Social media is the new weapon of choice when it comes to online business marketing and branding. Several social media functionalities are furthering the reach of businesses in several different ways. Even business owners are coming up with new ideas to take complete advantage of various social media plugins and features to attract their target audience in the best possible manner. Organizing online contests on different social media platforms is one such strategy adopted by several online businesses.

Running a social media contest is beneficial in several ways. It helps you to connect users to your business, increase your email database, re-energize your audience, expand your customer base and promote your product online. The popularity of social media contests is immense and you can find new contests cropping up every day on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Most of these contests, however, either don’t follow the prescribed guidelines given on the social media site or they don’t utilize the contest feature to its most. There is no point of organizing a contest if it’s not yielding desirable results. Thus, there are certain mistakes that must be avoided in order to make the most out of social media contests. Here are 4 common mistakes that you must avoid while running a social media contest:

Including Social Media Features in Contest

This is the most common mistake that organizers commit. They use social media features like comment, share, like, retweet etc. as tools in the contest. For instance- “Like the post to win interesting rewards” or “ Retweet to get amazing offers”. These strategies are not correct and against the guidelines of all major social media websites. Going against these guidelines means that either your contest can be closed or your account can be blocked, which doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

Not Using Third Party Applications for Contest

Not using third party applications for organizing contests is another mistake that small business owners tend to make. Using third party applications will allow you to comply with the contest guidelines and thus keep your contest safe from banishment. In case you have an in-house ASP.NET application development team, you can get them to code the contest for you. Else, you can consider web development outsourcing.

Not Using the Right Promotion Strategies

Promoting a contest is as important as organizing one. You can’t expect the contest to get popular overnight without the right promotion. You can promote your contest through social media adverts. Your business website and blog are two other platforms where promotion of your contest is possible.

Announcing Winners Publicly

Announcing winners of the contest publicly or on the wall of a social media platform is completely against the guidelines. Even though business owners know this, they still commit the same mistake again and again

The best way to avoid mistakes while organizing contests on social media platforms is reading the guidelines thoroughly and following them. This way your contest will last longer and thus will engage large number of users. This will ensure that the reach of your business is expanded.

About the Author: Amy Patrix is a programmer at xicom technologies(, a most popular  outsource web development company providing ASP.NET web development services to the competitive world.