Restaurant Promotion: Running Contests

Running a brand contest is one of the most effective ways to promote your business, most especially your services and products.

If you think you want to gain more followers and expand your reach, then maybe this is a sign that you should try doing contests!


STEP ONE: Clarify your goal

Although you might think of no reason to promote your business through a contest, all things must come with a purpose. If your objectives aren’t clear, then you won’t have a concrete result either.

Planning your goals ahead of time ensures you’ll be able to measure how successful the contest was so that you can make adjustments for the next one. In this initial stage, you’ll determine the metrics you’ll track and how often you’ll track them – which generally depends on how long you decide to run the contest. Some metrics you might need to follow are:

a. The number of likes and comments

b. Follower count

c. Engagement levels

d. The number of purchases

e. User Feedback

No matter what your goal, having specifics in mind makes it easier for you to determine how well your contest worked to help you reach the goal.


STEP TWO: Choose where to run your contest

We know that most contests are run on Instagram since it has higher engagement rates and, overall, less competition compared to other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. But it always boils down to where you have established your audience. You can do contests on Facebook or Twitter too.


STEP THREE: Choose the type of contest you want

Since we’re amid a pandemic, we can’t typically have prizes that will make the users go to your restaurant. But there are alternatives to this.

If you can’t make them come to you, then go to them just at least the risk is at its minimum, and they won’t blame your business if ever something happens to them.

Contests such as “like this post” or “tag a friend” is still useful and powerful contests, though. Click here to learn more about the different types of contest ideas suited for the situation we are in.


STEP FOUR: Creating contest rules

It’s essential to lay your rules very clear that none of the users would misinterpret it. Regarding the contest duration, it’s up to you how long should the contest lasts. But one thing’s sure, the longer, the more effective. A more extended contest period can help more users participate in the contest, and more potential people might see it. 


STEP FIVE: Establish a unique identity–hashtags, keywords

Your contest should have one hashtag or keywords similar to all the participating users for easier findability. Make sure your hashtag wasn’t used or taken by others beforehand so that other stuff similar won’t be mixed up with your contest entries.

Don’t just use any hashtag; it should have relevance to the contest you’re running. It must reflect the brand also.


STEP SIX: Deciding on the prizes

Since we’re in this situation right now, think of prizes that would minimize their risk of getting out of their houses for safety purposes. Things like free deliveries, free giveaways, discounts, etc., can do the trick since they can still order online.


STEP SEVEN: Determine how to choose your winners

If your contest states that you will be randomly picking a winner, by what means? If you’re going to choose among user-generated content, what are your criteria? Remember to take all bias away. Make sure you do it fair and square.


STEP EIGHT: Promote your contest

No contests exist without getting the users aware that you are running one. Make sure you maximize your reach in informing the users that you’re hosting a contest. Share it to your IG Stories, make a blog out of it, run an ad for it, anything! Just make them know you’re doing it, or else nothing will happen.


STEP NINE: Monitor Participation Levels

Always monitor how many users are engaging and interested. Keep track if they’re following the rules, and check if there are disqualified entries, etc.

Remember, you’re letting your users promote you. That’s very crucial.


STEP TEN: Follow-Up

Once you announce your winner, make sure he/she gets followed-up to claim the prize. Since this is the last step, it’s time for you to assess all the things that have happened within the contest proper. What went wrong, what should you retain, what other factors might have supposedly increased more engagements? Discuss everything out, and if you want to, you can launch another contest sometime in the future.


Running contests shouldn’t be a burden for you; it should be fun as you interact and engage with your customers at the same time, gain new followers and promote your business.

Contests are just one of the ways you can promote your business; there are a lot more crazy ideas out there! With that being said, we’re giving out a free tool for you to explore more of the endless opportunities your social media presence will bring you. JUST CLICK HERE and start putting that stress to rest!

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