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How to Run a Social Media Contest to Grow Your Site (Best Practices + Examples)

Do you want to run a social media contest to grow your website traffic?

Social media platforms already have billions of active users. By running a contest on social media, you can reach a wider audience and get more people to visit your website.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily run a social media contest to grow your site.

Running a social media contest to grow your website

Why Run a Social Media Contest on Your Website?

There is so much content on the internet and lots of businesses all competing for the same customers. If you have recently started a WordPress blog or launched an online business, then social media contests are one of the best ways to reach your target audience.

Alternatively, if you’re an established business, then you can use contests to engage with your audience. For example, you might run exclusive contests for your email newsletter subscribers or give away a prize to celebrate your site’s birthday.

WPBeginner birthday example

Social media platforms have billions of users. In fact, Facebook alone has over 3 billion monthly active users, while YouTube has more than 2.5 billion users.

By running a social media contest, you can reach out to these billion of users and achieve goals such as:

  • Increase your blog traffic
  • Get more followers for your social media accounts
  • Boost engagement on your social media profiles
  • Get more subscribers for your email list
  • Build brand recognition for your business

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can easily create a social media contest for your WordPress website. Later in this article, we’ll also share some best practices to help you run a successful social contest and reach your goals.

Creating Social Media Contest in WordPress

The easiest way to create a social media giveaway is by using RafflePress. It’s the best WordPress giveaway plugin and supports all of the major social media platforms. It also comes with ready-made giveaway templates that you can use to get more followers on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

Note: There is a free version of RafflePress so you can try the plugin before you buy. However, in this guide we’ll be using RafflePress premium as it supports more social platforms and has more templates.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the RafflePress plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you’ll see the RafflePress welcome screen in the WordPress dashboard. You can now go ahead and enter your license key.


You can find this information under your account on the RafflePress website.

After entering this information, you’re ready to create your first social media contest by going to RafflePress » Add New.

Add new contest

On the next screen, you’ll need to give your social media contest a name. This is just for your reference so you can use anything you want.

After that, you’ll see all of the different templates that you can use to create a new contest.

Choose a contest template

There are ready-made templates for different social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. If you want to get more followers on these platforms, then choosing one of these templates will save you time.

You can also design your own contest from scratch by choosing the ‘Classic giveaway’ template. RafflePress lets you add multiple entry methods to a single contest, so you can even use this template to grow your following across multiple social platforms.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a social media contest using the Classic Giveaway template. Simply hover your mouse over the Classic Giveaway template and then click on the ‘Use this Template’ button when it appears.

Choosing a template for your social media contest

This opens the template in RafflePress’ drag and drop builder.

We’ll start by letting visitors know what they could win. Simply click to select the headline area, which shows ‘My Awesome Prize’ by default.

The RafflePress WordPress giveaway plugin

You can now type some information about the prize into the ‘Name’ and ‘Description’ fields.

For example, you may want to talk about the rules, why you’re running the competition, and how much the prize is worth.

Add prize details for your social media contest

You can also add a photo of the prize so visitors can see what’s at stake. Even simply adding the prize’s logo can make the competition more attention-grabbing and engaging.

To do this, simply click on ‘Select Image.’ Then, either choose an image from the media library or upload a new file from your computer.

When you’re happy with the information you’ve entered, click on ‘Done editing.’

Add Actions to Enter Your Social Media Contest

Your next task is choosing how visitors will enter the giveaway, by selecting ‘Actions.’

Add actions to your contest

Actions are the tasks that people will perform in order to enter your contest and qualify for the prize. RafflePress comes with lots of different actions, but you will typically want to prioritize actions that help you achieve your goals.

For example, if you want to create a Facebook giveaway to boost engagement, then you should select ‘Like our Page’ or ‘Visit us on Facebook’ as an entry method.

Simply click an action to add it to your contest. The left-hand menu will then update to show all the settings for that action.

Action settings

Each action has some basic settings.

You can type in a title, which will be shown to your visitors, or make the action mandatory so that visitors must complete this task in order to enter the competition. This is useful if you’re planning to offer multiple entry methods, but want to ensure visitors perform one action over all the others.

Every action is worth one entry by default, but you can change this to make certain actions more valuable than others. Again, this will encourage visitors to complete a particular action, even if you offer them a choice of entry methods.

For example, if your goal is to get more followers on Instagram then you might make the ‘Visit us on Instagram’ action worth two entries, while every other method is only worth one entry.

Adding 'Visit us on Instagram' as an action for your social media contest

Apart from these general options, you will also see settings related to specific actions.

For example, if you want users to visit your Facebook page, then you will need to enter the page URL.

Configuring the 'Visit our Facebook' contest action

Once you’ve filled in these settings, you can click on the ‘Add Actions’ tab and add more entry methods to the competition.

You can add as many actions as you like. By offering multiple entry methods, you can often get you more participants and grow your following across several social media platforms.

Some people will also try to improve their chances of winning by using all of the available entry methods.

However, we do recommend prioritizing actions based on your campaign goals. For example, if you want to get more Instagram followers, then it’s a good idea to put the ‘Visit us on Instagram’ action at the very top of the ‘Ways to Enter’ list.

Simply hover over the action in the editor and then grab the dotted button that appears to the left of the action. Then, move the entry method using drag and drop.

Move actions

When you’ve happy with how the giveaway is set up, don’t forget to click on ‘Save’ to store your changes.

Change Contest Appearance and Settings

Now that your giveaway is set up, you can change how it looks by seleting the ‘Design’ tab.

Design settings

Here, you can change the fonts, select a new button color, change the background color, and more. You can even customize the contest template using custom CSS.

When you’re happy with how the giveaway looks, the next step is configuring its settings by clicking on the ‘Settings’ tab.

In the ‘General’ menu you can set the basic options for the giveaway including showing the contest winners, the total number of entries, limiting signups based on IP address, and more.

Changing the settings for a social media contest

If you want to publish the competition to its own landing page, then you’ll need to type a URL into the ‘Page Permalink’ field. A giveaway landing page is particularly useful for running a social media contest, as you can easily share the page on social media.

RafflePress also allows you to set up redirects, use Google Analytics to track user engagement, enable social logins, add a checkbox to ensure GDRP compliance, and more. For more details on each settings, see our guide on how to set up a giveaway in WordPress.

When you’re finished, don’t forget to click ‘Save’ to store your changes.

Publish and Add Contest on Your Website

RafflePress gives you a few different ways to publish your social media content.

You can add the competition to any WordPress post or page by clicking on the ‘+’ icon to add a new block. Then, simply type in ‘RafflePress’ and select the right bock when it appears.

RafflePress block

You can then open the dropdown menu and choose the giveaway we created earlier.

After that, simply update or publish the page and the giveaway will appear on your website.

Select giveaway

Another option is adding the social media contest to any page, post, or widget-ready area using a shortcode.

To find this shortcode, open the ‘Publish’ tab in the giveaway editor.

Publishing your social media giveaway

From here, click on ‘WordPress Shortcode’ and RafflePress will show the shortcode that you can use.

You can now go ahead and paste this shortcode into any page, post, or widget-ready area.

Contest shortcode

For more information on how to place the shortcoode, please see our guide on how to add a shortcode in WordPress.

You can also publish the contest as a stand-alone page. In the giveaway editor, select the ‘Publish’ tab. Then, choose ‘Giveaway Landing Page’ and select the ‘Click here…’ link.

Landing page contest

If you haven’t already, then you’ll need to type in a URL where this page will be published.

After that, go ahead and click on ‘View.’

Publishing your social media giveaway

RafflePress will now publish your giveaway as a landing page.

If you visit the URL, then you’ll see the social media contest live.

Landing page preview

Note: If you’re not happy with how your giveaway landing page looks, then you can always open the giveaway editor, click on the ‘Design’ tab and make some changes.

Best Practices to Run Social Media Contest

If your social media contest goes viral, then you’ll get lots of new followers and may even increase your blog traffic. With that in mind, here’s some best practices for running a successful social media contest.

1. Keep your campaign focused by setting a goal

To start, make sure that you set clear goals for your contest so you know exactly what you’re working towards. As you’re designing and building the competition, you can make clear decisions that help you achieve that specific goal.

For example, if you want to get more subscribers to your email newsletter, then you might make the email action mandatory, show it at the top of the ‘Ways to Enter’ list, and make it worth more points than every other entry method.

2. Set enough time to promote your campaign

Plan your campaign well ahead of time, so you can start promoting the content before publishing it. In this way, you can spread the word across all your social media channels and create a sense of excitement.

RafflePress lets you schedule and publish your giveaways in advance. It will even show a countdown, so visitors know exactly when they can enter your giveaway.

Plan ahead to build anticipation

You can even add a countdown timer widget to other areas of your WordPress website, including your homepage, sidebar, or any floating bars that you’re using to promote the contest. This is a great way to use FOMO on your WordPress site.

3. Add prize pictures and graphics

Images are a great way to grab the user’s attention. If your contest has a valuable prize then adding photos helps people to visualize it, which will get you more entries.

However, not all prizes are physical. For example, you may be offering a membership subscription or an online course. In this case, you can make your own banners and images.

Creating graphics for your contest campaign

We recommend Canva as it’s a user-friendly tool that makes it easy to create engaging pictures and graphics for your social media campaigns.

4. Promote your contest with on-site retargeting

You’ll want to make sure that the people who visit your site know about your contest. The best way to do this is by using OptinMonster.

It allows you to convert website visitors into subscribers and customers. It comes with lightbox popups, floating banners, and other tools that you can use to promote the giveaway on your website.

On site retargeting with OptinMonster

5. Follow social media platform rules for contests

Each social media platform has its own rules when it comes to promoting contests. For example, on Twitter you can’t encourage users to retweet the same thing over and over again.

Similarly, if you are running a Facebook contest, then you can’t present your content in a way that looks like it’s endorsed by Facebook.

No matter what social media platforms you use, it’s always a good idea to clearly state that the social media platforms aren’t involved in the contest, or liable for any actions that participants take.

You should also publish eligibility criteria and information about who can participate in your social media contest.

We hope this article helped you learn how to run a social media contest to grow your site. You can also go through our guide on the best social media plugins and how to embed a Facebook video in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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14 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Informative and easy to understand post. All questions answered to run a content on social media wall. Thank you.

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