Six Examples of Great Social Media Contests (That Got Results)

Six Examples of Great Social Media Contests (That Got Results)

Six Examples of Great Social Media Contests

Social media platforms are the modern marketing battleground. These contest ideas increase your chance of coming out on top.

The key to successful social media marketing is to find ways to engage your audience.

An engaged audience interacts with and shares more of your content. That means you can use social media both to get more eyes on your product and to work people through your sales funnel.

But to do that, you’re going to need to differentiate your brand from the crowd. If you’re sharing the same types of content as everyone else, you give people no reason to engage with you.

That’s where social media contests come in.

We’re going to share a few examples of great contests that generated amazing results. But first, let’s dig into why it’s worth creating a contest in the first place.

Why Should You Run a Social Media Contest?

A great social media contest requires investments of both time and money. You’re going to have to get creative to come up with something that’s worth paying attention to. Plus, you’re likely going to have to spend some money on the rewards that the contest offers.

Is the payoff worth it?

The answer is a resounding yes for the following reasons:

  • A great contest will skyrocket your social media engagement. You’ll have more people sharing your content than ever before. That brings more attention to your brand and gets people talking about you. Plus, you have a larger audience to whom you can share ads.
  • You’re also building general brand awareness thanks to reaching this larger audience. People who may not have come across your content before may learn who you are through the contest. Thus, you’re accomplishing the first goal of any sales process – make them aware of you.
  • Your sales will increase in line with the larger audience that you attract. This is really just common sense. The more people you are able to engage and market to, the more conversions you’re going to make.

Simply put, a great contest builds awareness and creates more marketing opportunities for you.

And with the right strategy, you’ll be able to pull more people into your email list thanks to reaching this larger audience. Once that happens, you can create automated email sequences that engage participants.

That’s something that Automation Agency can help you to create. Just send a message to our Concierge service.

The end result is that you make more sales.

Now that you know the reasons why a contest is a good idea, let’s look at some companies that pulled it off.

The Starbucks #redcupcontest

The Starbucks #redcupcontest

Every year, Starbucks changes its standard cup designs to commemorate the holiday season.

The company chose to take advantage of this back in 2014 and 2015. They created the #redcupcontest, which challenged their followers to complete a simple task.

Take a photo of their red cups.

In return, selected followers would receive prizes.

The campaign was a massive hit as it attracted 40,000 entries in just a few days. In fact, the first two days of the contest saw people uploading red cup photos to Instagram every 14 seconds.

Of course, all of these photos got shared with the uploaders’ friends. Thus, Starbucks enjoyed a massive boost to its brand awareness. Plus, it found a way to keep existing customers engaged.

Interestingly, Starbucks has attracted controversy in recent years for its cup designs. Some argue that they’re trying to push particular agendas each year. However, this doesn’t dull the success of the campaign and the contest managed to weather that particular storm.

This is an example of a company taking a pre-established tradition and building on it. Plus, Starbucks leveraged the trend of having its customers create their own stories using its products.

This is a more effective engagement tool than any flat sales announcement could be.


This contest all started with a challenge that a Facebook influencer started on her own accord.

Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith kicked things off. She’s the author of several books, including Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. She started the #WaveVideoADay challenge with a simple goal…

Encourage her followers to improve their video creation skills. This would help them with their Facebook marketing ambitions.

Using, which is a video creation tool, each participant needed to create one video a day.

The challenge soon caught the attention of the team, who weren’t involved during its inception.

Teaming up with Mari, they created a contest to reward those who participated. People simply had to comment on a post and submit a link to their video.

In return, selected participants would win prizes.

The contest attracted 1,700 creators, all of whom became instant brand ambassadors for

This campaign highlights the role that social media influencers can play in your marketing strategy.

In this case, Mari Smith started a challenge without’s involvement. They jumped on board later and leveraged the success of that challenge to boost their social media following.

You may be able to do the same if there are any influencers out there using your products. Engage them and come up with a contest that will appeal to the influencer’s followers. That will open you up to a new audience who may yet to receive your marketing messages directly.

Chaguaramas Amusement Park

In the summer of 2016, the Chaguaramas Amusement Park was preparing for its grand opening.

The only problem was that they didn’t have an official name yet.

Rather than choosing one themselves, the marketing minds behind the new water park took to Facebook. They created a challenge in which they encouraged users to submit names for the new park.

The winner would get a free year’s worth of entry to the park for a family of four. Plus, they’d get a $10,000 cash prize to spend how they saw fit.

That may seem like a lot of money to give away…

That is until you see that the contest attracted 3,457 entries. Only one of those could win, but that still means there are 3,456 who now knew about the park. It only takes a small number of them to visit for the contest to generate a return on the investment.

The great thing about this contest is that it got potential customers involved in an important business decision. This instantly engages those who enter as it creates a connection between contestants and brand.

Qdoba’s Queso Bliss Contest

Qdoba has a simple thought behind their Queso Bliss contest…

People loved their range of quesos, so they decided to ask their customers which was the best of the bunch. A simple question posted on social media led to a poll where contestants could vote on their favourites.

And the best thing was that the reward benefitted every entrant.

The winning queso would be available for free on a selected day once the contest ended.

The contest ended up attracting 30,000 votes and raised Qdoba’s profile considerably.

This type of campaign is a great choice if you’re trying to engage consumers across several social media channels. It’s simple, rewards everybody, and doesn’t require much investment.

Automation Agency can even help you to create a poll or quiz if you want to run a similar campaign. Send a message to our Concierge Service to find out more.

Bhu Foods’ Free Bars Campaign

Bhu Foods’ Free Bars Campaign

Bhu Foods is a protein bar manufacturer that specialises in making products for the vegan and keto markets.

In an effort to build brand awareness, they came up with a simple contest.

The company ran an ad on Instagram encouraging people to enter for a chance to win the prize. It was that simple.

This ad reached 52,666 users and ended up getting 323 entrants. According to Social Media Examiner, the company spent about $255 on the campaign.

That means they spent about 79 cents per entry!

Now, consider the fact that Bhu Foods makes an average of $60 from each of its customers. If only 10% of those entrants become customers, that equates to revenue of $1938 for a $255 spend.

The six-month supply of bars only costs the company $180.

So in total, they made about $1,500 from a contest that ran for about five days.

That’s an exceptional return on their investment and shows how offering a small product can reap massive benefits in a contest.


Based in Canada, ShirtPunch is a t-shirt manufacturer that focuses on the pop culture and “geek” markets. They use famous films, TV series, and games to create their designs.

They’re also well-known for running regular competitions.

Most of the competitions on this list are one-time things. But ShirtPunch has an ongoing free t-shirt contest that runs every week.

Again, the rules are simple, which is one of the keys to a successful social media contest. Customers just have to post a picture of them in a ShirtPunch t-shirt. Each week, the company picks its favourite picture, with that person winning a free shirt.

This is a great example of how you can use contests to keep existing customers engaged with your brand. ShirtPunch encourages people to show off their purchases. Plus, you have to assume that there are customers who buy new shirts specifically to enter the contest.

What we know for certain is that the company has a constantly growing following on Facebook. At the time of writing, they have 261,690 followers. These regular contests play a role in boosting those numbers on a weekly basis.

Create Your Contest

A good social media contest can help you to increase brand awareness and get more people into your list.

The examples shared here may serve as inspiration for your own contest. And there are several ways that Automation Agency can help you to make the contest as effective as possible.

These include:

  • Setting up a landing page that you can send entrants to.
  • Creating automated email sequences that target participants.
  • Design social media ad images that comply with all current guidelines.
  • Creation of a poll or quiz for use in your contest.

Just message our Concierge Service with your ideas and we’ll see if we can help you to bring your contest to life.

But what if you’re not a member yet.

That’s fine! A quick chat with our Right Fit Chatbot will help you to figure out if we’re a good fit for you.

About The Author

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.