Making Money with Social Media Contests

If you want to take advantage of social media tools, and see some measurable returns on your investment of money and time, then you just need to plan.

A campaign that features some incentives (prize draw, coupon offer) is the fastest way to generate social media activity, and it really isn’t hard to make a social media contest a profit center.

@WildfireApp‘s Maya Grinberg recently wrote a post over at HuffPo about this very thing, giving five examples of customers that have used the Wildfire platform as a money-maker. I like the Duck Tape example, in #5: Use a sweepstakes to drive people to your coupon (it works in reverse, too).

Or, consider example #3, in which Zappos offered a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to anyone who filled out a “wish list” of what they would buy if they won. I don’t need to tell you- this stuff works. Some of those gift registries convert to real sales.

Still the best example of this that I have seen is Crate & Barrel who, working with their agency Phenomenon and using a customized contest site built on the Strutta platform, host the Ultimate Wedding Contest. To date, the multi-year promotion (photo, story and required gift registry of $2K of more) has yielded $10s of millions in Gift registrations. Even at conservative conversion estimates, their returns are in the millions. And all because they had a plan. (Kudos, Phenomenon)

Insert your insanely compelling offer here.

Ideas like these can work at any scale, and your options for execution are many. Just tap into what your community really wants, and what they’ll respond to. Earlier this year, the gang from Pinpoint Social ran a campaign with Putting Edge, an indoor mini golf company with 20 locations. They quickly doubled the size of their Facebook community, got a 50% redemption rate on their coupon offer and drove in an extra $15,000 in business in February; traditionally one of their slowest months.

Stop thinking about marketing as an expense, and start taking a look at what you can do to turn it into a revenue generator. If you struggle, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to give you a hand.



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