Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.
Each week on Socially Stacked, we feature a social media marketing Campaign to inspire marketers and ShortStack users. Every savvy marketer knows the most important aspect of a contest is the prize.A great prize can attract new eyes and customers, and a bad prize can ruin a whole contest and increase abandonment rates. So how do you know if the prize you're offering is one your fans actually want? Well first off, it's best to always stick with prizes that are directly related to your brand. Whether it's a sample of something you offer, your actual product, or even a coupon, brands see better success when they offer a relevant prize versus a generic item like an iPad. If you're not sure what will entice your fans, you can test different prizes, or simply ask!We recently featured a case study that showed how Great Lakes grew their Facebook fans by 200% in 3 weeks. One of the tipping points in the success of their campaign was their prize (a $6,000 cash prize to be paid towards a student's loan), and they landed on this prize by asking their audience if this was something that would cause them to enter a promotion. Great Lakes asked their audience this question months before their promotion began and then based their campaign on the feedback they received.Another way to assure that you're offering your fans a prize that they actually want to win is by letting them choose their prize.We don't see this too often, but it's a strategic approach to a giveaway if you're company has the ability to offer up a variety of prize options.If you're intrigued by this method, here are 4 tips to keep in mind when creating and executing a pick your prize promotion.
1. Decide how you'll offer your prizes: There are a few ways you can do a "pick your prize" promotion. The first one is how Tootsie Pops is doing it in today's campaign example. Tootsie Pops is celebrating hitting one million Facebook fans. As a thank you to their fans they're giving their followers a chance to win one of six prizes. They asked their fans to select their favorite item from the six items listed and they were then entered for a chance to win whichever item they selected. Another way to do a "pick your prize" campaign would be to feature several prizes, ask people to enter, and then after choosing the winners, letting them choose which of the selected prizes they want. These are essentially the same thing, just organized slightly different.A third way you can set up this type of promotion is using a voting widget. You could list out the possible prizes, ask people to vote, and then provide the winner with the prize that received the most votes. This method may not get each specific person the exact prize they are looking for, but it will give you an idea of the general prize your fans are most attracted to.
2. Have a strategy behind your promotion: This tip really goes for any campaign that you're running, however, it's always best to have a strategy or a theme behind your promotion. For example, Tootsie Pops decided to do a "pick your prize" as a thank you for reaching 1 million Facebook fans. Tootsie Pops continually runs promotions and they usually offer up one prize or a series of first, second and third place prizes. They mixed it up by doing a "pick your prize" option and by theming it around hitting a million fans, they were able to do a nice play on words "Woo Hoo! 1 million Fans! Thanks a million!"
3. Use the data you collect about the most popular prize: When you let fans pick their own prize you're going to quickly get data about which prize is the most valuable to your fans. For Tootsie Pops there was a clear winner (the Tootsie Pop Mug). Moving forward in their promotions they know that the mug is a high valued prize and can use it for future giveaways. There are a few ways you can track which prize is the most popular.
• Have a different database for each prize: You can see how many people entered for each prize.
• Use ShortStack's Voting Widget and Action Widget: Use the voting widget to allow people to vote on their favorite prize and then use the action widget to prompt an email entry field after they've voted.
• Use ShortStack's Links Widget:
The links widget has actions built into it so when people click your button they are taken to a form to provide more in more information.
4. Constantly talk about your Campaign:
This may sound like a "duh" tip but you'd be surprised how many campaigns only get mentioned one or two times. Tootsie Pops did a great job of informing people when their promotion was live, reminding people to enter through sponsored posts and continual updates and then even announcing when the contest had ended. Keeping your fans in the loop keeps your promotion top of mind for them.
Example of a "Pick Your Prize" Promotion
They offered up six different prize options and asked people to pick the prize that was most appealing to them. They chose multiple winners for each prize and kept their branding consistent across all of their promotional materials. You can see a screen shot of the campaign below.
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