User Engagement – Stories and Contests


Increasing user engagement is a key element to building loyalty and loyalty builds clients. We have compiled these articles on using Stories and Contests in your Social Media Marketing Campaigns to increase user engagement.

Stories and Contests


[1]If you spend several hours on Facebook, Twitter or any social networking sites, I’m sure you’ve stumbled-upon social media contests before.

I love seeing how businesses use contests to promote their business, especially brands that I’m already a fan of. Unfortunately, I participate in most of them, and it turns out that I am not very lucky, but hey, that’s life!

I’ve even organized several contests on my blog before, and I must say that picking a winner is one of the most challenging tasks after seeing how hard they try.

The benefits of social media contests are many when done correctly and effectively; they are a great way to boost awareness and connect with your audience.

Here are some of the benefits of social media contests and how you should consider running a game for your business.

1. Build community

When a contest is run effectively, it is a great way to build a strong following. People might not know about a brand or a business until they have heard about it after their family, friends and social cliques share them – and a contest would help them do just that.

Building a community is a solid point to bring up when talking about the benefits of social media contests. To think about it, businesses spend so much time building communities in their local neighbourhood.

With social media contests the way it is today, contestants are often urged to voice out and tell their friends and family about it. It almost feels like businesses today are not building their communities but getting accepted by their audience’s respective communities. And that’s important, unintrusive and extremely valuable.

I can tell you that I’ve seen my fair share of them, and when it’s relevant to me, I will participate.

2. Incentivize people to follow

I have been following Sprout Social on Twitter for a while. I’ve used their platform and reviewed their social media management platform last year.

Last December, they ran a Facebook contest which I got to know about from Twitter. I clicked on the link and was directed to their Facebook app only to find out I had not liked their page yet. I immediately wanted their page to participate in their contest.

A contest is an excellent way for a new audience to follow your social media accounts. It gives them a solid reason to do so and incentivize their actions in exchange for a chance to win the social media contest prize you offer.

3. Build awareness

A contest is a great way to build awareness about a product or a page. This is because savvy contest platforms like Binkd come with a “share” button which people use to share with their friends. It pushes the contestants to spread the word out.

When Leneys, a women’s apparel company, started business on Facebook back in 2011, not many people knew about them. They didn’t have prior knowledge in running an online apparel store, and it had less than 500 people on the page.

They decided to run a Facebook contest so that people would know about their page. Their Facebook contest posts were promoted using the help of Facebook ads, and people started sharing the game with their friends, and a group of people flocked to the page. A lot of them ended up being buyers up to this day.

Today, Leneys has over 21,000 likes thanks to the initial head start it had earlier.

4. Increase subscribers

A social media contest is one of the best ways to get people to subscribe to your email newsletter. Social media contest platforms like Binkd come with a lead capture form that fans would need to fill in join.

Here is an example from Abhaya Yoga Dumbo, a yoga and pilates class giving away free yoga classes as part of their prize to their fans.

This is an excellent example of a social media contest idea as the prize is related to their company, and subscribers who join the contest would be relevant leads. Businesses today realize that shouting in a random crowd of people may not be the way to go forward. Sure, you would increase brand awareness like mentioned above, but if your product is not relevant to the audience, you most likely will not be heard even if you shout. What’s worse, if you shout too much and too loudly – that’s called SPAM.

Today’s social media consumers want what’s relevant to them, and you want to capture the people that deem your product appropriate to them.

5. Increase sales

The logical and necessary evolution of the benefit of your contest after building awareness and increasing your subscribers is increasing your sales. Contests are a great way to convert your business leads into valuable customers. This is true especially in the case of the winners because they had just tried your product for free (if you chose the wise path of offering your product as a gift and not a random iPad). They will most likely return to purchase more if your product satisfies them.

Remember, if the product is relevant to them, then chances are they were looking for it in the first place and giving it to them for free just made you move forward ahead of your competitors.

6. Increase engagement

A contest is an excellent way to increase engagement on a page when it’s done correctly. When a page attracts new and relevant fans, it helps increase comments, shares, retweets, likes, pins and more as they have attracted the right audience to be part of their page. And because it is relevant, they will stick around to see what goes on on your page.

Am I sure you’ve all heard the saying “the money is in the list,” right? I’m afraid I have to disagree. I would say the money is in the relationship built within the list.

The critical thing here is to make sure the engagement lasts between you and your list of audience. You could connect via the mailing list you have or keep your page active and responsive toward the current conversation.


[2]What are the Benefits of Social Media Stories?

The time-limited content of social media stories can be utilized in various practical ways for marketing on social media (with video significantly). For brands online, stories offer value beyond “this is why to like us.” Read on to learn more about the benefits of social media stories and ephemeral content.

Fast-paced Imagery Boosts Familiarity

In addition to the short-lived story, the individual pictures and videos within each story are also fleeting. For example, when viewing a user’s Instagram Story, the pictures only show for a few seconds each, and videos are limited to 20 seconds.

The idea is to provide more digestible content. There is no limit on the number of photos or videos you can post to any given story, but the content cycles through quickly. This gives your audience members the ability to consume your story sequence without having to scroll.

Increase Post Volume

Small businesses can use images and videos in stories to get more content from the right people. One of the biggest plusses about social media stories is that your engagement with your followers remains unbroken. Since stories are treated as a separate channel from your profile or feed, you can continually share photos and videos with your followers throughout the day without clogging up your profile or news feed.

Although they keep certain content out of your profile, stories are not likely to distract users from your profile. On the contrary, your story appears at the top of your followers’ newsfeeds, and the greater visibility can help attract more traffic to your Instagram profile.

Show Your Transparency

Audiences expect transparency from brands on social media today. As you build your reputation, your business is expected to reflect its perception. Giving audiences more visibility into your company’s culture via social media stories helps garner trust and intimacy with them.

People on social media today want to feel like they are a part of the whole. So give them what they want to see with stories and share videos of what goes on inside your business.

Instagram stories are the perfect way to show off the folks who work behind the scenes and make the magic happen in your business or share a live event.

Make Use of Video

What is more effective than video? Yet what content is more challenging to produce than video? Social media stories take the stress out of video marketing for small businesses. As long as you have a smartphone, you can quickly post videos to your story.

Make it silly, make it profound — whatever you do, make it creative and don’t stress. It’s going to be gone in just 24 hours. Such a short life cycle allows you to experiment with it and track your failure or success. Watch other people’s stories and try new things.

Raw, Cost-Effective Content

While Instagram advertising is highly effective, it does cost money. Instagram Stories, on the other hand, do not require much to produce. They are meant to be a source of natural and raw content for viewers, so there is no real need to worry about super impressive editing and quality. Instead, the idea is to show that your business has nothing to hide, that it’s fun, off the cuff, and different from the rest of the bunch.

Relevant Content Now

While evergreen content has its benefits, relevant but short-lived content is not to be ignored. Audiences are impulsive and immediate. Social media content enables its users to be in on the latest conversations that are important to them. The ephemeral nature of stories allows you to get trending information and essential updates out immediately, without attaching it to your brand’s feed or profile permanently. In addition, stories will enable you to separate your real-time content from your evergreen content to not interfere with each other’s consumption. Consider testing this out to see what it means for your business’ reputations and content stream.

Increase Contest and Promotion Participation

Social media stories are a great way to announce special promotions, sales, or giveaways at your business. Flash sales and one-day-only specials are meant for brief messaging marketing! Users don’t want to miss out on a deal before it disappears so that they will check your story frequently. They also know that the opportunity is missed once the story resets, encouraging more immediate participation.

In addition, when you advertise promotions this way, your audience members don’t know how many views the post has or how many people have entered, which creates more intrigue and excitement. So not only is this an excellent way to increase your engagement on social media, but it also gets people right to your website (as long as the contest entry is there).

Ephemeral content is an up-and-coming, unique way to show your target audience what you and your business are all about. Let them see more of you, the real you, and enjoy the freedom you have to be more creative and casual.


Try what works best for your organization and keep modifying until you get the results that you need.

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