Harnessing Contest Software Effectively and Tips for Contest Success

For many nonprofits, running a contest via social media has become the best way to build credibility about their brand and earn support for their cause. This method not only engages supporters in a fun way but also produces a wealth of customer information organizers can use to enhance fundraising efforts.

how non profits use social media to engage with their communities

To collect and harness customer information effectively, though, you need to use contest software that integrates with your existing workflow and provides the public a seamless experience of your brand. The software must also provide the ability to monitor the contest through built-in analytics. Once the software is in place and a contest plan is in effect, you may then proceed to the next phase of the contest cycle, which is to launch it in social media. Nonprofit Quarterly’s Ritu Sharma provides these tips for increasing your contest’s chances at success.

Make it a conversation

Simply ask questions. Social media rockstar John Haydon gets even more specific, sharing ‘posts that end with a question mark vs. a period generate twice as many likes, comments, and shares.

Share the load & have a plan

About half of nonprofits have a team of people overseeing their social media platforms, which we consider a best practice since it allows for a diversity of individual voices.

Get visual

Nonprofits said attaching a photo or video to your post, especially of your donors and community, is a surefire way to lift engagement.

The future (and present) is mobile

Today, 47% of people access email via their smartphone. Our respondents share that their nonprofit newsletters and websites are the keys to online engagement and fundraising. So make sure yours is mobile-friendly.

Remember three things

You need to keep in mind three important things before you launch your contest on social media: First, don’t let your contest appear too sales-y. Second, be sure that the prize to be won is something that both your potential and actual supporters want. Third, make your contest fun, easy to enter, and even easier to share. While it’s possible to achieve these on your own, companies that provide contest and award software—among many other tools—help ensure that the system for a successful promotion is implemented.

Your contest’s ultimate goal

Remember that your contest’s ultimate goal is to achieve a specific marketing objective. Once the contest is finished and all the prizes have been handed out, don’t forget to measure the impact that your contest made on site visits, conversion, and brand engagement. Again, a contest creation company can be of great help to you in this regard.

(Source: How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities, NonProfit Quarterly, Mar. 13, 2014)

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