Now that we’re in the final stretch of the #12DaysOfContent, it’s time to explore some of our more exotic content types. For the eleventh day, we’re discussing social contests. This format may not fall within the bounds of what’s normally considered content. Custom-built social contests can ask people to Like Pages, participate in surveys or enter their contact data to win, but they all have the same outcome – upping the engagement ante and generating social leads.

Some skeptics wonder how companies can attract the right followings and hold their audience’s attention, and social contests are the answer. This format makes prospects an offer they can’t refuse, whether in the form of free products, discounted services or exclusive access to information in exchange for user-generated content and contact information.

Why add social contests to your content marketing mix?

In general,  social strategies must err on the side of organic engagement because users are looking for conversations – not promotions. Social contests are a way to bring offerings into the fold without being overtly salesy. Using this format, brands can ask followers to interact with products and services in exchange for a reward.

Social contests help brands to spice up the regular mix of content they share on networks, but they give brands’ the chance to thank their biggest assets – the fans. Brands with excellent social marketing strategies use channels to host two-way conversations that invite and recognize individuals first, and then ask participants for engagement in return.

Check out these additional resources about creating successful contests:

Social networks are primarily a place to chat and listen, but you’re also there to engage target audiences and fuel conversions. Our social media strategists will develop contests to give your strategy the lift it needs.

Want to know more about planning great social contests? Leave your questions for Senior Social Media Strategist Rachel Dobinski in the comments section below. And check back for our 12 Days of content grand finale!

Follow along or tell us about your favorite formats with the hashtag #12DaysOfContent.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.