What are Good Contest Ideas for Social Media?

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In the 10-plus years many of us have spent on social media, you’ve probably seen – or even entered – a social media contest from your favorite influencer or brand. Many of these social contests require you to like, comment, share, follow, tag, or submit something to win a prize. As a young consumer, you may not have thought about why influencers and brands do these contests. Most of these contests are run with some sort of goal in mind. For example, some content creators may want to increase engagement or promote their brand. Maybe you’re now a content creator or a social media manager and you have those same goals. Luckily for you, the team at Kiopi can give you the best social media contest ideas for your specific online goal.

What is a Social Media Contest?

We’ve all seen our favorite influencers and celebrities do a social media contest before. Maybe you even participated in one of these contests before. A social media contest is a sort of campaign that content creators can do to increase engagement on their social media platforms. Social media followers can enter to win prizes by liking, commenting, tagging, sharing, or creating something. Then once the contest ends, the content creator will randomly draw a winner to claim the grand prize.

All social media contests are a bit different. For example, there are photo contests, video contests, trivia contests, essay contests, and so much more. Also, prizes differ depending on the contest type, the influencer’s brand, the social media platform, and the target audience. For example, a beauty influencer may set up a selfie contest in order to win a large collection of newly released makeup from well-known cosmetic brands. Meanwhile, a comedian influencer may set up a video contest to win a simple cash prize.

No matter the specifics of the contest and the prize, running contests on your social media channels will encourage participation and even bring in a wider audience than you had before. The team at Kiopi is here to give you all the tools you need to set up a successful social media contest.

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How Social Media Contests Can Benefit Your Business

A good social media contest can:

  • Boost brand awareness on social platforms
  • Boost engagement social platforms
  • Allow you to collaborate with other content creators and brands
  • Bring in more potential customers, viewers, and followers
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase business leads
  • Increase your salary as a social media manager
  • And so much more!

Common Types of Social Media Contests

As previously stated, there are so many types of social contests out there that can benefit you – and your online presence – in different ways. Listed below are some of the most common social media contests on the worldwide web.

  • A Photo Contest will encourage users to submit photos in order to win a prize.
  • A Video Contest is the exact same thing as a photo contest, except that contest participants submit a video in order to win a prize.
  • Caption Contest: Social media followers will submit a caption to go with a specific photo. The best caption wins the grand prize/
  • Essay Contest: This type of social media contest is more common among literature lovers and writers. Similar to the contests above, users will submit an essay in order to win some sort of prize.
  • Trivia Contest: Everyone loves trivia! Whoever guesses the correct answer to a trivia question will win a prize.
  • Holiday Contest: These types of contests are most popular around Christmas time, but any holiday will work. Content creators can really get creative with this one. For example, contest entrants can submit holiday themed pictures, videos, captions, and more. Or, contest entrants can enter to win holiday themed prizes such as beauty products, candles, jewelry, food products, and more.
  • Spin to Win Campaign: This type of contest involves a classic spin wheel game. Basically, all users have to do is enter basic information (such as their name and email address) in order to spin the wheel to win a prize. The prizes can be fairly small, such as site or product discounts, gift cards, and more.

Social Media Contest Ideas

Picking the right type of social media contest for your goals is crucial. But if you have never run an Instagram contest, Twitter contest, or Facebook contest before, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin.

Our social media marketing experts often take advantage of engagement interactive posts on social media to slingshot contest performance.

Below, the team at Kiopi lists the best social media contest ideas for your specific goals.

Social Media Contest Ideas That Can Boost Engagement

The following social media contest ideas can boost engagement on any social media platform: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, Youtube, you name it.

social media contest topics

Like, Comment, and Share To Win

Probably the most well known social media contest that we have all seen – and maybe even entered – is one where you have to like, comment, share, and/or tag to win. This is a great example of how to get more engagement on your social media platforms fast. Your social media followers will like your post (and other posts), comment, tag their friends, share the post, or all of the above in order to win the contest prize. You can even collaborate with another brand or content creator to make the social contest bigger and double the engagement. 

Video Contests

Videos are becoming more popular than just pictures on social media, all thanks to Tik Tok. So another good social media contest idea is to ask your followers to create a short video related to the theme of your contest. For example, you could create some kind of video challenge. Remember the viral ice bucket challenge in 2014? It wasn’t exactly a contest, but so many people completed the challenge that it became a worldwide sensation. 

In the world of Tik Tok (where literally anything can go viral), you could create a fun video challenge for your contest. You can then look through all the submissions to find the funniest, most creative, or most aesthetically pleasing video. That video creator will then win the prize. 

User Generated Content (UCG) Photo Contests

Firstly, let’s break down what user-generated content is. User-generated content – AKA consumer generated content – is basically a digital marketing strategy that involves posting content that’s created by consumers.

So a UCG photo contest would involve asking your followers to submit a picture using your product (or doing something related to your contest theme) and then reposting your favorite picture on your social media accounts. This type of contest is a win-win for everyone involved. You win because you get more engagement (plus lots of future content), and your followers win because you can repost their pictures – giving them more engagement.

Social Media Contest Ideas That Can Increase Followers

If you’re specifically looking for more Twitter, Tik Tok or Instagram followers, consider these social media contest ideas.

Tag Your Friends

Another common type of social media contest is asking your followers to tag their friends for a chance to win your prize. That way, you have more people coming to look at your post/profile, deciding if they want to enter the contest, and then possibly even tagging their friends. And the cycle continues. 

Follow to Win

Another way to get people to enter your contest is by asking them to follow you. Then you choose a prize winner out of all of your followers. 

Regular Contests

The only problem that comes with gaining a new audience from a social media contest is that many people may unfollow you once the contest is over and they realize they didn’t win anything. In order to grow your platform and brand, this is often a risk you have to take. 

However, there is a way to possibly get new followers to stay. You can do this by hosting small social media contests on a regular basis. For example, every month (or every few months) you could offer your followers a chance to win a gift card, a discount, a product, etc. This may encourage users to stick around for a while. 

Social Media Contest Ideas That Can Boost Brand Awareness

If you’re looking for social media contest ideas that can boost brand awareness on your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page, look no further.


Collabs – AKA collaborative contests – are contests that involve other social media channels and brands. For example, if you’re a beauty blogger, you could collab with a cosmetic brand (or another beauty blogger) to give away a handful of cosmetic products. This social media contest idea will get people talking about the products, the brands, and the bloggers involved. 

Social Media Contest Ideas

Hashtag Contests

For this type of contest, you will need to create a clever branded hashtag. In order to win the prize, you could ask your followers to post a picture with the branded hashtag. Then, you can tap on the hashtag, look at all the entries, and pick your winner. Hashtags are an incredible tool for boosting awareness of your brand. The more people who enter your contest with the hashtag, the more people will see the hashtag and associate it with you/your brand.

Branded Filters and Lenses

This social media contest idea will be best for platforms that have stories and videos – such as Tik Tok, Snapchat, and even Instagram stories. You can create a fun filter or lens on any of these platforms with your brand name or logo on it. The filter or lens should be related to your type of content or contest theme. The more people who use the filter, the more people will know about your brand.

Social Media Contest Ideas

How to Set Up a Social Media Contest

Now that you have an idea of what kind of contest you want to run on your social media channel, it’s important to know how to get started the right way. Well designed contests are crucial for meeting your online goals. Here are some basic steps to turn your social media contest ideas into realities.

  1. What is Your Goal? Do you want more followers, more engagement, or more brand loyalty and awareness? Set a specific goal for yourself before doing anything.
  2. Choose a Social Media Platform: You can run social media contests on multiple platforms. But each platform can do different things for your online presence and brand. For example, if you want more website traffic, you may want to choose Facebook for a contest because you can put clickable links directly into your posts. On Instagram, you have to link things in your bio, and then tell your followers to go to the link in your bio. This is more work for the user. You want to make it as easy as possible.
  3. What’s the Prize? You want to pick a prize that’s relevant to you and your brand. Also, you want to pick a prize that appeals to your target audience. For example, if you’re a vlogger, maybe you could create a contest on both Instagram and Youtube with the prize being tech products: vlog cameras, tripods, headphones, a new iPhone, an Apple gift card, etc.
  4. Promote Your Contest: You’ll want to create a social media post about your contest several weeks in advance. Additionally, you’ll want to create several promotions about your contest on all of your platforms. That way, everyone on every platform knows about it ahead of time. Additionally, you’re reminding everyone to enter before time runs out. All of this can create lots of excitement and engagement surrounding your contest. 
  5. Set Contest Guidelines: When you make your initial contest post, you’ll want to lay out the specific rules in the caption. The rules could be liking, commenting, sharing, following, tagging, or all of the above. Make sure to set a timeline for when the contest will end and when you’ll announce the winner.
  6. Pick a Winner: Go through all of your contest entries and pick a winner based on your favorite comment, picture, video, etc. Or, if there are simply too many entries to go through you can use an online tool – such as Wheel of Names – to pick a random winner.
  7. Did Your Contest Help You Meet Your Goal? All throughout the contest and after, you need to monitor your social media traffic. How many followers have you gained from this contest? How many likes and comments did you get from this contest? Was the contest worth the trouble, and did it help you meet your goals? If you reaped the social media benefits of the contest, you know you could probably do another one in the future and grow your online presence even more.
Social Media Contest Ideas

How Kiopi Can Help You Reach Your Social Media Goals

Social media and content creation is a full-time job. It takes a lot of time, creativity, and strategy to grow your online presence on any social network. Having top-notch social media tools is crucial because they can make your job so much easier. Kiopi is the best tool to use for your next social media contest. Why? You can schedule all of your contest-related posts in advance. That way, you’re not stressed about constantly promoting your contest in those few weeks that it’s going on. You can focus on all of your other tasks at hand.

Not only that, but Kiopi can help you monitor your social media analytics while your contest is going on. The whole point of a contest is to grow your presence, your audience, and your brand. In order to do that, you need to keep track of the numbers. How many likes, shares, comments, tags, and follows is this contest bringing in? Our social media tool can tell you all of that and more.

Lastly, we can help you stay on top of all of your other social media-related tasks with our content calendar. Working in the world of social media means that the job essentially never gets done. While your notifications are blowing up from your contest, we can help you stay on track with your other tasks and goals.

Social media management and content creation can be made easy with Kiopi. Don’t believe us? Sign up for a 14-day free trial today and see for yourself.