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Every summer, countless families spend their afternoons enjoying two of America’s favorite things: baseball and peanuts. To capitalize on this perfect pairing, Rivers helped Hampton Farms create the “Hot Play of the Week” contest to target families with kids who play sports nationwide. The contest was designed to drive brand awareness, increase engagement and capture user-generated content that Hampton Farms could leverage on its social media channels.

Want to design a contest to increase engagement with your brand? Here are some tips.

Create a Contest that’s Relevant to Your Brand

The “Hot Play of the Week” brought to you by Hot Nuts, linked a Hampton Farms flavored in-shell peanut product to a common setting where peanuts are consumed—baseball and softball fields. We chose a name that was fun and playful, yet intuitive so users would know quickly and easily what content to submit to enter.

Meet Users Where They Are

Choose the channels that are most appropriate for the type of contest you’re running and where your brand already has a strong audience base. A contest can be exclusive to a specific social media platform, work across multiple social channels or live on a website. For example, Instagram is great for soliciting user-generated content, Twitter works well for polls and Yelp is a natural fit for reviews.


In one study, brands that held Instagram contests grew their followers 70 percent faster over three months, on average, than brands that didn’t. The data also showed that Instagram contests got 3.5 times as many likes and 64 times more comments on average than regular posts.


Make Participation Easy

When it comes to contests, the fewer hoops entrants have to jump through, the better participation will be. Make the directions simple and straightforward so users can easily complete a submission from any device, including mobile.

Platforms like Woobox are great for organizing a contest and facilitating the selection of winners. For the “Hot Play of the Week” contest, users had to include two hashtags with their social post, and Woobox automatically collected the entries and handled the logistics on the back end, including legal compliance.

Offer Prizes Your Audience Really Wants

Fans of your brand are always going to be interested in product giveaways, but think about what else can you offer that a consumer couldn’t access on his or her own. Some people want public recognition to grow their followers and status as an influencer, others may be interested in exclusive brand experiences or access to events. Tailor contest prizes so they’re enticing and personally relevant to your target audience.

Fuel Interest Over the Contest’s Duration

Paid social media ads further the reach and frequency of your messages amongst your target audience, driving awareness throughout the duration of the contest. For longer contests lasting a few months, consider selecting weekly or monthly winners and offering smaller prizes to help keep the contest top of mind and maintain momentum.

Hampton Farms chose a weekly winner who received a prize pack as well as recognition on the brand’s social channels. The weekly winner announcement served as an additional opportunity to promote the contest and helped to expand its reach organically as winners often shared the announcement on their personal profiles.

Contests can help you achieve a variety of business goals—from driving sales to building an email list to increasing engagement. While entrants may benefit from a little luck, brands that tap Rivers’ experience can bank on a winning strategy for success.

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