We have the ability to reach thousands of people across the world in seconds, and we can do this for free. That’s right, social media has stood up in the face of traditional advertising, and offered an alternative which everyone, regardless of income, can access.
But stop right there if you think you can simply send a Tweet and gain a thousand followers.
There is so much content floating around the social media pond that it’s often difficult to get your voice heard, and that’s why running a competition could be the perfect way to encourage new customers to engage with your brand or product.
We work with national maritime charity the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which last year celebrated its 175th anniversary and is always open to new and exciting ideas for raising awareness of its cause.
So, over our time with them we have developed our approach to competitions in order to shift with the times.
First we had the limerick competition, encouraging entrants to pen a poem about the ocean. Then we had the maritime art competition, encouraging entrants to create an original piece of artwork with a maritime theme. Both of these secured entries of a high quality, but as you can imagine, engagement wasn’t without its difficulties. The logistics of getting dozens of paintings to a judging location itself was enough to give anyone a headache.
So, in 2013, we suggested running a photography competition which, 10 years ago, would have had the same difficulties, but these days is easily accessible to all as most mobile phones come with a camera, meaning engagement can be instant.
We encouraged entrants to send in images of what they felt best encapsulated the UK’s reliance on and connection with the sea and, as we expected, the majority of entries came through social media. Interestingly the average age of entrants dropped considerably, which is a key priority for the charity as it aims to target a younger audience. That’s not to say that we didn’t have some excellent photography sent in via post!
But get this, with every entry came an email address or a social media account name. In the cutthroat world of advertising, this stuff is gold dust, because it opens up a line of communication with a potential customer/supporter.
So if you work with clients who operate in traditional sectors, like fishing and maritime, don’t let them to be afraid of embracing new technologies and ideas such as running competitions on new media platforms. We live in an age when out of the 64 million people in the UK, there are 38 million active social media accounts… And people are even logging in from the North Sea!
Run a simple giveaway competition, see the benefits instant engagement brings, and I guarantee you’ll be hooked!