Integrating Photo Contests Into Your Social Media Marketing

Integrate Photo Contests Into Your Digital Marketing Campaign

The photograph is a powerful visual marketing tool. People enjoy looking at photos, but more importantly people love sharing photos, especially on social media. So how can businesses integrate photo sharing into their digital marketing campaigns? Run a photo contest! Not only will people participate to share their photo, they’ll get to compete to win a prize. Now, who doesn’t love a good, friendly competition?

Running a photo contest will get you more engagement with your fans on your business or organization’s social media page, and also expand your reach and attract new people to the page. You might also have other goals in mind, such as spreading awareness about an event, promotion or service. You can run the contest through social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. Or, if you’re able to, you can run the contest through your website.

inBLOOM has been running different themed Facebook photo contests for clients since the idea first emerged. From the Home Vets NYC NJ Cuties for Charity Pet Photo Contests to Cupcake Magician’s Cupcake Cutie’s Photo Contest, we’ve had some great success with this digital promotion. Not only is it fun for the participants, it’s honestly a lot of fun for us, too. We get to tap into our creative sides to come up with these awesome interactive experiences, while building closer relationships with our clients’ audiences and watching their pages grow.

We use the Offerpop photo contest app for Facebook to run contests for our clients. Here’s how we get things rolling:

1. HEADLINE IMAGE: We work out the contest details and then our graphic designer creates an 810 x 300 headline image that includes the details, graphics and photos. This headline image is used for both the contest app and the Facebook timeline cover.

2. CREATE THE CONTEST: We launch the Offerpop app, title the campaign, upload the headline image, set the dates, configure the voting frequency, and provide the details and rules in the description. In order to enter and vote, participants have to like the page (an excellent way to build the page following). Participants have a week to submit photos. Voters have a week to vote, and can do so once, every 24 hours. The photo with the most votes wins the prize.

3. PROMOTION: This is key! We start promoting the contest before it even begins by posting an announcement about it on our client’s Facebook timeline with details so people can start working on their submissions. Once the contest has started, we continue to post reminders and photos of the entries submitted to get people interested in both submitting and voting. We also promote across channels like Twitter, email, and the client’s website. And we share the link and details with bloggers and other organizations’ pages asking them to spread the word as well.

Right now, we’re running EarthShare New Jersey’s “NJ Best & Beautiful Outdoors” Photo Contest”, which has been very successful. The deadline for submissions has passed, so now it’s voting time. Forty one participants have submitted absolutely gorgeous photos of parks, beaches, waterways, trails and gardens all around the state of New Jersey. The contest has received all kinds of entries, both from professional photographers and people who’ve simply captured an image with the camera on their phone. The photo with the most votes wins two tickets to the EarthShare Celebrates 20 Years Reception, taking place on May 30, 6:30 p.m. at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.

By looking at EarthShare New Jersey’s Facebook insights, we can see that the number of likes has significantly increased throughout the duration of the contest. During the week long submission period, the page received 103 organic likes. During the week long voting period, the page received 581 organic likes.

But how can we really determine that the new likes were as a result of the contest? By looking at the activity of the posts in Facebook insights, we can see the posts that had the most organic reach and engagement (clicks and likes) were the ones pertaining to the contest.  The analytics show that mentions and posts by other people have also helped. Just by looking at the amount of people who entered and voted, we can see that the contest played a big role in getting those new likes.

Not only did the Facebook page get more engagement and expand its audience because of the contest, we also were able to get the word out about EarthShare Celebrates 20 Years Reception. This is a great example of how a photo contest can have more than one goal.

We’ll be launching Small Factory’s “School’s Out for Summer Camp Giveaway” Photo Contest on May 26. Participants are invited to submit a photo of their child’s art or their little artist, musician, gamer or singer in action. The winner will receive a $300 gift card valid towards Summer Camp at Small Factory, valid through August 22, 2014. We’re looking forward to seeing some creative entries!

If you’d like some assistance with creating and managing a photo contest contact us. We’d be more than happy to help you achieve the same success our clients have had.

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Danielle Thibault
Danielle uses her background in public relations, event coordination and fundraising to gain exposure for inBLOOM’s clients by establishing connections with the media and target audiences. She is most passionate about writing and networking. You’ll never find Danielle without her morning cup of coffee. She is a firm believer that a little caffeine goes a long way!

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