Why social media sites aren’t always the best places to hold a contest

Champions Cup Icon Band ContestHolding a contest online is a great way to engage your audience and make new fans. But, I think a lot of artists go about it the wrong way. A lot of contests happen exclusively on social media, and this is a missed opportunity. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use social media to promote your contest—you should—but you want to make sure that ‘the act’ of actually signing up for your contest happens on your website. You need to lure your friends and fans from the seductive world of social media and get them to visit your artist website. Why? Well, let me tell you . . .

 

On your website, you can capture emails instead of likes
You’ve seen the stats. With Facebook’s constant algorithm updates, only a tiny fraction of your Facebook fans actually see your posts. Facebook has become a pay-to-play game. So how do you connect with your fans without paying Facebook your hard-earned dough? Simple: get your fans signed up to your email list and you can chat with them anytime you like—for free. Next time you hold a contest, ask your fans to sign up to your email list and leave a comment on your blog to enter. Forget about getting people to like your Facebook post or Facebook page to enter; an email address is worth far more.

Asking more of your fans means deeper engagement

A ‘tweet,’ ‘like,’ or ‘comment’ on a social media site takes almost no time and thought. Fact is, you want people to actually think about what you are doing. You want them to listen to your music and show up at your next concert. So asking for a little more time is OK. In exchange for this attention you might have to give away something better than a cassette recording of your last practice. And That’s OK. Sweeten the prize. You’ll be rewarded for it. Throw in a date with your bass player, a bottle of champagne, or a song on your next album named after the winner.

Traffic on your website is the best kind of traffic

Where do you want your fans to hang out? Mark Zuckerberg’s website or your own? Seems obvious right? It’s always better to have fans on your website where they can buy stuff and communicate with you directly. So don’t bother directing people to a social media site to find out about your contest. Instead, direct them from social media websites to your own. Not only that, in addition to entering your contest, some people will probably spend some time checking out your concert calendar, your blog, your videos, and whatever else you have on your site.

On your website, you’re the center of attention

Social media websites are attention deficit playgrounds. Thousands of things are always going on at once. I’m surprised people manage to concentrate long enough to comment on a post or hold a conversation. On your website (assuming you haven’t plastered your website with ads) there is only one thing for visitors to pay attention to: YOU. You’re in the driver’s seat and you don’t have to worry about competing with advertisers and Upworthy posts. On your website, your fans can read about your contest, focus on the rules, and signup without being distracted by alerts, ads, and messages.

So for your next online contest, whether you’re giving away a t-shirt or a date with your bass player, make it happen on your site and reap the rewards.

Have you recently held a contest on social media or on your website? What are your experiences? Let us know in the comments below

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  • Joshua Feldpausch

    We have not yet held a contest, but our official website launch is May 2nd and we have been brainstorming on what would be the most valuable to the customer to give away. This was a well written and helpful post. Thank you :)

  • http://members.cdbaby.com/ CD Baby

    Thanks Joshua! – Chris

  • Eric John Kaiser

    Good advice (as always) :-)

  • http://members.cdbaby.com/ CD Baby

    Hi Helena,

    I would simply create a page or blog post for your contest on your HostBaby site. Explain the rules and how people can enter on the page. If you use a blog post, you could have people leave a comment with their contact info to enter.

    Or you could have people sign up to your email list using the email sign up widget.

    If you want people to do something very specific, like send you a photograph, simply have them email you their entry. If you like, you could create a special email just for contests like contest@yourwebsite.com

  • http://blog.robertpalomo.com/ Robert Palomo

    “If you use a blog post, you could have people leave a comment with their contact info to enter.”

    Excuse me, but that’s really seriously bad advice. How to expose your fans to spammers and scammers in 1 easy lesson! (Hopefully fans would be smarter than to ever do a thing like that.)

  • http://members.cdbaby.com/ CD Baby

    I suppose there is some danger from scraper bots, but usually not as large a danger on a small private website. Alternatively, fans could enter a link to their website where email contact info is available or perhaps a social media link.