Executing a social media contest is one of the fastest, most effective ways to engage your social media audience and attract website traffic. A social media contest can drive many visitors to your site with the prospect of something everyone loves…getting something for free. As more vacation rental companies are optimizing their social media presence in today’s competitive online community, you don’t want to be left in the dust with boring, unengaging content.
Here’s a list of 3 fun social media contests that will attract an audience and turn them into promoting machines for your vacation rental company:
- Guest Photo Showdowns
Ask participants to submit their favorite photo from a vacation in your area, narrow the entries down to 10-20, and then allow guests, their friends, and other visitors to vote for the winner.
Host this contest on Facebook but promote it through all of your other social media avenues as well.
Here is an example of how Amazon created a gladiator-themed Photo Showdown offering a 10-day trip to Italy to run in the Rome Marathon to drive traffic and engagement to their Facebook page:
Make your contest timely, engaging visitors year-round in alignment with holidays, national sporting events, or even popular current events. Change the theme of the photo if you’d like, for example, if you own a beach vacation rental company, host a Photo Showdown called “Unleashing your Inner Pirate” for a humorous, engaging way to gain attention. Who wouldn’t put on a pirate suit for a free week’s stay in a 9-bedroom oceanfront home?
As a society, we like to be involved, to have our voices heard and to share our opinions; therefore viewer-based results are very popular in contests. Not to mention they drive the visits to your site through the roof as participants share the link with their friends and family, and that’s the point, right? Try this fun interactive contest to increase interaction and awareness of your vacation rental company.
- A Sweepstakes & Single-Player Game, All in One
This is a contest double-whammy. First, set up a sweepstakes for a chance to win a large prize, like a free stay in one of your vacation rentals. Make this offer your Facebook cover photo, providing the link in the comment section. Participants “enter to win” by clicking the link, taking them to a landing page where they provide their full name and e-mail address.
Once their e-mail is confirmed, they will be directed to a page on your website to play a game for a chance to win an instant prize, like a gift package from your rental company. Examples of this instant prize could include: beach towels, ski goggles, or binoculars (depending on what type of vacation rental company you are).
Contestants can return daily to the webpage to play the game again, which will also enter them again in the sweepstakes. All they need to do is provide their e-mail address to play. This will not only gain you leads through contact information, but it has the potential to increase website visits and brand recognition exponentially.
Here is an example of how Green Mountain Coffee attracted visitors with a sweepstakes offering a free Keurig Elite Brewing System and FREE Green Mountain Coffee for a year, unlocking a daily instant win “Pick your Perfect Brew” game.
Use this idea to create, for example, an “Unlock the Door to your Dream Vacation,” choosing from five keys to open the door to enter your instant win game.
- Weekly Photo Caption Contest
Create a blog post on your company’s website featuring a photo for participants to create a caption and describe the contest details. Share the blog post on all of your social media outlets, including Google+ and Instagram, but instruct participants to enter the contest using Twitter.
To enter they must:
- Follow your Twitter page
- Come up with an original caption for the photo
- Tweet the caption, using your company’s handle (@yourcompany) and a hashtag of your choice for that specific contest, for example #obxsandyfeet.
Social media contests can be kind of tricky. Pinterest, for example, has strict guidelines that prohibit the use of pins, boards, likes or follows representing an entry into a contest. Social media rules are forever evolving, so make sure to check your avenue’s policies before posting, eliminating the risk of having your account deleted.
If you’ve had any success with social media contests, or have seen great examples somewhere else and want to share, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!