How to Run a Successful Competiton on Social Media

August 11th, 2021

Our guest author Jon Mears has put together a range of simple guides to help professional painters and decorators with their sales and marketing. These simple marketing secrets will help to grow your business in no time!

One of the most effective ways to give your social media a boost is to run a competition.

To make sure your business sees the maximum benefit from running a competition, there are a few important things you need to do.

Set your objective

When launching a competition, you need to be clear on your objective. This means you need to decide what you want to get out of it. Common objectives include: Increase exposure, gain followers or collecting email addresses.

Deciding your objective helps us with the next tip.

Keep it simple!

Entering a competition should be quick and easy. All too often I see competition posts where you have to do all sorts to enter.

When you try and get too much out of a competition people won’t enter. Choose your objective and then set the entering process accordingly.

For example:

  • Increase exposure - like and share to enter
  • Gain followers - Follow and share to enter. Or, follow and tag a friend to enter.
  • Collect email addresses - Click this link and enter your email.

Pick your platform

  • Competitions tend to work best when you run them on just 1 platform. So, choose the platform according to your objective. 
  • - If you want to maximise exposure, Twitter is great because of the retweet function.

  • - If you want people to click a link and give you their email address then don’t use Instagram, because you can’t post links on Instagram.

  • - If you want to focus on local people, then Facebook is good because you can post the competition in local groups.

  • - If you want to gain new followers, Instagram works well because you can ask people to tag their friends in the comments.

Pick a prize that appeals to your ideal customer

One of the most common mistakes I see when people run a competition is offering a prize that attracts the wrong sort of person. Think about what your ideal customer would like.

Perhaps you could offer to wallpaper a feature wall for free, or a voucher for a local interiors store. Prize bundles always work well as the perceived value is high.

In terms of budget, I find that £25 – £50 is a sweet spot. Anything less and it isn’t that appealing. Anything more and you don’t get enough entries to warrant the extra money spent.

Set a time frame

Personally, I find most success running competitions for 7 days. It gives enough time for most people to see it, but it’s not so long that people forget about it. Plus, I find that entries after 7 days are very few and far between. So, it’s not really worth it.

When you run a 7-day competition I suggest you do the initial launch post, followed by reminder posts at the halfway point, at 48 hours before the end, 24 hours and 1 hour before it closes.

Remember your Terms and conditions

Don’t forget to cover yourself with some basic T&Cs:

  • - If you are offering to do some work for the winner then be sure to set a maximum travel distance for the work, set an expiry date for doing it (1 year is fine) and be clear on whether they need to supply the materials.

  • - If it is a prize that you’ll need to post, then consider making it only eligible for UK residents.

  • - And of course, be very clear on when the deadline for entries is, and when you’ll draw the winner.

After you’ve drawn the winner, it’s a good idea to send 1 email to all the other people who entered. Use this email to thank them for entering and give them a consolation prize. Something like a code for 10% off future decorating work would be ideal. As you want it to lead to some work!


Purchase 'Sales & Marketing for Decorators' by Jon Mears here.

Jon has been working in sales and marketing for over a decade and has gained important skills and knowledge about the industry. He began writing to help tradespeople with their marketing in 2020, and has since published three books which are available to purchase on Amazon.