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Episode 19 - What Kinds of Social Media Contests Work Best for FI

Meredith Olmstead
March 16, 2022

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Podcast Episode 19: The rules for social media contests have shifted on Facebook and Instagram, especially what works when it comes to running contests. For Community Banks and Credit Unions, your goal for social media contests should be to humanize your brand, drive awareness, and especially give back to your community. In this episode, the FI GROW team discusses best practices for running contests on Facebook and Instagram.

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Transcription:

Have you ever been talking about something that's really useful and thought, "That's a great idea, let's hit record so we can share this with everyone?” If you're looking for best practices for your bank or credit union, join us while we talk all things sales, marketing, and strategy for financial institutions. Let's make it happen with FI GROW Solutions.

Meredith Olmstead:

Hi, I'm Meredith Olmstead, founder and CEO of FI GROW Solutions. We are a marketing agency and we work solely with banks and credit unions. And I am here with our digital ads manager, Ida Burr say. Say hi, Ida.

Ida Burr:

Hey everyone.

Meredith Olmstead:

So we were just having a great conversation about what kinds contests work best for banks and credit unions on social. And so I thought, you know what? Let's pause. Let's hit record. This sounds like topic that a lot of people might be interested in. And so we were kind of really talking about it, because things have really shifted, and so Ida and I were talking about the fact that on social, things have really shifted in turn of what kinds of contests work.

Meredith Olmstead:

It used to be that you could do all kinds of quick little comment to win, like almost meaningless kinds of contests giving away a $50 gift card here or there, and like really quick, and it would drive a lot of engagement.

Meredith Olmstead:

But honestly, things have really changed on Facebook and Instagram over the last year or two and contests have really shifted. What works in contests has really shifted. And so what we were just talking about is that now really the goal of contests on social isn't so much to drive huge amounts of organic reach, but it's much more about like humanizing your brand, building some awareness and giving back to your local communities. That's really the kinds of contests that seem to be working the best on social media right now.

Meredith Olmstead:

So they have to be like super genuine and authentic. They have to be meaningful. They need to have a community impact component to them in order to get enough buy-in from people to have it really be worth the effort and the time. And so I wanted to just kind of pick Ida's brain a little bit about this, because she helps our clients with contests when they decide to run them and really wanted to get some ideas or some thoughts about how do you really make contests on social authentic and meaningful for your bank or your credit union. So Ida, tell us a little bit about what we mean by authentic or meaningful.

Ida Burr:

Yeah. So authentic or meaningful in the sense that it's not out of left field, like it has a little bit of a story behind it. Maybe you have a really good relationship with a local college or you have, and part of your mission is helping build that community, helping small business, helping people's dreams come true, so really kind of aligning it with what your overall mission is and what you want your voice to be.

Ida Burr:

And that way, it also helps you build partnerships with people online as well. So you can tag these local businesses as well and get a little bit more exposure.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha. We have one client down in the South Carolina area and they have a really, really established and formal relationship with a pretty large university down there. So Ida, how do they like kind of leverage that connection with the university for contests online?

Ida Burr:

Yeah, so this college has a big following with their sports team. So what the credit union will do is once a month or so, they will be given a handful of free tickets, from the university, and they turn around and they'll create a small prize pack.

Ida Burr:

So I remember once they threw in a Yeti cooler, which is really cool, and four tickets to this upcoming game. And they'll put together a contest, post it online, have a picture of the mascot, build excitement around the team, and they see great success with a lot of people entering.

Ida Burr:

And another thing that we have seen a lot of success with in the past is local businesses, so going around to local businesses, or maybe even your current business customers, and saying like, we want to put together contests. We'll get a gift card. We can get merchandise. We can get whatever that business has to offer and kind of maybe even having them throw in a couple things just to add to the prize pack.

Meredith Olmstead:

Yeah. So doesn't always have to be like, so it doesn't have to... You want it to be a little bit more of a, not an undertaking, but like a little bit more of a significant kind of prize and contest that goes along with it. It still needs to be easy to enter, but it needs to have something that's a little bit more impactful in order to get people's attention.

Meredith Olmstead:

The other one that we talked about that I wanted to mention, because a lot of times people are like, well, how do we tie this back to products and services? Right? In a contest form. So we've seen some really great contests around promoting key locks or home equity lines of credit or home equity loans.

Meredith Olmstead:

So like where we have... We've had a client take a $500 gift card to Lowe's and use that as the prize, and then run a short little form on a landing page and have people enter that way, kind of saying what's their project that they want to work on at their house.

Meredith Olmstead:

It's a great way to get some leads in the door for a product or service, in this case, a home equity loan, but also a fun way to kind of engage people on social. I actually have also of places doing, where they're like, submit a picture of your ugliest, your needed renovation, like your ugliest room or your ugliest house, and have some fun with it. So again, it's a little bit more impactful, maybe a bigger prize, but it is somewhat tied to products and services, so those are some cool ideas.

Ida Burr:

Yeah, absolutely. And if you are tying it back to product and services as well, I would also suggest using your email, like emailing members, to also drive traffic to the landing page, as well as even in branch. Have a sign made and hung up in the branches or have it posted on your TVs while people are waiting in line, just to get a little bit more awareness. Since it's not just solely a Facebook contest anymore, it always helps to get extra traffic.

Meredith Olmstead:

What are some other like little like ending tips that we can give people for running contests?

Ida Burr:

So I would definitely suggest doing the contest pretty consistently. We've seen a lot of success with people doing them monthly. We used to suggest doing them quarterly, but I really don't think quarterly is enough. I would say at least every other month or monthly. And again, these don't have to be huge things. It could be a $40 gift card to a local restaurant. It's just kind of building that partnership with people, reaching out.

Meredith Olmstead:

Right. In the community. Yeah.

Ida Burr:

Exactly. Make it easy to enter. If you're going to Facebook route, just a simple comment to win, even maybe asking for a picture or something like that if it's like a funny one, like you were saying, like post your current wishful thinking, like which room you want to redo or something like that.

Meredith Olmstead:

Yeah. Okay.

Ida Burr:

And if it is on a landing page, make sure that the form isn't extremely long either. You don't want to get people bouncing off of that page once they realize how many questions you're asking. Just some basic contact information and an answer to a question or two.

Meredith Olmstead:

You also mentioned something about, where we used to put all the rules in like the post on Facebook, but now you've kind of gotten away from that, so tell me a little bit about that.

Ida Burr:

Yeah. So Facebook now kind of docs your posts based on the language that's in the text, so having a huge long rule list on the post itself can hinder your overall reach. So what we suggest doing is setting up a landing page on your website and having the full rules posted there. Write a short little description in the post itself on Facebook and then say click here for full rules, and bring them to your website.

Meredith Olmstead:

Gotcha. Okay. And then also making sure that compliance reviews those, because you do have to make sure that you're kind of in compliance with Facebook rules and also with any rules for financial institutions and contests, so awesome.

Meredith Olmstead:

All right. Well, great tips, Ida. Thank you so much. And you guys please feel free to come to our website to learn more. We have lots of other great podcasts at figrow.com. We also have the academy there, which teaches you a lot about social media and pay-per-click ads, which you would probably want to use social media ads to help promote any contest that you are running, so feel free to visit us there and learn more. And let's just get out there and make it happen.

 

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