How to Run a Selfie Contest: A Step-by-Step Guide for Better Results
Put down your phone for a second.
Drop the pose. Lose the downward angle and the sparkly filter.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's probably because you're not a 16-year-old girl. And that's okay.
But it doesn't mean you haven't taken a selfie…
We’ve all taken selfies at some point, no matter what age you are or what the reason for your photos may be. Social media users see and post selfies every day. We send them on Whatsapp, share them in our stories, and post them on our profiles. We all participate in selfies online, it’s just something we see everywhere.
So let's start taking advantage of this phenomenon for your business. This article will walk you through how to run a selfie contest online to boost your marketing campaign.
- An introduction to selfie and photo contests, and why your business should run one
- Creating selfie contests with the best chance to go viral on social media
- Maximizing the spread of your selfie contest through share incentives and optimization tools to obtain more users
- Increasing the rate at which your selfie contest entries become customers (so we can actually generate some real-world dollars)
Let's get rolling!
An Introduction to Social Media Selfie Contests
So we know that people take selfies, and that's all well and good. But for our social media giveaway strategy, we want to know if people are sharing the selfies they're taking. Our selfie contest isn't going to be a success if people simply take a selfie, we want people to want their selfies to be seen on social media. We want users to comment and share.
Luckily for us, Instagram tracks the number of times someone uses a hashtag for free…
So almost 450 million posts using the hashtag #selfie. Over 25 million using #selfies and more than 9 million just on Sunday. And this is only including the people who used that hashtag when they uploaded their selfie to Instagram.
Industries in which a selfie contest is super straightforward...
- Fitness: "Submit your before and after selfies for a chance to win a year's supply of AcmeFitnessBars!"
- Fashion: "Use hashtag #AcmeScarves to submit your Fall fashion selfies. You could win…"
- Cosmetics: "Prom is just around the corner. Submit a selfie of your makeup and enter to win two tickets to a summer music festival!"
- Pets: "Love your pet? Submit a selfie of you both smiling, get your friends to vote for you, and you could win a year's supply of AcmeChow!"
- Travel: "Have you ever traveled off the beaten track? Take a selfie and use hashtag #explorenowhere and you could win a…"
- Sports: "We want to see a selfie of your team giving its all!" or "Send us a selfie of you shredding up the slopes this winter!"
How to Run a Selfie Contest
Before your business shares details of its selfie contest, you will need to consider a few important ideas. These contests need to have the clear goal of getting you more customers. Yes, the winners will receive a prize at your expense, but the contest should provide more exposure and generate enough leads to make it worthwhile.
Some brands run a contest every month, some do it once-off. Whether you do one each month or not, you will need to make sure the contest boosts your social account.
Your contest can be run on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or anywhere else that may bring you attention. Each entry is a chance to expose your brand to a new audience. This is a great free marketing tactic, and you can easily increase the number of people who follow you.
You should also try to bring real visitors to your website to buy your product. Say a contestant enters through Twitter, use the contest to channel them to your brand website, and entice them to become a customer. More on this later.
Think of clever ideas to make your audience want to become winners. Use striking images, and come up with clear rules. Below are some ideas to consider for your contest.
Creating a Selfie Contest
A selfie contest is a bit more complicated than a simple giveaway or sweepstakes. Because we're talking about the submission of photos, you'll need to ensure your contest page has somewhere that entrants can upload their photos.
Alternatively, you could run a Twitter or Instagram hashtag contest, which automatically populates your campaign page when someone uses your campaign's hashtag when they upload their photo to social media. Either way, there are two rules options for how you choose the winner of your selfie contests:
The Simple Way:
The simple way is to select the photo which you like the most as the winner. People upload or use a campaign-specific hashtag and, at the end of the contest, the winner is the entry you think uses their post in the best way. The rules are simple and decided by your company.
The Awesome Way:
The awesome way to choose a winner is to introduce an element of voting into your selfie contest. With voting, the contest's entrant becomes the winner if their submitted photo gets the most votes from the general public. As a result, entrants are incentivized to share your selfie contest with their friends, asking them to share on social media to increase their chance to win.
And your company can require voters to put their contact information in to vote as well, thereby using the power of your entrant's network to achieve even more results.
Spreading the Word About Your Selfie Contest
By simply running a selfie contest with vote-based rules, your business will have gone a long way in spreading your contest message to new prospective customers. The problem is getting it to a good number of users off the bat. Here are a few top ideas for doing that:
Unless you create a fan-only promotion, there's no reason you can't tell your current email list about your selfie contest ideas.
You don't need their contact information (as you already have it) but they'll share their submission with their friends. And you'll get their friend's contact information. This is always a good free strategy in marketing.
"Share for Bonus Entry"
This is a really cool feature, which you'll only get if you decide to run your selfie contest with third-party contest software: the "Bonus Entry" click popup.
As soon as someone enters your selfie contest, a click popup appears which prompts them to share the contest and like your Facebook or Instagram pages to get bonus entries and improve their chance of winning the prizes.
You ask people to share or like on social media at the exact moment they enter. This is the moment that they're most interested, most "sold." Increasing their chance of winning is never more desirable, so they're more likely to click the action you want in order to get the prizes.
When promoting a contest we exclusively use social media ads, such as Facebook or Instagram. The cost is far more likely to work out than if we venture into the world of display or search ads with Google.
What's the average purchase value of one of your customers? How much do they spend in a lifetime? Let's say it's $40. Will spending $300 on Facebook and Instagram ads be profitable?
Let's say you pay $1.00 per click for your ads. And, with half of the visitors to your selfie contest converting, you're paying $2.00 per new contact.
Now here's the rub: how many of your new contacts can you get to become new customers?
If you spend $300 on ads at $2/lead, you're generating 150 new prospective customers. If a purchase is worth $40, you must convert 7.5 of them to break even.
You'll need a post-contest campaign that is able to convert 5% of those who enter your contest in order to break even on your ad budget.
Advertising Best Practices:
- Target by age and gender, and create ad sets that deliver relevant content to those demographics.
- Feature the value of your selfie contest prize front and center in copy within the advertisement image.
- Use a question in the ad content to hook viewers.
- Use a colorful border to get your image to stand out from the social media newsfeed.
- You must pay attention to highlighting the prize available
Increasing the Number of Selfie Contest Entrants That Become Customers
Voting on a friend's photo, or submitting one to win a prize, isn't exactly the same as submitting a demo request or buying a product. But it does mean you have someone's contact details, which is essential for marketing your brand to them.
Follow this step-by-step guide to turning cold email contacts into customers with email marketing.
Step 1: Add all your contest entrants into a segment of your contact list. (Wishpond does this automatically, by the way)
Step 2: Send a "Thank you for Entering” email as soon as they submit their information to your selfie contest. Entrants should receive this email first within moments of their entry.
Step 3: As the contest period draws to a close, send another email reminding them to share their submission with their network. This next step can help take your contest to new audiences and further promote your prize.
Step 4: Once the contest has come to an end, send an email notifying entrants that the contest is over, who won, and a contest-exclusive discount (15-20% off a product related to the contest's prize). This will encourage a few of your entrants to convert there and then. This can help all of your contestants feel like winners even though they didn't take the prize.
Step 5: A day before the discount expires, send another email to people who didn't click through on the first. This can get more traffic to your page and increase your contest’s conversion rate.
Step 6: Retain the list of selfie contest entrants to do re-target marketing. You can add them to your email marketing subscriber list to receive product updates, but also keep them as their own segment. Next time you run a promotion on a product related to the prize they wanted to win, send them a personalized email.
Wrapping it Up
There's no getting around the fact that people love taking and sharing selfies, so there's no reason your brand can't tap that trend and drive social engagement and sales from it.
If you have any questions about running your next selfie contest (or any type of contest) don't hesitate to reach out in the comment section below!