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Contests and Sweepstakes Build Earned Media in Social Media

By Axia Public Relations

Whether you call it earned media or managed media, most users know it as social media and it's here to stay. But, it's not enough to have a social media presence anymore. Social media managers are using specific strategies to encourage consumers to share links and extend the value of their social campaigns.

Wildfire, a CA-based social media promotions enterprise, has studied over 10,000 campaigns to discover which methods are likely to build earned media. The earned media momentum is particularly important when friends recommend products to each other. Some studies show that up to 68 percent of consumers on Facebook pay attention when their friends suggest a product or service. By any measure, these kinds of numbers can bring in more sales.

So what kind of earned media campaigns are most popular? Here are the average number of entries by promotion type:

  • Coupon 3,037
  • Giveaway 1,888
  • Sweepstakes 1,630
  • Favorites 1,070
  • Quiz 1,204
  • Trivia 410
  • Essay contest 398
  • Photo contest 381
  • Video contest 318

These numbers are impressive but the most savvy social media managers are also deploying campaigns that are designed to increase shares, or earned media. This kind of activity can also increase a company's position on search engine results pages. Analysts note the importance of playing to a user's personality when designing these earned media campaigns.

Here are the top user-shared campaigns by type:

  • Pick your favorites 27%
  • Quizzes 13%
  • Trivia contests 10%
  • Sweepstakes 11%
  • Giveaway 15%

The next key with earned media campaigns is to get users to click on what a friend has shared. How is that working? The top click-to-entry conversions take place in quizzes (82%), trivia contests (69%), and sweepstakes (66%).

The bottom line from this study is that companies should realize that the number of Facebook users entering a campaign does not necessarily result in more earned media. As a result, users can expect to see more social media managers engaging in quizzes and trivia promotions.

June 19 2012 | Kathy Crosett

[Source: 5 Best Practices for Increasing Earned Media. Wildfireapp.com. 2012. Web. 19 Jun. 2012]

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Topics: shared media

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