Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 1 Social media has become an essential part of any business. In fact, 90% of top brands say that social media needs to be a part of their sales strategy. With over 2 billion social media users worldwide, you’re no longer limited to people walking into your store to make purchases. In fact, one of the best ways to promote your products is to host a social media contest to drive more sales. Still not convinced? Here are eight proven ways to use a social media contest to promote your products online. 1. Promote Your Best Selling Product If there’s a product in your e-commerce store that’s always sold out or seems to be a fan favorite, then you can use that product’s popularity to drive more leads and sales for your store. When people get a chance to win their favorite products in a contest, their more likely to engage with your contest when compared to other prizes. Uglies Kettle Chips has three known favors Barbeque, Sea Salt and, Salt and Vinger. Since most User Generated Content and engagement comes from fans who love their salt and vinegar flavor, so they decided to use that momentum to host a social media giveaway for that exact flavor. With 310 likes and 510 comments later, it’s safe to say their social media contest was a success. 2. Use Influencers to Promote Your Business Using influencers works two-fold by both boosting your social media presence and promoting your products and services. About 49% of consumers say they depend on influencer recommendations on social media in order to make a purchase. So when people see an influencer using or wearing your products they’re more likely to see it as a stamp of approval for your overall brand. It helps your social media contest because your brand is not only in front of your current customers but the influencer’s network as well. Mehron Make Up leverages famous makeup influencer Mimi Choi to promote their makeup contest. A famous makeup artist that works with celebrities promoting Mehron helps to build their credibility as a professional approved product. For more tips on influencer marketing, check out The Essential Guide to Getting Started with Influencer Marketing. 3. Use a Buy-to-Enter Social Media Contest Ask your followers to make a purchase for a chance to be automatically entered into your social media contest. This method helps to ensure that people aren’t just entering your contest in the hope of winning free stuff, but you’re already gotten sales from your contest before it ends. You’ll have to mindful of the purchase limit, if people have to purchase $100 just to enter to win a discount or free product, you won’t see a lot of people coming. Don’t over complicate the entry method or how you’ll choose your contest winner because can deter people from entering in the first place. Your entry method is the gatekeeper of your social media contest. That’s what Dunkin Donuts did with their “Dunkin’ on the Daily Sweepstakes.”. The winner would get free Dunkin’s for a decade. To enter, people just have to make a purchase of a coffee or sandwich in the afternoon. 4. Get Reviews & Testimonials From Your Social Media Contest Host a social media contest where contestants have to share what they love about your products or services and why they should win. You can start sharing these comments and remarks on your social media pages and website before your contest has ended. Online reviews impact purchasing decisions because 91% of people trust and read online consumer reviews before buying a product. When followers and potential customers see the good reviews on your contest piling up on your social pages you open the door to more potential buyers coming to your site. Asking for reviews from a customer can be hard to come by, you can send email after email but not every customer who’s happy with your products is quick to give a review. When you make reviews a requirement to enter your social media contest you’ll begin to see a flood of them coming your way. It also gives your true fans an unfiltered and easy way to engage with your brand online, making it a win-win for engagement. A perfect example is Microsoft Surface UK, they decided to host a contest for a chance to win a Microsoft Surface Notepad. To enter you’d have to write what you love about the Surface Notepad. #Win a #Surface Notepad! Featuring a typecover on one side and a Surface screen on the other – make the office jealous To enter RT this tweet and leave a comment letting us know what you about your favorite #Microsoft Surface product! T&C's: https://t.co/cITPkaJ5dc pic.twitter.com/nzW2ls4i1c — Surface UK (@Surface_UK) January 24, 2018 Pro Tip: Try using a contest app like Wishpond to run an Essay Contest where you can ask for people to answer a question in order to enter a contest. That question could include “what do you like most about the brand?” or “what does X brand mean to you?”. You can even collect photos along with testimonials and reviews using a photo contest. 5. Use A Contest Brand Collaboration To Promote Your Business They say two heads are better than one, that’s why using brand collaboration is a great way to promote your business. Find a brand with products or services that compliments your own brand and host a contest or giveaway for people to enter. When you host your contest together, you’re putting your products in front of a combined audience. Collaborating with another brand opens the door to networking and future projects like product bundles, deals, and discounts that can bring leads your way. Here’s what Fab Fit Fun did when they collaborated with ten other brands, making their first ever, ultimate prize bundle. The engagement the post received was higher than any giveaway they’ve had this year. 6. Get Product Feedback With a Social Media Contest You might already know that social media contests can get you reviews. But did you know that they can also be one of the best ways to get positive product feedback from your audience? Getting product feedback through contests is a seamless way of engaging your audience while also social listening. From there you can use the information you receive to review products, test a variation, or center your marketing strategies around those products. When Kopari Beauty hit 100k followers, they hosted a giveaway ask followers to comment on their favorite products and tag a friend. Mos tagged their famous Kopari Coconut Body Milk and Coconut Crush Scrub then weeks later Kopari started to push the two as a Bodycare Dream Team product bundle. Pro Tip: Try running this type of contest using a photo contest that will allow you to get feedback and capture email addresses from everyone who enters. 7. Use Hashtags To Promote Your Business Wave.video and The Facebook Queen Mari Smith joined forces to host a #WaveVideoADay social media contest. They challenged persons to create one video every day to improve their video making and social marketing skills using the hashtag #WaveVideoDay. They simply asked people to comment on their contest post with a link to their own video(s). The winner would get free Wave.video services for a month. You need to know how to strategically implement them because hashtags can expand your content reach, amplify your brand, target your market, get your content found, improve your SEO. Believe it or not, hashtags work like little search engine optimization tags, when people want to find you or your product your contest hashtag can be their go to when searching. Ready to harness the power of hashtags for your business? Use these 3 Key Hashtag Strategies: How to Market your Business & Content to get started. Pro Tip: Check out 150 Best Hashtags to Get More Likes for a list of the best Hashtags to get you more exposure today. 8. Promote Your Product Features Since social media contests get so much engagement, treat it almost like mini ads for your products. Listing out the benefits and features so that potential buyers can see what your products have to offer. It’ll not only convince customers that they want your product but that they need it and can’t live without it! Take a look at Bumpbox social media contest and how they list their product features. It’s not just for your website, product descriptions can push sales outside of your ecommerce platforms. You can use this guide to learn more about how to write Persuasive Marketing Techniques For Product Descriptions That Sell. Summary Social media contests are an amazing way to build your brand while at the same time achieving a number of secondary objectives in the meantime. As a quick recap, here are the 8 ways you can use social contests to promote your business today: Promote Your Best Selling Product Use Influencers to Promote Your Products Use A Buy-to-Enter Contest Entry to Increase Sales Get Reviews & Testimonials From Your Social Media Contest Use Contest Brand Collaboration to Promote Products Get Product Feedback With Your Your Social Media Contest Use Social Media Contest Hashtags To Promote Your Products Promote Your Product Features Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article originally appeared on Wishpond Blog and has been republished with permission.Find out how to syndicate your content with B2C Author: Kane Pepi <p>Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?