Without a doubt, Facebook is still the most popular social network, but if you complement it with other social networks such as Twitter and Instagram, you can expand the reach of your promotion even further. In this post we have a look at what these other exciting networks can offer and how you can take advantage of them.
Twitter is highly effective for classifying information by means of a hashtag. It is also very quick and simple to use. It is worth bearing in mind other features offered by this network such as retweets or the option of adding photos to tweets. Lastly, we should add that published tweets reach all your followers since there are no algorithms limiting visibility.
The most significant feature of Instagram is that it deals principally with photos and enables users to edit them by adding filters and frames. It has recently begun allowing users to edit and upload videos too, making it the number one social network for visual people who like to get creative.
It also gives you the chance to monitor entries via hashtag, and offers the advantage that photos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare, or even by email. As with Twitter publications, photos reach all your followers.
Would you like to see some examples?
Before you start, why not try the following DEMOs? These will enable you to view all the possibilities for Instagram and Twitter integration:
We’ve prepared a DEMO so you can see how text, photo and video entries are presented in this Twitter and Instagram contest. The hashtag #LoveTravel allows you to import all photos, videos and tweets that are tagged with it. You can also see the contest gallery embedded as a widget in a webpage.
Introducing the gallery of a text-only contest in which the hashtag #TravelTips was used to import contestants’ travel tips to the gallery. You can see the gallery with all the tips embedded as a widget into a webpage.
Below we suggest a series of ideas to help you start creating contests with Twitter and Instagram:
1. Simple photo contest for obtaining new leads
If your company’s objective is to get new leads and expand your database, here’s a simple technique. Set up a generic photo contest. For example: “Upload a photo of yourself enjoying your vacations.”
Give users the chance to participate via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Once the contest is finished you’ll have all the data of users who have taken part via Facebook, since they’ll have had to fill in the form. In the case of participants who enter via Twitter or Instagram, you can get their information by programing a reply message. We suggest you include a link in this response message that will take the participant to a form they are then asked to complete. Since users are sometimes reluctant to provide their details without getting something in return, you could offer them a discount, a prize or entry into a sweepstakes in exchange for their details.
2. Solve the riddle…
Organize a text-based contest. Use the hashtags to give clues to the riddle. For Facebook users the method of participation will be the same as usual – they upload their answer when they access the contest. In the case of Twitter users, they can enter by sending a tweet containing the hashtag and their answer.
The application will automatically import all the text that comes tagged with the hashtag of the contest. Remember that the promotion administrator can select which social networks may be used to enter the contest when he/she sets up the promotion. In the case of this example, which is text based, users would not be able to enter the contest via Instagram.
3. Shopping-cart giveaways
This is a practice that has been carried out for a while in department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets. We suggest an alternative version: to increase consumption for a specific period of time you could refund three shopping carts that have been purchased that day. Invite users to take part in a sweepstakes by taking a photo of their shopping cart. If they win, they then provide their receipt as proof of the date and value of the purchase. Enable them to participate via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and ask them to use a hashtag to enable you to keep track of their participation.
You could also use this idea with items purchased in your store’s big sale, or with a dinner eaten by customers at your restaurant on a certain day. In the second case, you could ask customers to upload a photo of themselves enjoying the meal.
4. Use social networks as a display case
Encourage your followers to help you create your display case. You can organize a contest in which users upload photos of pieces from your new collection. In exchange, offer them a voucher to spend on clothes from the collection. Here’s an example: you have a line of sports clothing and you want users to help you publicize it with photos of the new collection. Suggest that they upload photos of the products in stores as well as any pieces that they have already bought.
Here’s another example: summer’s here and people are buying more cameras. Ask your customers to help you show off all your different models by taking photos of your cameras in the stores. You could also allow them to enter the contest with photos that they’ve downloaded from your webpage. This is a good way to get the social networks working to display your products.
5. Fashion contest
Instagram is closely connected to the fashion world and there are more and more highly successful blogs showing the latest trends or webpages where users can upload the clothes they wear each day. Set up a contest in which users can upload outfits for a day at the beach, for going out to dinner, for kids (if your brand sells children’s clothing), etc. You can include the chance for users to vote, which will make the contest more dynamic. Allow users to upload photos from any of the three social networks in order to obtain greater participation.
You could also use this idea in the interior decoration sector, by asking users to upload photos of “their favorite corner of home.”
6. Complete a phrase and get “Discount coupons”
You could carry out a contest in a department store or commercial center and offer a percentage discount by way of a coupon to users who complete a simple phrase. Users who take part via Facebook will receive the coupon by the usual procedure, while users who participate via Twitter can receive theirs in a tweet. This is simple to set up. You can pre-program an automatic response of up to 140 characters to be sent to each participant. In this message you can include a link which will take the user to a URL where they can find the discount coupon. They can then print it out or save it to their cell phone
7. Organize a casting
If you’re looking for a new image for your campaign, or ideas for your new spot, why not get help from your fans? It’s surprising how much creativity you can find online. You could organize a casting in which users have to upload one of your photos, or you could ask them to send a creative video in which they present one of your products.
8. Video for charity
Have you ever considered carrying out a contest or sweepstakes for charity? Ask your fans to upload a video via Facebook or Instagram of them explaining which charity, NGO or foundation they would like to donate their prize to if they win. The users can participate easily via Facebook – without needing to upload the video previously to platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo – if you have already set up Dropbox integration. Here we explain how to do this.
To participate via Instagram, the user will have to use the chosen hashtag.
9. Upload a photo of the prize you’d most like to win
Often the success of a contest, sweepstakes or promotion has a lot to do with the prize or incentive on offer. When a contest is unsuccessful it may be because the prize isn’t appealing enough or doesn’t fit the profile of your followers.
Success can be assured if you set up a photo contest and ask your fans to upload a photo of the prize they’d most like to win. All you have to do is establish a maximum prize value that fits your budget. As it’s a photo contest, users can enter via all three of the social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
10. Sales pitch
Many companies use the bi-directionality of social networks to get to know the tastes or preferences of consumers. In many cases the habitual use of a product or service makes these consumers into real experts who know all there is to know about the product. Make the most of this knowledge and ask your customers to tell you why they buy and use your product and why they would recommend it to others. In this way, they help you build your sales pitch, proving very useful as an extra support for your sales team. You can ask them to upload their pitch as a text (including via Twitter) or as a video (including via Instagram). You can establish a different hashtag for each social network as the integration of each social network is totally independent.
Conclusions and recommendations
1. The power of the hashtag. The hashtag should be chosen carefully because in many cases it will be the common thread and connection between the three networks. It will allow contestants to enter the contest with their texts, photos and videos and enable you to organize and classify the information in a way that is simple and useful.
2. Multi-format contest gallery. Use the mosaic template to present photos, texts and/or videos sent by participants. This format enables you to display all the entries in rows in one gallery. This means that the gallery is constantly changing as it’s updated with the new entries sent by users. You can see an example of a mosaic gallery in this Twitter and Instagram contest, in which all photos, videos and tweets containing the hashtag #lovetravel have been imported. You can also see the contest gallery embedded as a widget into a webpage.
3. Embed the photo, text or video gallery into your webpage. In order to get more visibility for the contest gallery, you can embed the gallery as a widget into your webpage, blog or microsite, and you can also customize the size of the gallery to fit it into the space available. Here we explain how to present the contest gallery in your webpage with Easypromos Widget Media.
- Text, photo and video contests integrated with Twitter and Instagram
- Ideas for organizing successful video contests
- How to organize text and story contests with Easypromos
- Embed and present the contest gallery with Easypromos Widget Media
Easypromos CEO and co-funder