The 8 Reasons Your Social Media Contest Flops

The 8 Reasons Your Social Media Contest Flops

Ever wondering why nobody participates in the social media contest you’ve planned for ages? You have seen people did it before, but why yours fail?

You Violate the Rule and Regulation

Adhere to the contest and giveaway rules and guidelines is probably the most important factor in running a good social media contest. You want to make sure that your contest won’t stir up any controversy and having people to report your post because your contest doesn’t align with the rules.

Each country has different rules for different types of contests, especially the sweepstake-style giveaway. Some social media platform, Pinterest for instance, also has their own guidelines in conducting a contest on their platform.

You Don’t Have a Reasonable Goal and a Well-Planned Strategy

Having a clear goal in handling a social media contest is more crucial than you thought. The goal helps you to determine what would you try to achieve in the contest. Is the goal of spreading brand awareness or generating a certain amount of leads?

A good strategy with a reasonable goal can help you foresee how your contest will perform realistically. This allows you to stick to your plan without changing up the strategy frequently to fit your unlogical goals that pop up every now and then during the contest.

You Don’t Have the Audiences

You stick to the rules. And you set your goal. What do you need next? Identifying the audiences of course! Who is the target demographic that you would expect to take part in the contest?

Is it the general public who owns a Twitter account who is interested in the cash prize (retweet sweepstake)?

Or is it those who can draw digitally and wants to win a brand new $5000 drawing tablet (drawing contest)?

You won’t really have any issues if your contest is a sweepstake-style giveaway where the bare minimum is retweeting the post.

Other contests like 3D modeling furniture might have a hard time finding a ton of contestants. But with good planning and realistic goal, these contests can be extremely useful, especially in raising brand awareness. For example, having social media users to vote for their favorite design.

From that, we can conclude that although you don’t need a large number of participants, it’s important to have a realistic expectation toward the outcome of the contest and make the most out of them.

Your Contest is Confusing

So, you have your audiences ready but still, no one is participating, why? The problem might lay on the contest itself.

A confusing contest can be anything from a complicated partaking process, weird entry requirement, bad description, or just an odd format of social media contest.

Try taking inspiration from other contests to see how they decide on their entry requirements. And simplify the sign-up process from downloading a PDF form and submitting it via email to sign up a landing page with upload and send function.

If the description is the issue, try using copywriting techniques, like avoiding the use of jargon and long sentences. And don’t mention if the contest has tons of guidelines, you can also add a URL to the contest webpage or an image or PDF file with all the contest information in it.

If your contest is just weird in general, you might need to reassess your contest and probably ask the people around you, would you want to take part in the contest?

Your Contest is Unknown to Others

Your contest needs marketing too! People won’t be notified immediately right after you post a contest on social media. If you have the budget to spare, try online advertising.

But if you don’t have the money, don’t worry! Social media marketing is your best friend! There’s a lot of other Facebook groups that dedicate to online contests like giveaways and hashtag contests.

Other than that, you can use hashtags to help you spread the words when marketing on Instagram and Twitter. Some of the most common ones include #contest, #giveaway, #competition, and #sweepstakes.

If your contests are target toward a more specific group of demographics like those who know how to 3D model furniture, you can spread the words in related groups with members with related skills.

If you decided to further your reach, you can also check out some famous sites for people to post about different types of competition. They’re also dedicated sites for certain types of contests. These sites’ members will receive notifications once new contests are posted, thus more people know about your competition.

Your Social Media Profile Looks Like a Scam

How would you expect people to sign up for your contest if your social media profile looks like it’ll scam the hell out of you? A bad social media account often equipped with an incomplete and unprofessional-looking profile, non-verified, inactive for a long time, follows tons of people, low-quality posts, and many more.

So, get up and clean your social media accounts and get it verified as a business or brand. Try to complete the profile information with minimal grammatical errors as possible.

Make sure you also delete all the low-quality posts and followings too and last but not least, try posting quality posts and engage with your users and others who are in the same field as yours.

Bad Landing (Sign Up) Page

Often time, some competitions require their users to sign up and submit their works. Instead of the old submit via email, you can build a landing page with a sign-up function alongside the option to opt-in any marketing materials.

This way the brand or company can generate leads and increase more potential customers. But what if the landing page is bad?

A bad landing page consists of terrible user experience which involves complicated signup processes with various forms and verification and bad website design.

Even though it’s just a contest signup page but it’s still a lead-capturing web page. So you definitely want to spend more time and effort on it by improving the CTA and an overall design for the best conversion rate. And also, don’t forget to speed up your landing page!

The Prize Isn’t Worth It

Imagine spending countless hours and effort on a 3D model where there’s only one $500 prize to win. The chances to win are low and the effort spent is not worth it. You might attract some young aspiring designers looking for slim chances to win their next monthly allowance but that’s all it.

$500 for sweepstakes, on the other hand, are quite lucrative since it often requires minimum efforts. So, make sure you leverage your prize with the amount of struggle your contestant needs to go through to enter the contest.

It’s well known that handsome rewards attract more contestants but what if you are on a tight budget? If so, you can try to include your own products on the prizes! Not only you get to save some money, but it can also be a great opportunity to advertise your newly-released merchandise.


Social media contests are a great way to increase social media engagement, generate leads, and increase brand awareness. So, it’s best to avoid all the mistakes above to fully utilize the benefits of social media contests and achieve the best outcome possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.