Best Social Media Contest Ideas to Boost User Engagement in 2023

Social Media Contest Ideas to Boost User Engagement in 2023

Social media contests have become a popular and effective way for businesses to engage their audience, increase brand awareness, and drive user participation. In 2023, with the ever-growing competition in the digital space, it is crucial for companies to come up with creative and engaging social media contest ideas. In this article, we will explore some of the best social media contest ideas that can help boost user engagement and provide an enjoyable experience for participants.

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of people’s lives, offering a platform for individuals and businesses to connect, share, and interact. With billions of users actively engaging on various social media platforms, businesses have recognized the importance of leveraging these platforms to build their brand and connect with their target audience.

Read more: Top 15 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Presence in 2023

Importance of user engagement in social media contests

Social Media Contest Ideas to Boost User Engagement in 2023
Social Media Contest Ideas to Boost User Engagement in 2023

User engagement plays a vital role in the success of social media contests. It helps create a sense of community, encourages participation, and increases brand loyalty. When users actively engage with a contest, they not only increase their chances of winning but also become brand advocates, spreading the word to their friends and followers. Moreover, engaged users are more likely to share their positive experience with others, resulting in increased visibility and reach for the brand.

Types of social media contests

Photo contests:

Photo contests encourage participants to submit their best photos related to a specific theme or topic. Users can showcase their creativity, and the brand can gather user-generated content for future marketing purposes.

Caption contests:

Caption contests involve participants providing creative captions for a given image or video. These contests are highly engaging as users compete to come up with the wittiest or most entertaining captions.

Quiz contests:

Quiz contests test participants’ knowledge about a particular subject related to the brand or industry. They can be designed to be fun and educational, driving engagement and providing an opportunity for users to learn more about the brand.

Hashtag contests:

Hashtag contests encourage users to create and share content using a specific hashtag. This type of contest helps increase brand visibility and user-generated content.

User-generated content contests:

User-generated content contests require participants to create and share their original content, such as videos, testimonials, or reviews. This type of contest promotes creativity and provides valuable content for the brand.

Tips for organizing successful social media contests

To ensure the success of a social media contest, it is essential to follow some key tips and best practices:

Set clear goals and objectives:

Define what you want to achieve with the contest, whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads. Clear goals will help you design the contest accordingly.

Choose the right platform:

Select the social media platform that aligns with your target audience and contest objectives. Different platforms offer unique features and demographics, so choose wisely.

Define the contest mechanics:

Determine the entry requirements, such as liking, sharing, commenting, or submitting content. Make the mechanics simple and straightforward to encourage participation.

Create compelling prizes:

Offer prizes that are relevant to your audience and enticing enough to motivate participation. The prize should align with the effort required for participation.

Promote the contest effectively:

Utilize various marketing channels to promote the contest, including social media posts, email newsletters, website banners, and influencers if applicable. Create visually appealing graphics and engaging captions to attract participants.

Encourage user-generated content:

If suitable for your contest, encourage participants to create and share their original content. This not only adds value to the contest but also generates user-generated content for future marketing efforts.

Monitor and engage with participants:

Regularly monitor the contest, respond to participants’ queries or comments, and engage with their entries. This shows your brand’s active involvement and creates a positive experience for participants.

Examples of successful social media contests

Here are some examples of successful social media contests that have effectively boosted user engagement:

Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign:

Coca-Cola encouraged users to share photos with personalized Coke bottles using the hashtag #ShareACoke. This campaign generated millions of user-generated content and significantly increased brand engagement.

Airbnb’s Night At contest:

Airbnb offered users the chance to win a night’s stay at unique and unusual locations. Participants were asked to submit their most compelling story for a chance to win. This contest sparked creativity and received widespread attention.

GoPro’s Photo of the Day contest:

GoPro asked users to submit their best GoPro-captured photos for a chance to be featured as the “Photo of the Day.” This contest not only showcased the power of GoPro cameras but also encouraged user participation.

Starbucks’ White Cup Contest:

Starbucks encouraged customers to doodle on their white coffee cups and submit photos of their designs. This contest received widespread participation and generated a significant amount of user-generated content.

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor contest:

Lay’s asked users to submit their most creative potato chip flavor ideas. The winning flavor would be produced and sold in stores. This contest not only engaged participants but also generated valuable product ideas.

Best practices for running social media contests

Social Media Contest Ideas to Boost User Engagement in 2023
Social Media Contest Ideas to Boost User Engagement in 2023

To run a successful social media contest, keep the following best practices in mind:

Make it easy to participate:

Eliminate any unnecessary barriers to entry. Keep the participation process simple and straightforward to encourage maximum participation.

Follow the platform’s rules and guidelines:

Each social media platform has its own rules and guidelines for contests and promotions. Make sure you understand and adhere to these rules to avoid any issues.

Be transparent and fair in the selection process:

Clearly communicate the selection criteria and process for choosing the winners. Be transparent to build trust and fairness among participants.

Leverage user-generated content for future marketing efforts:

User-generated content generated during the contest can be repurposed for future marketing campaigns. Seek participants’ permission to use their content and give them proper credit.

Track and analyze the contest’s performance:

Use analytics tools to track the contest’s performance, including reach, engagement, and conversion metrics. Analyze the data to gain insights and improve future contests.

Read more: 8 Tips for Marketers to Boost More Sales from Instagram


Social media contests are an excellent way to boost user engagement, increase brand awareness, and foster a sense of community around your brand. By following the tips and best practices mentioned in this article, you can create successful and engaging social media contests in 2023. Remember to adapt your strategies based on your target audience and the platform you choose. Stay creative, keep your audience in mind, and continuously monitor and analyze the results to optimize future contests.


How long should a social media contest run?

The duration of a social media contest depends on various factors such as the contest mechanics, goals, and prize value. Generally, a contest running for one to four weeks provides enough time for participants to engage and generate sufficient entries.

Can small businesses run successful social media contests?

Absolutely! Social media contests are not limited to large businesses. With proper planning, creativity, and effective promotion, small businesses can run successful contests that engage their audience and increase brand visibility.

Should I require participants to follow my social media accounts to enter the contest?

While it’s a common practice to ask participants to follow your social media accounts as an entry requirement, it’s important to strike a balance. Consider the value you provide to participants and the long-term engagement you can expect from genuine followers.

Can I collaborate with influencers for my social media contest?

Collaborating with influencers can be a great way to expand the reach of your social media contest. Choose influencers whose audience aligns with your target demographic and work out mutually beneficial partnerships.

How can I measure the success of my social media contest?

Key metrics to consider when measuring the success of a social media contest include the number of entries, reach and impressions, engagement (likes, comments, shares), website traffic, conversions (if applicable), and the overall sentiment and feedback from participants and followers.

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