4 Contests That Can Help You Grow Your Community Forum

Posted by Krista Gray on Aug 10, 2016 10:00:17 AM

2 minute read

Copy of July 19, 20, 21, 27 - 2016

The interwebs seem to be constantly flooded with an abundance of digital contests that companies hope can help grow their community and in turn, drive growth and revenue. According to the marketing pros at Hubspot, this is a legitimate tactic: research shows that new campaigns have the power to increase Facebook views by 34% on average with 1/3 of contest participants signing up to become more involved with a brand by opting into email update or offers. Wow!

Since community managers are always on the hunt for low hanging fruit to prove engagement before scaling efforts further, we outlined five simple contests to consider adding to your short-term strategy:

1. Contest Partnership. Whether your content is a game, in-product or social media experience, there are few ways that are more effective when it comes to contest distribution! A good contest partnership will give you access to a relevant brand’s community to cast a wide net over the type of people who might find value in your community and the product or service your company offers.

A good example is Paypal’s Instagram contest with adored travel community Passion Passport. Users who uploaded and tagged their Instagram photos with the contest hashtag where entered to win a paid trip by the Fintech giant. Paypal, on the other hand, saw it’s branding sprinkled across an impressive number of Instagram images that saw significant engagement from its target customer.

2. Sweepstakes: Setting up a sweepstakes-based contest is fairly simple to do. The main benefit of a sweepstakes comes with encouraging entrants to spread the word with those in their online circles to garner additional entries.

The company behind the ‘magic pass of coworking’, Croissant, recently launched a cool sweepstakes to give away a year of free coworking to celebrate their launch in San Francisco.

3. Referral contest. Rewarding customers or users for the ability to share your company with friends and online is a fantastic way to spread the word. While setting up an actual referral program or waiting for automated technology to catch up (automatic promo codes, etc), you might consider a scrappy contest to kick efforts off while proving the immense value they can have.

When I worked at the payment company Tilt, the college team manually created and tracked promo codes for each College Ambassador using internal tools. Prize like a trip to HQ in San Francisco were amazing incentives for the hardworking students while Team reaped the rewards of their efforts with app downloads and influence intel.

4. Social Content Contest. The amazing variety of social media channels and platforms gives you great opportunity to host a contest wherever your community (or target community) hangs out online. Whether in partnership with another company or as a standalone effort, consider running yours on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or even Pinterest.

Ideas range from calling for unique content submissions and choosing your favorite to calling for caption suggestions or creative edits to something you post on behalf of your brand or company. Kick it up a notch by involving admirable or respected guest judges. You’ll be on your way to increased engagement and fresh eyeballs in no time!

Have you run a contest that helped you re-engage or grow your community? Tell us what worked in the comments.

Topics: Community, Marketing, News

Related posts

Subscribe to the Community Corner Newsletter and get expert insight and analysis on how to get the most out of your online community every Friday.

Search this blog

Recent Posts

community playbook

Have an Article for Vanilla's Blog?

Send us an email to pr@vanillaforums.com with your topic idea and we'll circle back with our publishing guidelines.