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Social Media
One small tweak for social contest entrants, one giant win for resort marketers.

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A while back I was gearing up to run a social media contest.

The prizes were confirmed, the partners ready to co-promote, everything was in place for something that would get my fans excited, harvest a few emails, and build some momentum going into the start of our busy season.

The idea was simple and one you’ve seen a hundred times:

“Tag a friend and be entered to win!”

Dozens of resorts like Whitefish ran just such a giveaway last year.

But right before I pulled the trigger I saw another company do something I never had thought of.

They made just one, simple tweak but their campaign absolutely exploded into one of the most successful social contests I had ever seen.

The TweaK
Instead of tagging someone else so you’d be entered to win, the contest went like this.

“Enter your friends by tagging them in the comments below.”

On the surface – asking someone to do something that doesn’t give them a chance to win – it seemed backwards. It didn’t make sense.

But as I rolled the dice and tried it myself I started to learn a few valuable lessons about why it worked as well as it did.

#1) “Too Cool”
There’s a crowd that will never enter your contests (where entries are public) if they are entering themselves. Period.

They’re either too proud or their wealth is enough of their identity that they don’t want people thinking they are looking for handouts. Sure it might be a great jacket or pass, but they don’t want people thinking they can’t afford it.

These people, however, seem to be fine with being a “good guy” and giving others a chance.

#2) Being the Good Guy
It also turns out that it’s not just the “tool cool” group that’s attracted by this, people in general are drawn to the idea of being the good guy. And, as far as I can tell, they may even like being the good guy more than being the guy that has a chance to win.

What’s interesting, however, is that once entered, people almost always reciprocate. So entering someone else almost always leads to being entered yourself.

#3) Multiplier Effect
Now, take those two ideas and piggyback on both the idea of multiple entries. So instead of saying, “tag three friends for multiple chances to win” you say “enter up to three friends by tagging them.”

Instead of looking extra greedy or extra uncool or extra needy, you look extra awesome.

Again, a tiny tweak that gets really powerful once you try to bump up the viral-coefficient a few extra notches.

Try or Blend
I found a lot of success going all in on this concept. Again, it seemed very counterintuitive but it absolutely worked.

If you’re not convinced, there is a hybrid that many resorts have played with where you enter a friend to win a prize with you.

Whatever you choose, it’s an interesting idea to chew on the next time you plan a giveaway.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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