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5 Tips for Hosting a Successful Labor Day Contest (Without Having to Stay Open)

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Topics: Marketing

August 26, 2019

Labor Day is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with a contest? Contests are fun, interactive, and can strengthen bonds with your existing customers while also attracting new potential customers. Even better, you can conduct a contest on social media even if your business is closed for Labor Day, allowing you to enjoy the holiday while still staying top-of-mind with customers. Here are five tips for hosting a successful Labor Day social media contest.

1. Offer a Reward From Your Business

The key to hosting a successful contest is offering a good reward to contestants. To this end, make sure the reward is a product, service, or discount from your business. If you run a hair salon and your prize is a free snowboard, you’re most likely not aligning your prize with your target audience. On the other hand, giving away a free haircut or free shampoo makes much more sense to increase participation while keeping your messaging on-brand.

In addition, offering an existing product or service as a reward sheds light on the type of products and services you offer to potential new customers that stumble upon the contest online, increasing the likelihood they will visit your actual business.

2. Make the Rules Clear and Concise

If the rules and directions for your contest are too complex or long, your followers won’t participate because no one has the time to read tedious directions. The goal is to make your rules clear, short, and easy to understand. As a general rule of thumb, make sure to inform participants:

  • How they can enter / what they need to do
  • What they will win
  • The duration of the contest
  • When and how the winners will be announced

In addition, it’s a good practice to devise your contest so that it’s easy to participate in. For example, few people will be interested in a time-consuming scavenger hunt, whereas a photo contest where your followers can simply post a picture on social media is more likely to get high participation.

3. Host the Contest on Social Media

Featuring your Labor Day contest on social media allows you and your staff to celebrate Labor Day “out of the office” while also making the contest easily accessible to participants on their day off. In addition, hosting your contest on social media allows you to reach a broader audience, increasing brand awareness, growing your social media presence, and bringing users and potential customers to your pages.

You can choose to host the contest across multiple social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), or you can focus on a single platform where you have the most followers and engagement. Whichever route you go, make sure you post the contest on the social media platform(s) of your choice first thing in the morning on Labor Day.

Here are some tips to successfully use social media for your contest:

  • Ask your followers to share and repost your post
  • Ask your customers to tag their friends and family in the comments
  • Post visually appealing and interesting content
  • Use a hashtag that is not overly used and popular, making your contest and hashtag easily identifiable—incorporating your business name into the hashtag is a great way to do this

4. Make Sure to Promote the Contest

Spreading the word is the key to increasing participation and ensuring you have a successful Labor Day contest. Make sure to post a link to the contest rules on all your social media accounts and any community pages where you can reach a large audience. In addition, you can post flyers in your store leading up to Labor Day and train your employees to inform customers about your contest at check out.

Once Labor Day arrives, you’ll also want to spend a little time checking in on the contest throughout the day, doing things like “liking” contestant comments and photos and responding to comments and questions.

5. Make Sure to Post the Results and Thank Your Participants

Once your contest is complete, make sure to post the results online. This will show users that the contest has ended, and that there is no need to continue participating. In addition, it allows you to celebrate the winner and provides a sense of legitimacy to the other participants. If you distribute the prize without announcing it, the other participants may think the prize was never actually awarded to the winner and the whole contest was illegitimate.

All you have to do is make a quick, friendly post announcing the winner and that the contest is over—also make sure to thank everyone for participating, and to look forward to future contests.

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