Social Media Contests: The Long and Winding Road

By Gabby Cox, Intern (@omgitsgabz)

I’ve previously written about my passion for social media and the way it’s utilized in the realm of PR. Now, imagine my excitement when I found out we were planning a contest around a product launch using one of the strongest social media platforms, Facebook.

Before proposing any concrete ideas to our client, I delved into past social media contests that I could use as case studies. While many contests were straightforward and easy to engage in, the most successful ones were those that allowed participants to be creative – art contests, video contests, etc. For such a creative client, my goal was to have an equally creative contest that embodied the client’s philosophy.

As we continuously added layers to the contest, we hit a seemingly infinite number of roadblocks. I was heartbroken, for example, when I found out it was just recently made illegal to run a contest on Facebook without Facebook’s explicit permission. How much money does it take for Facebook to pay attention to your contest? A minimum of $10,000. This, along with the various what ifs, made this contest planning an obstacle course, albeit a necessary course of action. That is, by analyzing every element of the contest with a microscope before we even proposed it, we prevented getting “stuck” at one of the later steps in the process.

This project was a lot of work for the entire team, but it was an invaluable experience for me, especially since this was something I worked closely on. The more time I spend at Fusion, the more I realize the importance of paying attention to detail and how processes (planning, proposing and getting approvals) can be inevitably long. If there’s enough enthusiasm around a project, though, it feels as if time flies. Plus, that enthusiasm ensures efficiency and promotes energy among the entire team, resulting in outcomes we’re proud of.

In case anyone is curious to see what we’ve been working on, check out our client’s Facebook Fan Page. The contest will launch later in the week!

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