So the other day a client asked me:
“Matt, what do you think about doing social media contests? You know, where I ask my followers to like, share, or comment on a post to win something. Do those actually work?”
“Only if they’re done right. Otherwise, they’re kind of pointless.” I answered.
And after walking him through the entire process shortly after… I realized many contractors could probably profit from this information too…
I’ve used contests like these in the contracting industry, and many other industries too. So today, I’d like to teach this to you too. I’m confident you’ll get great value from it.
A quick note before we start – I want to make it very clear the goal with these social media contests should be to SELL…
If you’re doing these contests for fun, or to impress people, or to look good online… This article is NOT for you.
Anyways… Back to social media contests that sell…
Let’s get right to it!

Step 1) Create an Irresistible Offer

Too often, business owners get greedy when they try to do these types of contests and they don’t go all in.
Instead, they get cold feet and offer something like a 20% off discount, tickets to a sports game, or worst… Some hats, shirts, or hoodies with their logo on them.
(I think I saw Homestars try and do that one last month… BIG waste of time.)
Newsflash – You’re underestimating how much it’s going to take to get people to MOVE on your contest/offer!
To make a social media contest that sells… You must offer something irresistible and congruent with your prospect’s desires.
In fact, your offer must be so incredible, so beneficial, and have such a high perceived value… Most people would think it’s almost too good to be true.
This will grab their attention… And pique their curiosity enough for them to actually get off their butt and do something about it.
Consumers today are very skeptical and smart… Yet people treat them like idiots.
They can smell a gimmick or a bad cheapskate a mile away. So, if you’re going to do social media contests…
Do them right.
But what exactly does a good offer look like?
From my experience, a great offer should be related to your service… And deliver a lot of value without ANY risk for the person entering.
(In other words… Don’t make them embarrassed, look a fool, or publically humiliated in any way.)
Some examples of irresistible offers include:
A FREE credit of $10,000 towards a luxurious bathroom remodel… 2000sqf worth of FREE Floor Refinishing… Etc.
Whatever it is, choose something you can give away that won’t cost you an arm and a leg… But has a VERY high perceived value from the prospect’s perspective.
Think of it like paying $5,000 for a full-blown marketing campaign… And recruit someone to become your spokesperson at the end (your contest winner.)

Step 2) The Ad Creative

Ad creative (or the image you use in your ad) is very important. It needs to catch the eye.
If you can’t stand out and grab people’s attention as they scroll their feed, you’re basically dead in the water.
For that reason, I recommend you use a picture of WHAT people could actually win.
If it’s a free bathroom renovation, use a picture of a previous bathroom renovation you did. If it’s a new deck build, show a picture of your finest deck.
You get the idea…
One thing worth noting here is DO NOT use a stock image. It’s obvious to the prospect it’s not your work and will make them suspicious or uneasy…
Mostly because there’s no proof you know what you’re doing. If you were actually legit, you’d have plenty of photos of your work. So, make sure you only use original-looking photos.
Last thing when it comes to ad creative:
Add some small graphics to the image with some copy that says words like WIN or FREE GIVEAWAY. You should also use colors like red, orange, or yellow because they catch the eye very quickly.
Here’s an example of the type of ad creative I’m talking about:
Make sure it’s compliant with your social media platforms’ ad policy. Sometimes they get iffy about too much text in their ads.

Step 3) Build a Simple Landing Page

Before you rush into setting up an ad… You need a landing page to capture people’s information (this will come in handy for the next steps coming later.)
Your landing page should be a simple 1 pager people can visit to enter the contest. You should have an image, headline, subheadline, and form on this page to capture emails.
Here’s an example of the type of landing page you should make:
The best part is you don’t need to buy any expensive landing page software to make something like this. Services like Mailchimp and Privy offer landing pages on their “free” plans.
Important tip: I can’t stress enough how important it is you capture their email. This will make more sense why near the end of this article!

Step 4) Write The Ad Copy

This is probably the most important step – your words. It’s where most people mess up.
If you slack on the copy, everything else falls apart.
Use brevity but be direct. Avoid weak language patterns like “feel free to visit”.
In our message, we want them to know 5 things from our ad copy:
1) Exactly what you’re giving away for free, and what it’s worth.
2) Why you’re doing the contest.
3) How to enter the contest (make it simple).
4) When the contest is ending.
5) When the contest winner will be announced.
Here’s some example copy I’d write for a contest like this using the outline above. For this example, we’ll pretend the offer is a $10,000 bathroom remodel giveaway:
**$10,000 GIVEAWAY CONTEST** We’re Giving Away a FREE $10,000 Bathroom Remodel to One Lucky Winner As Thanks for All Your Support In 2021!
‘LIKE’ This Post & Enter Your Info Here To WIN:
Hurry Though – This Contest Ends March 10th, 2021 at 5 PM EDT.
Good Luck! 😊 We’ll announce the winner the next day at the same time.
Okay – So a couple of things to note here:
1) Notice how the top line says exactly what you win and why as clearly as possible…
2) Notice how all you must do to enter is like the post and enter your email. No sharing, no commenting below, no posting pictures in the comments… Keep it simple and impulsive for people to act on.
3) Notice the specific deadline of when the contest ends. I recommend you let the contest run for about 1 week.
4) Finally, I end with a cheerful gesture of good luck, with the reminder when the winner is announced.

Step 5) Go Live!

Now you’re ready to post your ad! I recommend you “boost” the post and pay for ads to give it some more gusto.
I usually put in about $30/day to be safe. Facebook doesn’t like to give away free traffic these days.
If you do this right, you should get at least 500 emails and post likes.

Step 6) Announcing The Winner

Here’s where things get interesting. All those people who liked your post because you asked them to? Now you can invite them to like your Facebook page.
Just go to the post and click on the tab that shows all the people who liked it like this:
Double whammy. Most of them will like your page once you’ve invited them. This adds them to your social media as a follower for future marketing.
Next, the contest announcement.
We’re going to make the announcement via email. Make sure you post in the comments on the ad that people keep their eyes peeled for your email in their inbox.
I recommend using Mailchimp (or something similar) to send out the email. You should also send from a webmail address and not just a Gmail.
This will keep you out of spam filters.
The subject line of your email should be something like, “Contest WINNER Announcement.”
This will basically guarantee your email gets opened because EVERYONE wants to know if they won…
Now, the content in the email is critical, and should read something like this:
You are receiving this email because you entered our $10,000 Bathroom Remodel Giveaway contest. We’d like to thank everyone for their interest and participation.
Congratulations JOHN DOE! You won a $10,000 bathroom remodel! Please call XXX-XXX-XXXX or reply to this email to claim your prize.
BUT WAIT – Today, everyone is a winner. As a special thanks for playing with us, we’d like you to have a very special limited time offer:
Until April 30th, 2021 we will be giving away a Free LIFETIME warranty included at no extra charge!
Quality and reliability are what we do best. So, if you’ve been thinking about renovating your bathroom… Now is the time to get it done!
Call XXX-XXX-XXXX Now or just hit ‘Reply’ to this email to get started.
Thank you,
See what I did there?
Not only did we announce the winner… But we took advantage of the attention on that email and made a SECOND offer.
Except for this time, we’re going for the sale.
If done right, you can expect about 2% of people to buy from you… Which works out to be 10 people from a list of 500.
And let’s say your average remodel is $10,000… That’s $100,0000 in gross sales.
That’s not even counting the other 490 people on that list who will buy from you later…
And that’s not including the referrals you’ll get from your contest winner.
So there you have it… How to make a social media contest that sells!
In this case, you could potentially make $100,000 of sales within 1 month. And probably another $100,0000 later as a result.
Not bad.
Hope this helps!
Matt Thibeau
P.S. Want my team and I to manage all your advertising campaigns FOR you? Then book your 100% Free, No-Obligation Strategy Call to see if we’re a good fit >>