Use Valentine’s Day contests to heat up your social mentions

The clock is ticking down to the holiday that’s meant to melt your candy heart, and you don’t have to be Tiffany’s to take advantage of the Cupid-fueled publicity. To inspire your own Valentine’s Day promotions, we’re highlighting five contest types to help you think outside of the heart-shaped chocolate box. Keep these contests short and sweet* to stay on your customers’ minds and show them how much you care.

1. [Counting contest] One, two, three, four / Tell me that you love me more

Facebook counting contest

A counting contest’s magic is in its simplicity. When brainstorming contest ideas, we always issue a caveat: The more you ask of your customers, the more difficulty you’ll have eliciting entries. With a counting contest, your customer simply types in a number. How much easier can it get?

If you’re the type who likes to see your comment section blow up — or just want some last-minute Valentine’s action — this type is the one for you.

2. [Sweepstakes] ‘Cause the best luck I had was you / And I know one thing / That I love you

Facebook sweepstakes

Contests are supposed to be fun and all, but don’t forget about their business value. If one of your quarterly goals is to focus on growing your email list, a sweepstakes can work wonders. Because you’re asking them to opt-in to your email list, the key to driving lots of entries is to pick the right prize for the lucky winner. Free pizza for a year, anyone?

3. [Story contest] It’s a love story / Baby, just say “Yes”

Instagram story contest

If you hold your rapport with your customers to be sacred, try a story contest. People love to talk about themselves, especially on social media, so make it a priority to learn more about your fan base. Crowdsource your fans’ favorite love songs or date movies with the prize of a dinner for two for the best answer.

4. [Photo contest] You’re just too good to be true / Can’t take my eyes off of you

Instagram photo contest

Photo contests are among the most engaging campaigns you can choose. Fans can participate by voting — or, better yet, uploading their best picture and voting. They’ll actively promote their entries to their friends to earn votes, which ends up promoting your brand for you!

Bonus tip: If you can relate the photo contest to your business, it can be a great source of user-generated content for months to come.

5. [Scavenger hunt] But I would walk 500 miles / And I would walk 500 more

Instagram scavenger hunt

Many business owners we work with invest heavily in keeping their website in tip-top shape, so driving traffic is often a major goal. Scavenger hunts are the perfect vehicle for piquing the curiosity of your social media fans with the end-goal of sending them to your website.

What Valentine’s Day promotions have you planned for this year? Share your ideas with others in the comments below.

*Caveat: As always, double-check the terms of your promotions to ensure they follow site-specific guidelines and local laws.

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