Social media is the most popular way to launch, promote and publicise your competition, so you want to make sure you keep the social networks happy, as well as your competition entrants! Here are OrigamiGlobe’s 10 commandments for running a social media competition.
1. Thou shalt not use third party intellectual property without permission.
If it’s not yours, ask permission or don’t use it. It’s as simple as that. You could face hefty fines or legal action if you use third party intellectual property without permission – this may include but is not limited to designs, concepts, photography, brand names, copyrighted and trademarked material. If you think they’ll never find out if you use it, you’re wrong. Just don’t risk it!
2. Thou shalt not resort to giving away an iPad.
Does your demographic of elderly ladies who come to you for blue rinses need an iPad? No. Is an iPad generic enough to attract everyone and anyone to enter your competition, thus not helping you attract relevant clients and potential leads? Yes. Make your prize relevant and attractive to your target audience and for heaven’s sake (see what I did there?!) do not give away an iPad. Worst idea ever.
3. Thou shalt not make up your own rules.
Was the first winning entry you drew that annoying client who never buys anything? Would you rather give it to your favourite client? Too bad. Rules are rules and what’s more, they’re legally enforced, so don’t break the rules when it comes to winner and prize management. See also: “Honour thy social media rules”.
4. Remember the licences and permits.
If you are running a game of chance, in which the winner is drawn by ‘lottery’ or chance, you must check if you need a licence. There’s no exceptions or excuses if you need a licence but don’t bother getting one. You could face legal action so always, always check the government site of all states you’re running your competition in. Here’s a handy OrigamiGlobe quick reference guide to licences to help make your life a little easier and if you just want someone to do it for you, get in touch.
5. Honour thy social media rules.
More rules, I know, ugh. Each social media site enforces its own rules too. Make sure you don’t break them by checking out their rules regarding competitions. We’ve put together yet another quick reference guide to social media rules for you (you’re welcome), or you can always google ‘[social media platform name] contest rules’. Just make sure you click on the url of the social media site itself and not a third party site as there is a LOT of bad and outdated information out there. Get your information straight from the horse’s mouth.
6. Thou shalt not ‘set and forget’.
… Unless you’re an OrigamiGlobe client!
Running a competition can feel like a full-time job – we’d know! Unfortunately you can’t just set and forget, you need to make sure you respond to social media comments, encourage participation, moderate entries (especially if you’re asking for entrants to post pictures or comments) and promote your competition. When the competition is over, there’s the drawing, announcement and management of the winner which can sometimes be the most difficult part. Of course if you enlist OrigamiGlobe’s help with all that, it really is set (or brief us) and forget!
7. Thou shalt not forget the landing page.
Remember your competition should have a goal (such as signing up to your paid course), so you’ll want to direct them to where they can achieve that goal, in this case a tailor-made landing page with details of the offer, and a very clear call to action for them to enter the competition. Bonus points if you can also include a referral mechanism for them to encourage others to enter and links to other areas of your site that may interest them. Hey, you’ve worked hard to attract their attention, why not keep them interested?
8. Thou shalt not skimp on the T&Cs.
Terms and conditions can be boring and lengthy, yes, but they are there to protect you. Don’t skimp on the T&Cs by copying someone else’s conditions and changing the company name. What if you are adding a rule that multiple entries are not allowed, but the T&Cs you’ve copied clearly state multiple entries will be accepted? What if you draw a seasoned, career competition winner (don’t laugh, they exist) who picks apart your competition and your T&Cs and asks for the cash value instead of the prize? If you’re not covered, you could be footing an expensive bill. If you’re lost when it comes to T&Cs, we’d be more than happy to help.
9. Thou shalt not launch without a plan.
Every good competition starts with a solid plan, yours is no exception. If you’re in planning stages, check out our post ‘6 things to consider when planning a competition’ then check out our Last guide to competitions. Make sure you have yourself a clear timeline from competition launch to winner announcement. If you need a hand putting together your strategy, just ask, it’s what we do best!
10. Thou shalt always ask for help if you need it.
We do this for a living, chances are we’ll have the answer to that burning question. On the rare occasion we don’t have an answer, we go do the hard work researching an answer for you – because you can guarantee someone else will ask that question eventually and then we’ll be prepared! Get in touch, no matter how small your question or big your competition idea.
If you have any questions about our 10 commandments of running a social media competition, please feel free to ask below, or share any commandments you think we may have missed!