Best Practices for Running Contests

Learn best practices for engaging your users with contests.

Lauren avatar
Written by Lauren
Updated over a week ago

Contests and competitions continue to be one of the best ways to keep your champions engaged and excited.

In this article, you will learn:

Pros & Cons to Running Contests


  • A fun way to recognize best practices.

  • Easy to run.

  • Great for establishing habits for champions to use the platform.


  • Might involve a bit of an investment in prizes or incentives (but can be scaled depending on the budget).

Best Practices for Competitions:

When you launch the competition make sure that you clearly identify:

  • What the competition is

  • How to play

  • How users can win the competition

  • Where to ask for help

  • When it starts and how long it will run for

  • What you can win (or why get involved)

2. Have a clear, measurable goal

All competitions should have a clear measurable goal in mind. Both for you as a Program Manager, but also for your team.

Your goals may include:

  • Increase in shares

  • Increase in engagement on posts

  • Increase in Earned Media Value

  • Increase in adoption (number of users on the platform)

3. Assign Competition Leaders

In larger teams, having sub-competition leaders helps keep individual champions excited and engaged. Assigning team leads or especially social members of teams to be the competition “team captains” is a great way to increase accountability.

4. Send Out Updates on Competition Status

Depending on the frequency and length of your competition, it is best practice to send out newsletters at regular intervals throughout the competition. It would be best if these emails:

  • Give an update on who (or which team) is in the lead

  • Remind employees how the competition works

  • Remind employees of prizes/incentives

  • Include tips on how to improve their standings 

5. Offer fun and desired prizes

Prizes can vary based on your budget and what is appropriate for your team, but even fun little internal trophies or small gift cards can go a long way. Get creative and think about what might be a fun treat or incentive to offer your team.

6. Give Frequent Recognition

Even if you can’t run a competition, it is vitally important to give consistent and frequent recognition. Do your best to recognize:

  • Top sharers

  • Most improved users

  • Top user suggesting content

Recognition can be very informal and sent in newsletters through the PostBeyond platform. Think of these as “shout outs” to help recognize users who are exemplifying the behaviour you’re hoping for.

Use Example: Game of Shares

A real estate media company ran a company wide competition based on the popular TV show, Game of Thrones. Each department is divided into a “House” and they battle it out to take the "Throne" each month.

Each department has a coach (usually the team lead) to get the team together and each team has a captain who is responsible for keeping everyone informed and engaged. The challenge changes each month (i.e, most shares, most engagement, most suggested content, etc.).

They also offer individual prizes and team awards to keep people working as a team, but motivated to share individually as well.

Why it works: It’s fun and topical! It’s an easy to follow format for the competition and there are clear lines of communication around who is responsible to rally the team to win the monthly challenge. They also send newsletters through PostBeyond throughout the month to update everyone on the status of the teams and who is in the lead. This helps build excitement around the competition and reminds users to log-on and share.

How to Utilize Team Leaderboards For Contest Efficiency

With Team Leaderboards, Admins have the ability to create and run multiple Leaderboards.

Team Leaderboards can be segmented into groups for a number of reasons including:

  • Region ( East, West, North, etc)

  • Department (Sales, Marketing, HR)

  • Target Behaviours

In the case of a contests, how Team Leaderboards can help facilitate contests is endless:

  • To create contest teams and stimulate teams to share as a collective

  • To create duration contests (monthly, weekly, seasonally)

  • Platform specific

Most importantly, Team Leaderboards can be especially useful when there are multiple contests going on at once. How you choose to utilize this feature is up to you - be as creative as you want!

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