Run the Perfect Social Media Competition Tips from Salons Direct’s Award Winning Expert

5 min read

Salons Direct are a leading stockist of professional hair products and beauty supplies for the salon industry. The business is renowned for their expertise in social media, having won the prestigious  “Best Social Media Campaign in Business to Business Sector” for two years running, beating the likes of Hewlett Packard and Royal Mail. For the past year they have used Akero to create more meaningful relationships with their audience, by creating social media competitions through the Akero software that sit across their digital and social media channels.

They generate thousands of entrants into their hugely successful competitions and here, Jennifer Bryan, Online Marketing Executive, tells us some of the secrets of their success…

What do you think makes a good competition?

  • The prize is an important factor; it has to be of value and relevance to your target audience to keep them engaged.
  • Ease of entry for entrants. With technology advancing people are looking for instant interaction, make your competition simple and quick to enter.
  • Always offer a runner up prize for your competition. The higher the chances of winning, the more interaction you will get.
  • Communication is key. Email confirmation of the visitor’s entry maintains communication and interaction with each visitor.
  • Remember, you have just captured first party data via your competition, so it is crucial that you utilise the data to contact entrants once the competitions have closed.
  • The education around the prize (if it needs it). Highlighting benefits, features and even demonstrating the product via a video can increase interest in the competition.
  • Social sharing options after entering gives you the opportunity to increase the visibility of your competitions

Why do you run competitions?

We run competitions to create social buzz around new products or to generate exposure for special offers. We often use the data captured to contact the unsuccessful entrants with an exclusive offer to entice them to buy the product they missed out on. Competitions are also useful for our own brand exposure and customer attraction.

How do you promote your competitions?

We promote the competitions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, often boosting Facebook posts to increase exposure from our fans. We embed the competition entry form within a Facebook app, or blog post, we are always sure to add a link to a blog post for further education. Highlighting features and benefits of the prize encourage them to purchase the product, even if they’re unsuccessful. Directing the entrant to our blog also encourages them to read about us and hopefully shop with us, or influence returning custom next time they’re looking to purchase professional hair and beauty products for their business.

How do you choose the prize for your competitions?

When suppliers launch a new product or run a special offer with us, as part of our proposed online marketing plan, we prompt them to send in some products that we can give away as a competition to help raise awareness of the new line/special offer.

More often than not, suppliers now come to us with products they’re willing to give away as a competition. We have the highest social following within the UK professional hair and beauty industry meaning more exposure for their brand/product.

What advice would you give to someone looking to run a social media competition for their brand?

  • Boosting posts on Facebook is a great way to generate exposure as you pay Facebook to push the post to more fans timelines to gain a wider reach.
  • Embedding the entry form into a blog post is good when there is more content than just an entry form. For example, we would introduce the product, explain its features and benefits and in some cases embed a step-by-step video guide, and then at the end give them the chance to enter to win the product.
  • If the blog is embedded into a Facebook app, ensure you feature the special offer, whether it is in the image or the text. Those who are really interested will buy the product on the special offer anyway.
  • Follow up with an email offer to the unlucky entrants.
  • Advertise the prize for sale as well as related items to encourage sales and hype on the product.
  • Make sure the prize you're giving away is a prize available to buy from your site. Don’t advertise a product you can’t offer.

Do you run the competitions across multiple social media channels?

We predominantly run our competitions through Facebook or our blog but promote them across our other social media channels.

In your opinion, what is the overall benefit of using Akero?

Akero is an easy to use platform that allows us to easily create entry forms that can either be added to our Facebook page or embedded within a blog. It allows us to capture data, and easily use the leads for follow up emails and exclusive offers.