Social Media Advent Calendar Day 18 – Contests Aren’t Content

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Social media is all about creating lasting relationships between your business and your clients. The content you share should aim to keep existing clients engaged so they can spread the word to new, potential clients through content sharing.

Many businesses use contests and sweepstakes to generate new followers to their social networking profiles. While this is great to get numbers, it’s still important to remember that quality is better than quantity.

Today’s social media truth is: Contests and sweepstakes are fine, if you want to encourage short relationships.*

Followers Are Only As Good As Their Interest Level

Most new followers of your social networking profiles are coming from your existing clients or your advertising. When you run a contest or a sweepstakes to generate new followers, you’re usually going to get them from people already connected to your business.

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they need hundreds of followers to help promote their business on social media. Don’t get distracted by numbers – it’s better to have 10 loyal followers who share your content and get you new client leads, rather than 100 followers who ignore your content.

Quality Followers Versus Quantity Followers

A quality follower is typically a current client who has a positive connection with your business. They’re interested in what’s going on in your industry and they regularly share or comment on your content. This promotes your content through social media and also helps show the search engines that people ARE interested in reading your web content (and therefore, they should rank it higher in search results!).

A quantity follower is one that just followed your social media page to enter a contest or sweepstakes. They may not even know what your business does; all they know is they wanted to win an iPad or whatever you were giving away. If you run a contest where new subscribers to your newsletter can win something, watch your subscription list between the time of the contest and your next issue.

You’ll most likely notice a large amount of unsubscribes after that next issue, purely because most people consent to signing up for a newsletter just for a chance to win. When they get that newsletter, they barely remember signing up and unsubscribe right away.

Don’t Waste Content on Contests – Go For Quality Followers

Contests promote short relationships, but that’s not to say that some of the followers you DO gain won’t be useful to your social media marketing. We Do Web Content has had its share of “like us” drives and contests to expand our social media outreach. It works, and once in a while we do get a few new followers that really connect with our business, but it’s still not the optimal way to utilize your social networking profiles for marketing.

Facebook contests have been increasingly difficult to run due to Facebook’s rules and terms, which is why we continue to promote the use of quality, informative content. If your content is engaging and useful from the start, you don’t need to entice others to share it just to win something!

We aim to provide content that can help you gain new followers without offering them anything more than useful information that’s relevant to their needs and interests. You can call us at 888-594-5442 or reach out to us on our website. We’ll go over how our SEO, web content, and social media services can help your business.

* Blog adapted from Fast Company’s ’36 Rules of Social Media’ infographic.