Contest Ideas for your Back to School Campaign

Posted in: Applications,EventsLast update: 04/02/19

With the end of summer comes Back to School season, when millions of children and students get ready to begin a new school year. Parents are looking out for the best offers for school supplies. They want to send their kids back, well-equipped and full of energy. So grab parents’ attention and give them what they’re looking for! Grow your audience, build customer loyalty and boost sales with our ideas for your Back to School campaign.

The Back to School campaign is a tradition almost as old as school itself. Students always need new backpacks, uniforms, stationery, supplies and more! Back to School purchases are now worth almost 30 billion dollars in the US alone. But the way we shop has changed. In 2018, studies show that 55% of parents research their purchases online first. And most importantly of all, customers are more likely to look for what they need on search engines than on your brand website. So you need to make sure your brand, products and services achieve viral success.

One of the best ways to attract followers and raise your profile is with a competition, contest or giveaway. Pamper parents after the long summer holidays. Reward hard-working teachers with gifts to liven up their classrooms when school starts! And you can tie your promotions to Labor Day too. In this post, we’ve collected our top tips and ideas for every social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. We’ve even included a free Facebook template to help you get started.

  1. Promote your products with social media giveaways
  2. Show off skills with a photo contest
  3. Share memories with a writing contest
  4. Celebrate with Coupons
  5. Highlight with #Hashtags
  6. Educate with a Survey
  7. Increase reach with Recruiters


Promote your products with social media giveaways

Giveaway contests on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube profiles are a great way to promote a product and boost engagement with your community. Giveaways are easy to set up and run, and even easier for users to participate in. Create a Back to School campaign post on your social media, and Easypromos will help you with the rest. In the sections below, we’ve described your options for each social network.


Run a Facebook giveaway

With a Facebook giveaway, you can run a contest based on comments or likes and reactions to your posts. You can also ask followers questions in the comments. This is a great opportunity for market research: What’s the most important item kids need for the new school year? What are kids asking for in 2018? When do parents do their Back to School shopping?

If you don’t sell products that are directly related to school, children, or students, don’t worry. You can run a co-branded promotion, and give away products or vouchers for a brand which does! Take a look at this example. A cupcake company decided to get in on the Back to School campaign action. They teamed up with a popular stationery brand to offer discount vouchers, and increase engagement with their Facebook page at the same time.

Co-branded Back to School campaign on Facebook

We know that the Back to School rush is a busy time. So to help you out, we’ve created a Back to School campaign template for your giveaways! Just download the template, adapt it for your brand or product, and get posting. Look out for the next blue box in this post for Twitter and Instagram resources too! Here’s a quick preview:

Back to School campaign template


Run an Instagram giveaway

There are even more possibilities with an Instagram contest! Remember that Instagram is rapidly becoming one of the most popular social networks. Its visual and social features are the perfect tools for publishing a giveaway. Just post to your profile and ask users to comment on the post to enter. You can ask participants to mention friends in the comments. Then use Easypromos to import the post and pick the winners.

The Easypromos tool for Instagram offers some special tools to make this process even easier. If you promote your giveaway with Facebook Ads, the tool will collect comments from the original post and the ad, so that no one gets left out of the competition. You can filter users by how many times they’ve commented, and exclude or blacklist people who break the rules.

Here are two examples of a Back to School campaign on Instagram. One is aimed at students, and the other at teachers:

Back to School campaign for students and teachers


Run a Twitter giveaway

Twitter is on the rise again, and many brands are choosing to build their profiles up. Giveaways are a great way to reach new users, gain followers, and increase your viral reach.  You can run a Twitter giveaway based on retweets, followers, replies, or mention + hashtag. Twitter is the only network which allows Easypromos to detect if a promotion user is a follower. This means that Twitter giveaways are especially useful for tracking leads and boosting your audience.

The key to a successful Back to School campaign on Twitter is the prize. Make sure you’re offering one of your own products, and it’s something that your followers are really interested in. Even if your product is not specific to the campaign, try to make a connection to school, class, or students. Take a look at the example below for some ideas:

Back to School campaign on Twitter


Run a YouTube giveaway

YouTube is a great way to publicize products. It’s popular with influencers, and parents are increasingly using videos to research purchases. If you can persuade a popular YouTuber to run a giveaway of your products on their channel, success is practically assured! Use the YouTube giveaway tool to collect comments on the video and pick a winner. We love this example below, which combines a school supplies haul with a Back to School giveaway:

Back to School campaign with YouTube giveaway

Want more? We’ve created a free pack of Back to School campaign templates and images for your giveaways! Download the resources and create your social media giveaway in minutes.

Show off skills with a photo contest

Most people return from vacation excited to show off all their photos of beautiful places, fun activities and family time. And according to statistics, more than 75% of mothers create or curate online content every month! Why not turn your Back to School campaign into a photo contest? Give your users the chance to contribute to your brand, and they’ll receive a prize in exchange.

Create an online gallery where participants can upload and share their summer memories. You can choose between a vertical or mosaic layout to achieve the best effect. The photo contest tool also helps you to pre-moderate entries. Activate the Easypromos voting system and use sharing features to increase your viral reach. Photo contests are very popular, and you’re sure to get lots of comments, votes and likes.

All you have to do is choose a suitable prize and award it to the winners! You could give away Back to School essentials such as backpacks, bookbags, or stationery. Another option is to share discounts for more expensive items such as laptops and clothes. If you want to distribute discounts, then coupons and codes are your best option.

Back to School campaign photo contest

Share memories with a writing contest

Another way for followers to share their summer news is through a writing contest. Ask them to describe the best day of the summer, an ideal holiday, or whatever else inspires you! Your brand’s fans can log in with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to take part. All the entries will be collected together and published in a dedicated competition gallery. Then users can read, share, comment and vote for their favourite texts.

Voting is really popular with followers, and a good way to show the community that you value their opinion. You can choose whether you want to select the winners of the giveaway based on votes, the decision of a jury, or a random prize draw.
Back to School campaign with writing contest


Celebrate your Back to School campaign with Coupons

Coupon codes are an easy, quick and attractive way to award prizes and discounts. You can incentivize purchases, boost sales, and strengthen customer loyalty by sharing coupons. If you want to increase visits to your brick-and-mortar stores, share promotional codes which have to be redeemed in-store. Alphanumeric codes, QR codes and barcodes can be verified easily and effectively with our Validation Portal.

First, users complete a customizable entry form. You can ask for contact details of all users who register. Use this to create a database of leads and customers. Next, users receive a coupon or code as a reward for registering. You can design your own promotions with our Coupon Editor, or use Easypromos to help with campaigns on other platforms, such as Prestashop. There are various options for users to download codes: printing, saving as a PDF, or sending the code to an email address. Remember: the easier the promotion is to access, the more likely it is to go viral.

There are lots of different ways to share coupons. You can give a coupon to everyone who registers, or carry out a random prize draw to award a limited number of codes.

Back to School campaign coupons and codes


Highlight your Back to School campaign with #Hashtags

Hashtag contests are an easy, flexible option that followers love. Your brand’s fans can participate from any social network. All they have to do is share content with the hashtag you’ve picked out for your Back to School campaign.

Start by choosing a good hashtag. You can read our tips on designing a powerful, viral hashtag here. Then your customers can participate with the content of their choice. Family photos at the beach, their favorite song of the summer, videos of holiday adventures, drawings done by kids on vacation… the possibilities are endless! Try to keep contest restrictions to a minimum. Give users the chance to win a Back to School haul by sharing anything that speaks to them personally.

You can import all content with your hashtag to a public gallery. But it’s up to you if you want to import everything, or specific types of content. For example, you can choose whether to import all entries from Twitter, or just Tweets which include a photo or video. On Instagram, you can choose whether to import photos only, videos only, or both. You can embed the gallery on any website or blog using a widget, and present it as an application on your Facebook page.

Back to School campaign hashtag contest

In the example above, the brand organized a contest with the hashtag #HoopSchool. Followers could enter with tweets, photos and videos to win the prize.

Educate your Back to School campaign with a Survey

Your Back to School campaign isn’t just an opportunity to increase followers and sales right now. Seize the moment and carry out market research. Then use the feedback to inform your next promotional campaign, and make it even more effective! Ask mom and dad about their habits, school routine, needs and preferences through a survey. Find out when and where they do their Back to School shopping. Learn where they find Back to School trends, tips, ideas and hacks.

Offer a prize giveaway to win Back to School essentials and school supplies for their kids. You can offer discounts in-store or online, too. This incentivizes parents to fill out the survey and answer your Back to School quiz.  Make the quiz dynamic, creative and colourful with photos, texts and videos. And the latest update to Easypromos Premium includes emoji support to give the campaign an extra-fresh touch!
Back to School campaign with survey

Increase your reach with Recruiters

The Recruiters contest app is designed to help you grow your audience and reach more followers. In this type of giveaway, your followers have a better chance of winning the prize if they invite their friends to take part too. This is a great way to grow your base of followers through organic, real-life connections. In the example below, a brand is offering a Disney gift card as the prize for a recruiters contest. The brand’s followers are motivated to share with their friends, and the prize is targeted towards children and families.

Back to School campaign Recruiters contest

Want more? We’ve created a Back to School template to show you how to use a sweepstakes with an entry form. Try the DEMO or download the template.

All ready for the start of the new school year? We hope our Back to School inspiration helps! Get your Back to School campaign up and running now, before the new term starts! You can create your account in seconds. Remember, it’s free to create your account and draft promotions.

Back to School campaign ebook pdf

Corinna Keefe

English copywriter at Easypromos marketing team