Businesses and organizations that start social media groups for their loyal fans, employees, or people in a specific industry often do so to engage members. Although simply engaging them in interesting conversations in the group can help, it might not be enough.
You need to run some exciting activities, too, to break the monotony. You don’t want to bore your audience, after all.
When you run a community contest, you encourage your audience to stay active in your group. After all, people love contests. Just look at the statistics. Brands can get an average of 17500 fans if they organize these contests on their fan pages. The same can hold true for membership organizations.
Convinced about the benefits of contests? Let’s have a closer look at some group contest ideas so you can drive massive digital community engagement.
- Caption It
- Q&A Contest
- Upload a Photo or Video
- Share Your Story
- Fill in the Blank Contest
- Hashtag Challenge
- Solve the Puzzle
- Social Awareness Contest
1. Caption It
The first on the list of the best digital group contest ideas is a photo caption contest. Basically, you post a picture of something and ask people to write a caption for it. These types of contests stimulate creativity and boost engagement.
Choose a photo that is relevant to your organization. The image should be simple, so people don’t have to spend much time thinking about it. Avoid using religious or political figures or symbols.
Here’s a good contest example. @ClubEnerji asked their followers to caption the image that showed three seasons in one picture. The best caption, Club Enerji said, would win.
People love to read how other people respond to these kinds of posts. This is one way you can keep them longer on your community page.
If you’re unsure about what picture to ask your community to caption, try pictures of animals and babies. Statistically, dogs, in particular, are the internet’s premier pet. So, if you post a picture of a puppy, you can be sure it will drive massive community engagement.
2. Q&A Contest
You can host a Q&A contest in your community groups to connect with your community in real time.
To create the Q&A session on Facebook, just tap Manage within your Group and then go to Group Settings. Select Ask Pending Members Questions under Manage Membership. Next, you need to choose Add Question or an existing question to edit it.
You can use a Facebook Live session to announce the winner. The recording of the session can be used as valuable content afterward.
Another creative idea is to ask your network a simple question or series of questions and ask them to comment on their answers under your post.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re looking for a name for a new online community engagement course. You can ask your community to come up with ideas. It’s a win-win situation. The person who gives the best name wins a contest prize. You get a name for your course, too.
You can also involve people outside your association. This is what the Ontario Medical Association did when it asked this question:
You also get to engage your association members this way. After all, the answers to that question are likely members of the medical association, too. So, if those doctors see their names, it’s likely they’ll respond to the comment or message you.
Q&A is another super easy digital contest idea to encourage engagement. The correct, the best, or the most creative answer wins!
3. Upload a Photo or Video
Asking your group members to upload a photo or video for a prize is another example of a great group contest idea on social media. Encourage your community to take part in selfie contests related to a given topic. For instance, Barrow Mansion Community Center’s admins urged its members to upload a photo of their everyday hero. Take a look at the image below.
The organizers ended up driving massive engagement. All the pictures were also uploaded to a dedicated webpage so they could be referenced in the future.
Instead of picking the winning picture, you can inform your association members that the submission with the most votes wins. This way, you encourage your community to share their pictures with their own social media friends and ask them for their votes. You can increase your followers, too.
Video can help you drive engagement, too. In B2B SaaS marketing, B2C marketing, and any other kind of marketing strategy, it’s considered one of the best strategies to achieve business goals. There are many ways you can use video in your group contests to drive community engagement.
Consider this example. For Rehabilitation week, LifeScope asked its community to create a fun video. The contest participants uploaded their videos on the Facebook Group. The association, meanwhile, asked the public to vote for the best video clip.
Making and uploading a video takes a bit more effort from the participants. For that reason, you may not get as many entries as in other types of contests.
But if you give a good incentive for them to make the video, you can get your organization’s members to participate. For instance, you can give them a cash prize. Or promise to use their video for your next marketing campaign. Just make sure the prize is something they perceive as valuable.
4. Share Your Story
The content giveaway idea banks on the fact that people are naturally wired to connect with stories. So when you ask people to share their stories on your community groups, you don’t just get to engage the people who tell the story. You also get your other group members engaged.
Besides, you also learn a little bit more about your loyal members. This is information you can use to run tailored engagement campaigns in the future. But what kinds of stories should you ask your group members to share? How about asking them to go back to the good old days and reflect on nice memories? Nostalgia is a great way to connect emotionally with your group members.
You can ask your community members to share a fun memory related to your group’s field. Another fun idea is to get them to write what their younger self would have done given a specific situation.
Or you can opt for serious and recent topics. You can ask your members to share the stories that make them for or against a specific issue. For instance, the American Bar Association asked its members to comment on the topic of “Police Use of Force.”
You can ask people to leave their stories in your comments. Alternatively, you can ask for stories via email, DM, or any other method, then just post the best stories on your platforms. Just make your contest rules clear.
5. Fill in the Blank Contest
This one from our list of social media group contest ideas involves writing an incomplete sentence and asking the contestants to complete it. Such a contest is great for stimulating creativity. Plus, it doesn’t take up a lot of people’s time. A simple fill-in-the-blank game can drive massive community engagement.
Simply post an incomplete sentence in your digital community group. Make it interesting, so that when your community members supply their answers, you end up with a funny sentence.
Here are some examples of good phrases you can use in your contest:
“If I were a cat, I would sleep .”
“My favorite health-related product is . It makes my life easier because .”
“ made my day because ___.”
Here’s an example from Runner’s World. The group asked their fans to supply the missing words to the phrase “Running is…”
Fill-in-the-blank contests don’t have to be limited to a single topic or theme. You can ask people anything that’s not related to your group. For instance, just to make people smile on a Monday, you can ask them to fill in the blanks to phrases such as this one:
“The one word that best describes my workday today is ___.”
You can have people leave their answers under your post. Then pick the funniest or the most creative answer as the winner. You can also ask your target audience, whether inside or outside your organization, to vote for the best answer. The entry with the most votes wins.
6. Hashtag Challenge
There are two main reasons why hashtags come in handy in competitions. Hashtags can help others find your competition. Hashtags can also help you find and collect entries for your contest. A dedicated competition hashtag will help keep your competition-related posts organized.
For instance, if you ask your community members to tag competition entries with something like #groupnamecompetition or #nameofcompetition when you search for those hashtags, you’ll find those same posts on Facebook.
Hashtag challenges are a good idea to get people in your community involved and engaged. All you need to run a contest using hashtags is a prize, a catchy hashtag, and a theme, of course.
So, for example, you can have your network members use your chosen hashtag in their status updates. Look up the posts with the hashtag. Then, pick the funniest or most creative status update and announce the winner of the contest.
Here’s an example of a hashtag competition held by the American Medical Student Association. The participants were asked to submit ideas for a new hashtag. One lucky winner would get a $100 gift card.
You can also combine this hashtag strategy with other social media contest ideas. For example, ask your association or organization members to upload their best “a day in the office” picture or video, and use your hashtag.
7. Solve the Puzzle
Solve The Puzzle is one of the many engaging social media contest ideas you should consider, too. People just love to solve mysteries. Puzzles engage the intellect. They’re a form of escapist entertainment that allows non-detectives to play an exciting role even for a while.
Your puzzle can come in many forms. You can ask something related to the group’s interest or something outside of your field.
Take inspiration from this example from the American Association for Justice. The game involves watching the video and guessing where Penny the Dog hides. Users can send screenshots of where they think Penny is. One lucky winner wins every week.
Puzzles are fun and super engaging. Your audience will appreciate the challenge. They’re also a great way to break the monotony of your typical writing or posting picture contests.
8. Social Awareness Contest
Running a social media giveaway that will benefit local nonprofits or a social movement can make people pay attention. Sometimes that’s all you need. People in general want to help, but many times they can’t because they aren’t even aware that such a problem exists.
Start by choosing a donation amount, and then pick your cause. If you are not sure whom or what to support, you can ask your community members. Sharsheret, a non-profit organization, has been on a mission to spread awareness that early detection of breast cancer saves lives.
So it runs its “tag, you’re it” campaign. The campaign aims to encourage 360 women to schedule a mammogram over the year. At the end of the campaign, a lucky winner will win a $360 Amazon gift card.
Digital contests have incredible power to drive community engagement. This is even better if the initiative can save lives at the same time!
Contests are fun and stimulate creativity. Social media games and giveaway ideas are a great way to drive community engagement.
Why do you need community engagement? Regular interaction with your community members is essential to building trust.
There are many types of digital group contests you can run to drive massive community engagement.
You can ask your members to provide a caption to a specific image you upload, hold a Q&A session, or ask them to upload a creative photo or video. You can also ask them to share a story, complete your sentences, and use hashtags. Puzzles and contests that aim to spread social awareness are great, too.
Pick the one/s you think will work the best for you. You’ll see those community engagement levels soaring.
Nico is the founder of Crunch Marketing. The company works with enterprise SaaS clients, helping them scale lead generation globally across EMEA, APAC, and other regions.