How to Contact Winners in Social Media Contests


contact winners in social contestsRunning a promotion on Twitter or Instagram or other social platform is fairly easy. You basically follow the social platform guidelines, post rules, collect entries and select winners from valid posts or tweets or pins. The hard part can be contacting and clearing winners.

In a traditional contest where a form is used to collect data you typically collect address and phone or email so contacting winners is easy. A small prize can easily be mailed straight to an address. A winner of a larger prize can be called or emailed.

But in a social promotion all you may have is a handle or username. You may not have any data as to name or age or even country of origin. In order to award prizes and post winners lists that are required legally in some states you will need to confirm eligibility and then collect information in order to award the prize.

How can this be done?

If your potential winner follows your brand, then they can be sent a message privately using Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. All three of these have private messaging capabilities that allow you to initiate the private conversation as long as the user follows your brand. (Note that you cannot initiate a private conversation as a brand on Facebook.) A private message ensures the winner will receive a message only they can see and respond to you privately in order to confirm their eligibility.

If they aren’t following your brand’s social account, you can either comment on a potential winners post or tag the person in a post, letting them know they are a potential winner. Be cautious with this method though – since everyone can see this public declaration, anyone can try to email you claiming to be the winner. And to compound the problem, some of your potential winners may turn out to be ineligible because of age or country or other criteria you set forth in your promotion rules.

Also keep in mind that in order to contact winners whether a user follows your brand or not, you should do so as the brand. This means that the person in charge of your brand’s social media accounts will need to do this, or someone who is an admin on the account. If you don’t have access to your social accounts, the time to become an admin is before you run the promotion – or have your messaging in place to give to your social media person so they know what to say and do with a potential winner. The messaging can ask the winners to send a private email to your agency or contact person outside of the social media platform.

Need help navigating this process? We can help! Contact us and we can help you run a social promotion AND contact the winners for you.

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