Tis that time of year...
No, I don't mean the holiday season. I mean this is prime season for online, social media voting contests. Let me shoot straight from the hip.
Here is the #1 truth you need to start with before you enter a voting contest:
"Winning a social media voting contest takes strategy"
Having a strategy ("a winning formula") is more important than the number of followers, email addresses or likes you might have.
Case in point: Two of my past clients have won national voting contests. They were both local 'brands' with a small social media following, yet they each won big because they had a strategy and stuck with it.
Truth bomb #2.
"Before doing anything, before asking for a single vote, you need to assemble a team"
Realize that strategy is important, and that part of that strategy is assembling a team of dedicated 'soldiers' who will help you reach the masses of voters.
Without a team - you are nothing. You will not win.
Today, I'd like to share 23 strategies you can implement in your next voting contest campaign. Pick a few ideas, or implement all.
The more ways you ask for votes, the more votes you get.
The more consistent you are in asking for votes, the more votes you get.
The more people you reach, the more votes you get.
The more platforms you use, the more votes you get.
The more reasons you give for voting, the more votes you get.
The more content you create, the more votes you get.
The more personal you get, the more votes you get.
The more emotions you invoke, the more votes you get.
The more collaborations you seek, the more votes you get.
Do all of these things and with a bit of luck, a good 'product' (i.e. video, brand, story) and hard work, you can win, too!
Here are 23 'tried and true' ways to win big and crush it in a social media voting contest.
Create images and videos with your story. Share this visual content with a traceable bit.ly link so that you can track where your votes are coming from (to see what is working)!
Create an explainer video on how the voting works! It's easier if you explain it - and you have more chance of success if you do it this way. Don't skip this step. If voting is hard or people need to log in, they need to know this up front and they need to know 'how'.
Share your content and this video to your social media channels first. Track what gets liked, shared and yields votes. Feel out the interest in your story and adjust the story, content, video as needed.
Update your website home page, to reflect the voting contest! Consider creating a landing page with an explainer video and a link to where to vote!
Blog and vlog about it. Write about it, create video about it. Document everything about this voting contest and let it live on your blog!
If you have a brick-and-mortar location business, use this space and your walk-in clients and customers to ask for votes. You can do this several ways. Display a sign to ask for votes, train each employee to ask for votes, create a flyer to ask for votes to be handed to each customer or client, or install a Facebook Wifi gate for check-ins and 'likes' (later to be used for Facebook retargeting ads).
Create a Facebook group with the purpose of reminding people to vote daily, if daily voting is allowed in the voting process. In the group, post two daily reminders - one early in the morning, and one late at night. always, always with a link to where to vote. Use Facebook Live video in the group for updates on votes and to give a behind the scenes look at your campaign. Ask your team members to invite their friends to the group!
Create a Facebook event, for the purpose of reaching more local people. With the relaunch of the Facebook local app, Facebook users now get reminders when a new event is created near them. Use this knowledge to gain local traction with voting.
Explore connections with the local news stations and newspapers; check LinkedIn to see if you might have anyone in your network. Ask your team members as well to see if they know anyone. Use these connections to get a story published about your 'cause', not your voting contest.
Explore local bloggers and vloggers as a resource for more votes. If the cause is just, they will want to get involved. They most often already have a huge network to tap into.
Start voting campaigns on all your social media networks. Don't discount Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter as ways to get votes.
If the contest allows it and you have a budget for it, start advertising your voting contest to your ideal audience on as many platforms as you can afford.
Connect with any professional association you are a member of (networking groups, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, etc.) and ask for shares of your story/contest. Offer to come speak for free about your cause. Bring flyers with voting information
Connect with your local visitors bureau. They might be willing to promote your voting contest to draw in more visitors to the area, especially if you have a good shot at winning!
Hold a live event at your place of business to drum up more interest. 'Reward' those who help gather votes with a small party; drinks and pizza, dessert and music!
Start an email campaign. Design a template, write your copy with your audience in mind, add pictures and/or video and ask each team member to send this to their email list. Make sure to give each team member several 'follow up' emails to send as well.
Use Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and/or Text Messaging if the contest allows for daily voting. This is especially valuable because you can send a direct link with each daily request so that people can vote from their mobile device as the daily message comes in.
Depending on who your target market is, utilize your team to go out and request votes with flyers at events around town. For example, I was asked to vote for a breast cancer awareness campaign video at a local soccer game. I was given a pink bracelet and a sticker after I voted straight from my phone. You will need many 'foot soldiers' on the ground to do this as well as a solid strategy; a way to track votes to see if this is working.
If you have a large budget, you could get thank you tokens printed to hand out when asking for votes (bracelets, stickers, paper hats, key chains etc.).
Ask supporters to create their own content (UGC) and use this user generated content to promote your voting contest. This could be pictures with a sign that says 'I voted today' or a short video supporting you and your cause, and why!
Create a huge visual to keep track of daily votes. Some sort of vote-meter you can move each day as the votes piles on. People want to be involved and stay in the loop on know how you are doing in the contest compared to other entrants! Show your supporters them each day that their vote counts! Don't forget to mention when the voting ends to create a sense of urgency.
Alongside your voting campaign, consider running a giveaway contest. Invite those who enter the contest and are engaged with you on Facebook to also vote for you in the contest. The more eyes on your social media, the more votes you will get.
Look for collaboration from other small local businesses and/or other businesses within your industry. Send them a friendly email, a Facebook message or a tweet. Ask them to share what you are doing and tell them why it's so important you win. Getting them involved allows you access to their audience!
Have you had success in winning big in a voting contest, or did you miss the mark?
How did you do it and what was the experience like?
Please share, I'd love to know!