4 steps to win a contest using social media

By Jenny Fukumoto

Like most millennials, I tend to do 50,000 things at once.

So, when I saw a tweet from @DrinkCraftBeer announcing it was holding a contest to determine the name of the official Fall to Winter Beer Fest beer, I copied the link, sent it to my boyfriend with a quick “help me think of a name” and quickly forgot about it.

Until six hours later when he texted me, “Did you think of a name?”

I hadn’t. But being the marketer I am, I thought of one on the fly.

“Nut Your Average Ginger?” I texted.
Pause.
“No, nevermind, I can do better,” I texted back.

“Actually, that’s pretty good. Funny and witty,” he wrote.

So, I entered the competition. And then I went back to doing the 49,999 other things on my to-do list.

Here’s how I won this contest using social media:

1. Find ambassadors on Facebook.

Anyone can post something on Facebook and ask his or her friends to vote. But in order to win, you need to target the people who are going to rally their own troops to help you take the lead. The best is when you don’t need to blatantly ask for the shares–your ambassadors just make it happen. In the last 24 hours of voting, when the fight became bloody, I turned to these faithful few and they spread their social seeds.

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2. Search for voters on Twitter.

I got smart 48 hours before the end of the contest and searched for the specific term “Nut Your Average Ginger.” That yielded about 10 Twitter users who either tweeted their support for my beer name or retweeted @DrinkCraftBeer’s tweets about the contest. A simple “thanks for voting” tweet turned into new supporters–and followers!

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3. Turn desperation into a movement.

When I found out the other team was spamming votes, I decided to go all out. I wanted to launch a “last ditch” campaign. I wanted to be clever.

For the last 12 hours of the contest, all my tweets were only beer related. Every hour I tweeted fun beer facts (who knew they serve beer in plastic bags in China?!) with a link to vote for Nut Your Average Ginger. The retweets came in steadily. 

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4. Follow up with your new followers.

Because I spread so many seeds during this campaign, I wanted to do a non-traditional “thank you.” When the voting closed and I had the most votes, I photo stitched these goofy pictures, and tweeted/Facebooked them when DCB officially announced my beer name was the winner. 

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So there you have it. I won a beer naming contest all because of social media.

Thanks so much, guys!

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