Running a social media contest? Use this checklist

Facebook and Twitter contests can be a great way to interact with your customers, but each network has their own rules. Here’s what you need to know.

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This means if you don’t already run contests—or if you run them incorrectly—you may get left behind.

Why you should run contests

If you’ve been thinking about running a contest or promotion, but haven’t yet, now is the time. Since Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms, I recommend you start with these.

Facebook has 845 million monthly active users, and Twitter has more than 100 million. According to Web analytics company, Facebook reaches about 44 percent of Internet users daily, and Twitter reaches about 8.6 percent.

What does this mean for you? It means you have the attention of a lot of people every day. When you use social media to send out promotions, you not only interact in a meaningful way by offering something they want, but you gain new fans. It’s the best of both worlds.

Run a simple enter-to-win contest, offer discounts to those who promote to friends, or show your sense of humor by encouraging creative submissions—these are all great ways to interact with your customers.

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