easy, the slightly less good news is that to get the best results, you’ll most likely have to pay to drive the traffic from social media to your website. The social media giants aren’t silly, they own the users that use their platforms and if you want access to those users, you’re going to have to earn it or pay for it.
Here’s the exact process we use to drive traffic from social media to our competition landing pages…
STEP 1 – COUNTDOWN TO LAUNCH
One of our most successful strategies for driving traffic and entries to a competition from socials, is to post a number of countdown posts to our clients’ social media accounts before the competition even goes live.
A typical countdown starts around 10 days to one week before a competition launch date and either outright announces a competition is coming, or hints that something exciting is on the horizon.
We’ve yet to see competition announcement posts that don’t result in increased engagement such as likes and comments.
An example countdown to launch announcement for our Competition in a Box competition.
STEP 2 – LEVERAGE ALL AVAILABLE SPACE ON SOCIAL
Once your competition is live, leverage every inch of available space to promote your competition. That means changing your header images, call to action or contact buttons, about descriptions or bios and bio links etc.
We normally pin the competition announcement post to the top of the Facebook feed and link directly to the competition entry page with any CTA buttons on Facebook and bio links on Instagram.
STEP 3 – USE ORGANIC POSTS
During a competition, we’ll post anywhere between 10 to 30 organic posts on social media directly or indirectly mentioning the competition.
Here’s a look at the types of posts we’ll use to drive traffic from social media to our website competitions:
- A detailed look at the prize
- Simple instructions on how to enter
- Asking engaging questions about the competition and/or prize – such as ‘what would you do if you win?’
- Competition reminders – such as ‘don’t forget to enter!’
- Milestone posts – such as ‘we’ve reached halfway’ or ‘only one week left to enter!’
Not only do these posts generate increased engagement in the form of likes, shares and comments, but they directly drive entries to the competition.
Organic post examples from our Ultimate Business Starter competition.
STEP 4 – CONSIDER PAID ADS
Facebook Ads are an essential ingredient in every competition we run for our clients.
They’re a fantastic way to reach not just your existing audience, but people who share the same features, behaviours and interests as your existing audience (commonly referred to as ‘lookalike’ audiences) and brand new people who may have never heard of your brand or business before.
To get an accurate picture of how effective paying for reach versus relying on organic reach is, we usually let our clients’ competitions run for the first week with no ads. This lets us see (and benchmark) our organic reach, before we introduce paid ads.
Once the ads go live, here’s what we do:
- We usually start by testing a number of images against each other – keeping the copy the same. This is known as an AB testing and lets us see which images drive the most entries.
- Then we take the most popular images with high engagement and entry numbers and test those images against two to four different versions of our competition copy – for example testing emojis versus no emojis (you’d be surprised how much of a difference this can actually make!)
- Once we’ve go the best performing images and the best performing copy/caption, we’ll then test a number of other aspects such as interest-based audiences, video versus images, text on images versus no text, formats such as gifs or carousels and CTA copy (to name just a few).
STEP 5 – COUNTDOWN TO CLOSE
Nothing encourages action like a good old fashioned deadline.
Reminding people that time is running out to enter is a great way to round up the last few entries before a competition closes.
Normally, we would start counting down a week before close, then remind people again three days before a competition closes and post a final reminder the day before close, letting people know it’s the last day to enter as the competition closes tomorrow.
You’d be surprised how much the rate of entry picks up in the final week of a competition.
So there you have it – our incredibly powerful, easy to follow process for using social media to drive traffic (and entries) to your competition. We know it works because it’s the exact same process we follow with all of our Competition Concierge clients – and we always get outstanding results.