One of the easiest ways to engage with your clients and patients on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, is to run a photographic competition, and you do not need big numbers for it to be an effective marketing campaign for your business.
Most people have their smartphone with them at all times, so taking a photo and posting it on social media takes very little time and effort, and if you only receive a small number of entries, don't be concerned.
Engaging with eight or ten people is still better than not engaging with anyone, but remember, some people like to watch and not participate, so you're probably engaging with far more people than you think.
Entering this type of contest is easy, so no one is going to expect a massive prize, but it still must be worthwhile. Because this article us about low-cost marketing you could approach a third-party business and have them donate the prize, and in turn, this will give them exposure to your audience, making it a win-win.
It could be a local restaurant or any other business that can donate a prize with a high perceived value.
The best photo contests usually have a theme, so give this some thought beforehand and plan. The competition could be specific to your industry, a particular month, or a season.
One competition my podiatry business ran, which was very successful, was run over the Easter holidays and the theme was 'where will your feet take you this Easter'. We received some very smart photos, and I can still clearly remember the winning photo. It was a picture of a foot, and between the toes was a glass of red wine, and in the background, you could see a lush vineyard.
I've seen some companies get onboard with Socktober. All you had to do was post a photo of the craziest pair of socks you owned. There wasn't even a prize, but they had over fifty entries, meaning they had far more watching in the background.
Once you're clear on your theme, you need to think about a #hashtag that will be most appropriate, and you need to tell people to use this hashtag with their photos because it makes it much easier to search and find each entry.
Therefore you to decide if you want to create a unique hashtag, specific to your competition #photocomp, or use a hashtag with your business name for increased exposure #abccompany.
There are many benefits to your business for using hashtags.
As the photo entries get posted on your selected social media page, you have the choice to re-post all of them on other social media platforms or only the outstanding ones. You can reuse these photos at a later date to promote your business, and also use them in your newsletters and on your website.
When the winner is selected, announce it to the world. Make a big deal about it. If you run the competition locally, and there is a prize to pick up, make sure you get a photo with the winner and post it on your social media pages.
Two Final Tips
- Make sure you comment on every photo entry and say thank you. I've seen businesses run this sort of promotion and ignore every entry and they wonder why people don't enter a second time. People need to be recognised.
- Get your team involved in the planning process, which will create more buy-in. An excited team will get right behind this idea, and will more than likely share some of the better photos on their own private social media pages, giving your business even more exposure.
If you have any questions, please email me at and if you run a photo competition let me know how it went. Also, if you're a podiatrist check out my other show the Podiatry Legends Podcast.
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