“Let’s run a competition”.
It seems a simple enough thing to include as part of a marketing strategy, doesn’t it? However, in reality there are many things to consider.
Firstly, is it fair and compliant? How do you manage start and end times? Will there be a specified correct answer and does its spelling matter? Will the draw be done using an external judging panel or via a compliant random selection process? What if the winner doesn’t meet your terms and conditions? What about exporting reports and data archiving? Get it right and running competitions can be a great activity for enhancing marketing, engagement and of course, sponsorship revenues.
Following our work with Channel 4 & PlayStation in running a live competition via STORY during their Gogglebox Ad takeover, we thought we’d share some tips and considerations.
Consider your promotion and any relevant T&C’s
Firstly, think about your call-to-action. There are many ways to run a competition mechanic… from a simple random selection from all entries, to a correct answer entry (multiple choice or a specific reply), to creative submissions of picture or video for judging. Once you have thought about your mechanic and where to promote it, make sure you clearly specify the headlines of your Terms and Conditions and provide a link to the full details.
Managing timeframes and number of entries per user
It’s important that competitions are fair for all. Well-structured events should have a specific entry window, and should usually dictate a fixed amount of entries per person. Automatic acceptance and rejection of entries also needs to be supported by generated reports that will keep compliance officers happy. Additionally, it will also protect you from user complaints or people trying to cheat the system.
Using specific access roles & internal protection
Use a system that can manage ‘access roles’ within the production and record the flow of the process. Eg. someone can be given the task to set up searches for social content, another person manages the set-up criteria, whist a 3rd person triggers the winner selection/moderation. Importantly, your system should follow the flow of activity, recording any internal change, selection filters, etc, that could influence the picking of the winner.
What about indecent/inappropriate content?
If using a system like never.no’s ‘STORY’, everything in the process can be automated. However, you may still be at risk of someone breaking your Terms and Conditions by having an inappropriate username or submitting an indecent photo. Depending on your terms, you need a process enabling the rejection of these anomalies while also recording what happened and why.
Ensuring you get all content
If you are expecting high volume take up on a social-based competition entry, using Twitter’s Firehose is the best way to ensure you capture every Tweet associated with the entry mechanic. Everyone that participates should have an equal chance of winning and being part of the selection process regardless of the entry volume.
Respond and acknowledge participation
Using a reply feature is a good way to extend a marketing campaign’s communication. As with STORY’s direct response feature, you can automatically Tweet back to those who entered a competition to provide more details, notification of a winner, or related promotional offers.
Do a quick background check on the original poster
If you intend to promote the winner, it’s always worth running a quick check on the social profile/s of people who have been selected. You can easily access the originator’s content and see if their profile and posts are compliant and in line with your terms and conditions. Let’s face it, you don’t want to end up promoting content from a user whose social feed is full of hate crime posts.
Consider your prize
It may seem obvious, but not all prizes are well-received. For instance, if the prize is a holiday, does it consider school holidays, families with 3 children, etc. Giving away an expensive car could be hard for many to insure. It’s also not always about ‘price’, large lots of smaller prizes can make it exciting. Also, fame can be a prize in itself. If the winner gets to be featured on TV, that can be exciting enough for many.
Contact us for more information about running live social competitions.