You’ve hosted a contest. You’ve done your job promoting it like no other and you’ve received a ton of entries. Congratulations. You’ve even chosen your winners. But it’s not over. In fact, it’s far from that.

What you do next is going to make your brand memorable. You have a few options. Now is the time to turn your contest entrants into super fans. You should start with your winner.

1. Winners

Your winner is already a happy camper. I mean, hello, they’re going to get some free swag. And, of course, we all like free. But the way you treat your winner is going to mean life or death in terms of keeping him or her as a raving fan. You want to treat them like a rockstar.

Remember that Jaguar #MyTurnToJag contest I wrote about a while back?Well, I actually won it! And Jaguar did a crazy amazing job at making me a raving, all-in, can’t-get-enough-of-the-brand, type of fan. Here’s how they did it.

First of all, the prize was 15 minutes of fame, a worthy prize in and of itself. I was sent to Miami to film a webisode with the fabulous Miss Kelly Rowland. Okay, so it doesn’t get much better than that, right? And somehow Jaguar just kept it coming. Next I was given VIP treatment to attend a Gilt City Los Angeles event. I was picked up in a Jaguar where I was greeted by the marketing team, production team, and Kelly, of course. When I arrived inside the venue there were photos of my driving experience streaming on the walls. Talk about getting a big head. Lastly, my video was aired on Youtube and through Jaguar’s social channels.

The whole experience spanned a month with more goodies and perks to look forward to. They had me. And they still have me. Win for Jaguar!

Okay, so I realize that Jaguar is a huge company with a lot of money for this type of promotion. But small businesses can still treat their winners like rockstars. It’s all about the follow up.

Jaguar MyTurnToJag Kelly Rowland

Here are some things to think about.
1. How will they be contacted?
2. What will you say?
3. What is the follow up?
4. How will you get them to post and promote you for the rest of their lives?
5. How will you use their testimonials to your advantage?

One simple way to show you are engaged in your new relationship with the contest winner is to email them with a very personalized letter. Perhaps when you ship the winner their prize you can include a hand written note. Follow them on their social channels. And lastly, follow up with them and check in with them. Ask them if they are enjoying their prize. If it’s something tangible, ask them if they’ll send you a picture that you can use on your social channels and website.

Remember, social media is a relationship and you want to make it strong. Communication is key.

2. Losers

The losers are just as important as the winner, if not more important, because there are more of them. Usually there’s only 1 winner. So in terms of numbers, the losers prevail.

The first thing you should do is email them and let them know that they didn’t win. This is important, because all too often are you just sitting there, waiting and waiting to hear that you won, but you never get that email. This little email will put you back in the minds of those who’re waiting, and you might be able to sell them or get them interested in something else. You could offer a discount on a specific product, a hail mary entry if they share something, etc. You can get creative here.

How do you treat your contestants?

Blog Marketeer

Stephanie Clegg

Stephanie started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!

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