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Anastasiya Shevchukova

Contests in social networks for business: what you need to know about the mechanics, rules, budget and advertising

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An article about the importance of competitions in modern social networks. Relevant to the middle of 2018. It contains mini-instructions for conducting competitions and marathons in popular Russian social networks.

Have you decided to “warm up” the subscribers and organize an interesting competition? Read the article, you will succeed!

Who needs contests and why?

For modern buyers, the social network has ceased to be just a way to communicate: people are looking for products and services for all occasions and find them. People subscribe to those groups or accounts where content is more useful and more interesting than activity. With the subscribers of the group, you can build a dialogue: to draw attention to an existing product, to talk about a new product, to report on a discount or promotion. But to constantly warm up the interest of subscribers is not enough. Therefore, business accounts regularly hold contests: excitement and the desire to win increase activity, increase group attendance and content viewing.

Contests are one of the ways to form a target audience, increase subscribers, reach, and engage in social networks.

Why hold contests in social networks:

  • increasing the number of subscribers and brand awareness

  • launch of a new product on the market

  • increasing interest in an existing product

  • brand loyalty formation

  • increase site traffic and order quantity

  • expansion of Central Asia and attracting new customers

  • the revival of the group members.

Contests - drawing formats suitable for any social network, with different conditions and dates. You can hold contests yourself or attract other accounts as organizers or sponsors. When the number of sponsors is more than 5, the competition turns into a Giveaway: everyone makes a contribution to the total prize pool, which is played between several participants: 1 winner - 1 prize from the sponsor.

Types of contests and other activities

The competition starts with a prize. That he is important to the participants. You can play one expensive prize or several sets with gifts. In the second case, a higher chance to attract more participants, as there are several prizes.

We hold contests for different clients: some provide a prize for a rally, and for others we choose a prize within the budget and coordinate it.

It is important not only to find an interesting prize, but also to choose the mechanics for its implementation. It all depends on what result is more important:

  • quickly increase the number of subscribers (competition with simple mechanics);

  • to form an audience of brand advocates (marathon);

  • get custom content (photo contest and video competition).

We tested various formats of contests in social networks for clients and made a short checklist for the mechanics of the draws.

Classic contest

Contest - drawing with simple mechanics to increase the coverage and number of subscribers. Contests help maintain subscriber interest in products or brand services. The duration of the contest is 5-10 days.

как увеличить охват в инстаграме

An example of a contest in Instagram for a manufacturer of organic products for the cottage, nurseries, garden centers, landscape designers.

What to write in the conditions of the contest:

  • repost competitive entry / mark friends

  • subscribe to the organizer

  • member accounts must be open

  • date and time of summing up

  • summarization service

  • prize delivery terms.

For example for the conditions of the contests, you can create a separate topic in the discussions and specify a link to it constantly. This will allow to register all the conditions of the drawing in detail, but not to overload the information on the competitive post. Usually, the topic changes the date of the draw results and the number of winners.

How to sum up

umming up the competition is necessary at the time specified in the conditions, otherwise you can get a negative from the participants. In the comment to the competitive post, write that you start to choose a winner. Record the whole process on video for the participants, that everything was fair. A free program to record video from the iSpring Free Cam screen will do.

Results of the contest in Facebook, Instagram:

  • open a post with a contest and copy the list of participants in the comments in Google Spreadsheet (keep only unique)

  • in Google Spreadsheet enter the name of the contest, social network and date

  • open the service select the maximum number of participants and the number of winners, the prerequisite is “without repeating the results”

  • summarize the results of the service: the number of the winner is the number of the participant in the Google Table

  • Follow the links of the winners: make sure the prize is received by a real person.

  • publish the results with the video in the social network with links to the winners

  • duplicate the results in the comments to the post with the competition

  • contact the winners and tell them how to get a prize.

Post the results of the competition in the social network: video selection of winners and links to their accounts. Duplicate the results in the comments to the post with the contest. Contact the winners and tell them how to get a prize.

Social networks that are suitable for a classic contest: Facebook, Instagram.


Marathon is a training contest with tasks for a while. The marathon takes place in the organizer's account (if there is one) or in a separate closed account with several organizers. Each organizer provides a prize for one or several winners. The duration of the marathon is from 2 to 6 weeks.

What to write in the marathon:

  • subscribe to all organizers

  • note in the comment 2-3 friends

  • member accounts must be open and not empty

  • date and time of summing up

  • winner selection criteria

  • job publication time

  • marathon unique hashtag

  • terms of delivery of the prize.

Tasks for the marathon are placed by the organizers 1-2 times a week on the social network. Participants publish completed tasks in their personal accounts: according to the marathon hashtag, the organizers find participants, check and comment on the results.

Results of the marathon

The winners are chosen by the organizers on the basis of the assignments. The results of the marathon are published in one post or in several for each winner. In the latter case, they tell in detail about the winner, his achievements and the prize won.

Often, in addition to the declared prizes, the organizers give participants a small gift: a promotional code, a coupon or other bonus on their goods or services.

Social networks that are suitable for the marathon: Instagram.

Photo Contest and Video Contest

Photo contest or video contest - a creative contest on a specific topic for the best photo or video. It is better to play a few prizes in order to attract more participants to the competition.

как привлечь подписчиков в инстаграмSample photo and video contest on Instagram for an online store of goods for giving

What to write in a photo contest / video contest:

  • subscribe to the organizer

  • publish a competitive photo / video with the hashtag of the competition or mark the organizer

  • member accounts must be open

  • date and time of summing up

  • winner selection criteria

  • prize delivery terms

  • summarization service.

Participants can post their work in a personal account with the hashtag of the contest (Instagram), in the comments to the post (Facebook).

Photo Contest / Video Contest Summary:

The winners are chosen by the organizer among the published photos or videos. The results of the competition are published in one post: the names of the winners and the won prizes.

Social networks that are suitable for the marathon: Instagram.

What budget is needed for the competition and which prize is better to choose

Choosing the right format for the contest and social network is half the success. Participants need to offer a prize for which they want to compete. Here several criteria are important: price, seasonality, usefulness of the prize. Also, do not forget that the prize should be in the subject group or account: so the probability of attracting a target audience is not much lower.

If the specifics of the business does not allow you to play the product, but you want to hold a competition, it will be suitable as a prize:

  • book on the subject of your product or field of activity

  • partner coupon for one order

  • certificate for a product or service partner

  • branded souvenirs.

We held a similar contest on Facebook for we played business books of choice among the participants. The winners received the books that they wrote in the comments to the post about the competition. Participants actively chose a prize that could potentially be theirs.

как увеличить количество подписчиковFacebook contest example for business portal for retailer and supplier

In this case, the prize can be purchased for the competition or offer the partner a competition in barter: from you the organization and social networking site for the competition, from the partner - the prize. One of the conditions of the competition, you can specify a subscription to the partner's account.

And, of course, not to do without the advertising budget. Properly chosen advertising sites will promote the competition, increase coverage and bring new subscribers to the group.

To promote the competition, you can choose blogs or targeting, or combine both types of advertising:

  • blog — Instagram

  • targeting — Instagram, Facebook,

  • targeting + targeting — Instagram.

Examples of advertising budgets for contests in the social networks of our clients.


Advertising budget, rub

Number of participants

Growth on the social network where the contest was held

Social network

Contest Promotion Methods

Cosmetology Clinic

Certificate for clinic services (prize price 1000 rub)






Online store for giving

Integrated Plant Care Programs (prize price ~ 746 rubles)






Home-made confectionery

Three sets of homemade truffles (prize price ~ 1600 rubles)





Barter advertising in a blogger account

Every month we hold contests in different social networks of clients, with different prizes and budget.

Safety rules: what you need to provide

If you chose the format of the contest, social network, prize and are ready to start the rally right now - read the safety rules, perhaps you have not considered everything.

Prize catchers

Contests must be fair and winners real. Write about this in terms: the results will be replayed if the winner is a prize, that is, at the same time participates in a large number of competitions. It is easy to determine: if in your account more than 80% of publications are reposts from other competitions, choose another winner.

Open member account at the time of the contest

Without this condition, you can not verify the real winner or prizes. Only by logging into your account and viewing the tape can you see this. Participants read the conditions of the competition, so they either open an account at the time of the draw or will not participate.

Social Network Contest block

Social networks have rules for holding contests and other activities. Read them carefully before launching a new contest. For violation of one of the points of the rules, the group may be blocked.

Specify the delivery time of the prize

In all social networks, it is recommended to indicate the period when the winner will receive the prize won. You must specify the maximum delivery time, without this post may not pass the moderation and you do not run the competition in time.

Organizer information

In the description of the competition in Facebook, Instagram is enough to specify a link to your account.

Date and time of summing up the competition

All participants are looking forward to the results of the competition, so the time for summarizing is no less important than the date. Otherwise, in the direct social network in the morning will receive messages from the participants: "When will the results of the competition?". In order not to waste time on responses to dozens of users, simply specify the time after which you will begin to choose the winner.

The way to summarize the contest

In order to avoid any misunderstandings, it is necessary to indicate the method for determining the winner. For simple mechanics contests, a random number generator is used. On Facebook, Instagram, just enter the number of participants and the number of prizes to determine the winner. For creative contests and marathons, the organizers sum up the results of the tasks performed.

Before launching the contest, check the observance of safety rules on this checklist: each item is important. If one item is broken, you will not run the competition in time, you will not get the planned result and you can get a group ban.


  1. Contests in social networks is a way to create a central audience, increase the number and involvement of subscribers, increase coverage.

  2. Brands, companies, online stores regularly hold competitions in social networks to draw attention to the new product, increase site traffic and the number of orders.

  3. The success of the competition depends on the social network and its activity, on the prize and its seasonality, on the mechanics and conditions of the draw, on the budget and on the sites for advertising - all elements are important.

  4. Before launching the contest, you need to check again that the conditions of the draw do not contradict the rules of social networks, you can get a ban.

  5. If you cannot play your product, find an alternative: a book, a coupon code for a partner’s goods or branded souvenirs.

  6. Test advertising sites within the competition budget: buy ads on blogs, target, or combine both advertising methods.

Do you want to run an interesting contest or marathon on your accounts in social networks? Call INTERVOLGARU, we’ll help!

This article was translated automatically. We are working over improving the translation.

Please send your questions about the article to

  • 08.05.2019