(Well I won 2 and my husband won 1, but I enjoyed his winnings so it's like I won as well.)
1) My first win came from The Prado at Balboa park, they were celebrating Margaritas with a $50 GC to their restaurant. Being that I love margaritas, I entered in the morning on my way out the door. The contest was a link from their Facebook post, it directed us to another page to fill out some simple info. Later that week I received a Facebook message telling me I was the winner.
2) The second instance was on Instagram and from the House of Blues San Diego. My hubby entered the contest to win concert tickets to see Lil Duval. It was a call to action tab on their post encouraging you to enter. He was able to click from Instagram and enter his information on the next screen. Next thing we know he received an email, stating that he won 4 tickets and could pick them up at will call.
3) The third contest was Mojo Posh Boutique on Facebook, the contest entailed me "LIKE" ing their page and sharing. Two days later it was announced that I was the winner. I was able to select an item from the selection of things they were giving away.
In all of these instances, we entered the contest for FREE. We were told we won fairly quickly and we received a tangible prize. The process to enter was quick and easy. The ability to collect the prize was simple. I enjoyed all my winnings. I made a point to share my experience on social media for all of my followers, mainly to assist the businesses who offered their goods.
Why your small business should look at contests
Small businesses are always looking for ways to highlight, expose, and propel their name, product or service out there.
Contests are older than Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but still create the same excitement. People like competing, and enjoy winning.
If the contest itself is fun or simple enough to enter people are not too angry if they lose.
As a small business owner, creating a contest for your products or offering them in a partnership with another small business is a great way to get your product in front of people that may not be familiar with your brand. There are many opportunities for your product to be in raffles, grab bags, community events, and the list goes on. Keep your ears and eyes open for businesses requesting items to be raffled. What might be a small monetary impact for you up front can have a large payback in the long run. If that business shouts you out before the event to their social media, includes your logo and information with their email blasts, and announces you on the day of the event you have the chance to be in front of their entire audience for the cost of one or two products. The ROI of this is huge.
You can always run your own contest from you social media which was the case with these three scenarios. There are clear benefits of partnership, but if you want to act alone you can do that as well. Your desired result will typically determine how you structure the contest and what the rules will be. Think outside the box and have fun.
The win-win in contest simply comes from the fact real people win, they go on to tell their friends or in my case blog and Yelp about it. Just be ready for the business as it comes to you. There are two instances of large businesses recently not being able to handle the surge due to demand. But, that is a conversation for The Flip Side of Business....