SAN ANSELMO, CA - MAY 09:  The Facebook websit...

In a recent posting at Inc., Altruette founders Lee Clifford and Julie Schlosser wrote about what works and what doesn’t work in Facebook contests. In their initial social media push, the team crafted a seemingly fun and engaging contest. The idea was to promote a “Philanthropy Friday“, when users submitted videos about their favorite non-profits. As they explained, this promotion was like throwing a party where nobody showed up. In fact, it was pretty much exactly like that. The team switched it up with the next contest (called “Help a Mom in Need“) and got better results. Below, we outline the four tactics that worked for them, and provide a few extra tactics after the fold.

Social Media Sweepstakes Basics

Let’s start with the four tactics the Altruette founders mentioned:

  1. Make it easy to get involved: instead of asking for a video, they asked folks to comment on the most charming mothers
  2. Reward everyone: they now made a donation for every “Like” and comment received so everyone felt they were contributing
  3. Tie the contest very closely to your brand: helping a mom in need was a natural extension to the established brand
  4. Enlist help when you need it: when going live, the team asked some of their best brand ambassadors (including close friends, family, and customers) to help share the launch.

Taking Social Media Sweepstakes to the Next Level

To build on these tactics, you should consider the 3 main reasons for social media marketing (or Community Management). You run contests to build your brand, and (as we covered yesterday) social media helps by (1) engaging you with your customers, (2) encouraging them to engage with eachother, and (3) encouraging them to share your brand with their own friends.

With that in mind, 3 tactics the team could have tried with this contest to really strengthen its Community Management element are:

  1. Reach out to the top commenters: chat with them via phone or email to learn more about their stories and offer to use their platform to share stories about their mothers with a wider audience. This engages with their customers.
  2. Ask their users why these commenters were so touching: this helps build up the internal dialogue. It encourages the community to engage with eachother.
  3. Post the stories for sharing: Once the top stories were collected and feedback was gathered from the community, make several polished stories via their platform and encourage their community to share with their friends.

These tactics organically work with the tactics they outlined. They also work as a next round extension to the contest. None the less, they are still making it easy to take part because most of the proactive work would be done by Altruettes. Additionally, sharing stories on their timelines is something people are more willing to do then asking their friends to buy product.