Running CompetitionsAn area that I’ve always found lacking is getting our sites, stories and articles mentioned and talked about on the various social media platforms. Post Google Penguin I decided to run a couple of competitions to try and create some social chatter about our sites.

The first competition we ran was on our Cake Tins website.  The Queens Diamond Jubilee was always going to be a big hit with cake makers so we ran a competition for people to submit photos of cakes that they’d made for the Jubilee celebrations.  We promoted the competition on our Facebook page and it was also handily posted to HotUKDeals competitions section.  The competition generated a fair amount of inbound traffic and although we only had 7 entries I thought the traffic (and subsequent sales) were worth it.  Many people run a “Like” us or RT us to win.  In our experience these have very little impact on generating useful traffic as people will use automated scripts to enter the competition.  By setting our barrier to entry higher, having to make a cake and include our URL in the photo of it, we knew we’d keep out this low value traffic.

If you want to see more about the Cake Tins competition then you can view our original post here – Win Amazon £25 Gift Voucher and our winners announcement thread here – Jubilee Cake Competition Results

We have just launched our second competition and this time we are trying alternative promotion ideas.  Our Low Power PCs Website is running a competition to win a Raspberry Pi Computer – Raspberry Pi Competition  We’ve gone for a YouTube submission entry for this competition as we are hoping to generate some creative entries.  Again this will lower the number of entries but the people visiting the site are our target market so are certainly worth more to us as customers.

We don’t run a Facebook page for this particular website so we used the excellent service at Loquax to get our competition known about.  This simply involves filling in a form which is then validated by the team. If you competition meets their requirements they will then list it and push it out to their subscribers.  Our particular submission was reviewed and accepted within an hour of listing, very impressive!

As our core market for a Raspberry Pi are “tech” people I am finding relevant tech blogs and letting them know about our competition.  We point out the limited supply and tech buzz around the Raspberry Pi and tell them how we feel their readers will be interested in the competition.  We tried to ask the official Raspberry Pi twitter account to retweet our competition but these requests have fallen on deaf ears, not even soliciting a response of NO!

Has anyone else successfully used competitions to spread the word of their site?  How have you found it and what’s the strangest thing you’ve offered as a prize?