Hey everyone – Molly here for your weekly Content & Coffee. Summer’s coming to a close and marketers are in competition to get their brand into the back-to-school spotlight. Google shared data earlier this year that back-to-school search queries were up 48% from last year and searches were starting earlier than ever.

Marrying social media and contests is always a smart way to get buzz around products while also generating new leads – and contests are one offering we absolutely recommend to social clients.

When it comes to back-to-school promos that we loved – here are 3 that we think stand out from the crowd:

Texas Instruments 

Texas Instruments Back to School Promo

Texas Instruments is bringing in celebrity forces with its #‎ilyTIcontest‬. This contest encourages fans to share a photo or video with their TI Calculator on Twitter or Instagram – the winner gets to have Mayim Bialik come to his or her classroom.

Crockpot

Crockpot Back to School Promo

Crockpot is hosting a contest that caters toward parents making meals for their families during the school year. The contest encourages users to Pin their favorite Crockpot dishes directly from Crockpot’s official Facebook. This is the perfect example of a cross-channel strategy that gets their fans interacting across networks.

OfficeMax

Office Max Sweepstakes

OfficeMax is hosting a back to school contest where fans get to choose between six different backpack prize packages they want to win. When I saw this, my first impression was that this is a great way to segment their audience based on style and personality. If OfficeMax is segmenting these contest applicants, it can send really targeted messages in the future that appeal to their specific preferences instead of a generic, one-size fits all message.

BONUS! Alex & Ani 

alex and ani contest

Rhode Island-based jewelry brand Alex & Ani created a promotion that targets one of its biggest demographics – college-aged females on social media. Its Back-to-School Sweepstakes encourages Instagrammers to hashtag #charmedcampus with school-inspired bracelets made by the brand. The winners get Alex & Ani e-gift cards. 

BONUS! Crayola

Crayola Contest

Crayola has had a corner on the school-supply market for decades, but this promotion stands out because it teams up with a free app that supports cash donations for schools, Shoparoo. This daily contest requires users to download the free app and snap pictures of receipts for chances to win school supplies.

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Want more examples of fun content marketing and social media campaigns? Check out:

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.