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12 Social Media Contest Ideas To Grow Your Following Manifold

Aysha Muhammed

Last Updated:  

30 May 2024

5 min read

Anyone with a formidable online presence knows social media contests are the new “it” trend. From 24-hour giveaways to inordinate influencer collaborations, cracking a winning strategy for growing your online presence can seem daunting.

But worry not; we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of social media contest ideas that’ll engage your audience, spark conversations, and grow your social media following manifold. Rest assured, these tried and tested strategies work wonderfully every time.

Social Media Contest Idea #1: Like/Share/Comment to win

If you’re looking for a contest that would drive your engagement rate manifold, this tried and tested idea would come in handy. It’s simple, straightforward, and for the most part, uncomplicated.

To go about this kind of contest, you will need to offer your target audience a prize they’d really be interested in. You can then ask them to like your post, comment on it, and even share the post on their stories. Yup, it’s as easy as that! 

In order to increase the reach of this contest, you can partner up with an influencer who has a similar following as yours. For instance, if you’re a clothing label, you can collaborate with a fashion influencer and run a contest where followers win one of your top-selling pieces. This is a great way to get followers on new social channels like Threads.

Social Media Contest Idea #2: Video contests

This is another proven contest that increases social media engagement, shoots up conversions, and 2x your reach. All that is no wonder considering that video content is the most consumed format in the social media universe.

To run a video contest, you can ask your followers to submit short video clippings related to a particular theme or idea. Later, you can pick a winner based on whatever criteria that best suits your brand.

Social Media Contest Idea #3: Photo contests

Another great way to create a buzz around your brand on social networks is by running a photo contest. To do this, you can ask your audience to submit a photo of themselves using your product or send in one where they engage in a fun activity related to your campaign. Some brands also ask their followers to capture them using the product in a creative way.

Social Media Contest Idea #4: Trivia

There’s no reason why you can’t take something that is tried and true and use it on your page! By hosting trivia giveaways, you could put to test your followers’ knowledge and skills. The question asked could either be related to your brand or could be one from pop culture.

Generally, the winners of trivia are picked randomly. You can also host it in such a way that the first few people to answer the questions correctly take home the prize. But the latter however drastically reduces the window of opportunity for your audience.

Did you know that you can use SurveySparrow to create highly engaging quizzes? With 500+ pre-loaded templates and myriad question types, engaging your audience is made easier than ever.

Social Media Contest Idea #5: Tag-a-friend

If your aim is to bring new visitors to your page and grow your following, this contest would be best suited. All you will need to do is ask people to tag a friend (or two, or three) in the comments to enter your contest. You can even offer bonus entries for every friend that they tag.

Doing so will prompt the tagged person to check out your post, engage with your content, and even follow you. And who knows, they may even tag some other people as an entry of their own.

Social Media Contest Idea #6: Recurring Draw

While getting a bunch of random followers on your account might be exciting, it won’t matter so much in the long run if they unfollow you as soon as the contest is over. Case in point, once someone follows you, you’ll want to keep them there.

An excellent way to do that would be to provide them value beyond that one contest. How to achieve that, you ask? It’s simple, host a recurring social media contest where you give out prizes at regular intervals.  To sweeten the deal, you can offer different prizes each time or even bump up the value of the prize as time goes on.

Social Media Contest Idea #7: Sign-up contest

If your aim is to find more qualified leads and appeal to a wider audience beyond your own, sign-up contests are the way to go. To do this, simply ask contest entrants to sign up for your product or service in exchange for a deal or offer.

You can also get contest entries by redirecting people from your social media channels to a dedicated landing page. This can be done either through an organic or boosted post.

Social Media Contest Idea #8: Direct message contest

Although not as popular as their counterparts, direct message contests are fast picking up, especially if you want to draw attention to your messaging.

One way to go about this would be by sending them personalized direct messages asking questions about your product or service. Depending on the answers gathered, you can recommend specific products that they can interact with and explore further.

Social Media Contest Idea #9: Collaborative contest

Collaborating with another brand or influencer in your industry is yet another way to increase brand awareness and reach new potential customers.

You can team up with an influencer and host a giveaway of one of your products to their followers. You could even partner with a relevant brand to double the prize offers of your contest.

Social Media Contest Idea #10: Hashtag contest

Most social media platforms now use hashtags for their algorithms and user interfaces. Because of this, hashtags are one of the best ways to get your audience involved and engaged with your brand.

They’re also super easy to set up as they typically rely on user-generated content. Hashtag giveaways require entrants to post to their page or stories under a specific, catchy hashtag (you determine what that is yourself).

Preferably, you’ll end up with a hashtag that enjoys sizeable traffic. This not only makes it easy to keep track of entries but also drive engagement, which the algorithm tends to take note of. Moreover, a well-performing hashtag will drive traffic back to your post and your page. Sounds like a winning plan to us! 

Social Media Contest Idea #11: Branded Lens

You’d have noticed how platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook now offer branded lenses and AR filters that users can play around with and create fun content.

As a brand marketer, you can create your own filter and share it with your audience. Anyone following your brand can use the filter and share it on social media. By using your branded filter, your followers invariably become your brand ambassadors. This means limitless reach and a door wide open for engagement.

Social Media Contest Idea #12: Photo Caption

Caption contests are perfect for creating direct engagement with your audience. They’re fairly simple; all you got to do is post a picture and ask your users to add the perfect caption. The winner can be decided based on quality or other metrics such as the highest likes garnered.

Since the winner is often decided based on quality, it brings out the best in the entrants. Not to forget that caption contests also encourage engagement between your followers. You’ll notice that your followers are replying to captions they enjoyed, which can serve to build a community around your page.

Wrapping up

These social media contest ideas will help you effortlessly tick those KPIs off your list.

If you have any questions about any of the ideas in this article, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comment section below. We’d be more than happy to help.

And oh, good luck! We’re rooting for you 🙂

Aysha Muhammed

Senior Growth Marketer at SurveySparrow

Part-time hermit and a full-time writer trying to survive the SaaS space, one blog at a time. Bylines in digital but always on deadline.

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