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Upper Hand

Sports Management Blog

Three Instagram Contests to Boost Your Sports Brand

Posted by Kevin MacCauley | Dec 2, 2016 2:15:37 PM

Part 4: Three Instagram Contests to Boost Your Sports Brand & Following

With over 500 million daily active users on Instagram, there’s a large audience of potential fans and prospects that are looking to engage with your sports brand. If you’re looking for ideas to increase your sports organization’s social media following, running contests can be a great way to generate buzz and boost exposure. Contests get existing followers to interact with your content, while also spreading the word and fostering engagement from new users.


Contests Are Easy, But Can Have Big Payoff

The advantage to holding Instagram contests - the simplicity behind implementing them, and the benefits you gain like boosting brand awareness! Here are three easy contest ideas for your sports organization to begin increasing followers on Instagram.

  1. "Like This Post to Win" Contest
    The good news about running a contest on Instagram is that they don’t necessarily have to be photo or image related. Meaning, you can generate easy engagement simply by asking participants to like your post or follow you! This would require using killer hashtags that are branded, relevant to your sporting niche and trending, so that Instagram users can find your content.

    Here are some tips when considering hashtags for your “Like This Post to Win” contest strategy:
    1. Create a hashtag for the contest name
    2. Identify hashtags influencers are using in your niche and leverage them in your post
    3. Head over to Hashtagify.me and locate hashtags that are logically related to your sports business
    4. Include between 5-10 hashtags to boost visibility of your post
      Another way to get more exposure for this type of contest post is to tell your email list about the contest, encouraging subscribers to follow you on Instagram and repost your.
  1. Best Live Event or Selfie Photo Contest
    Attendees posting selfies while at your sporting event is highly effective in getting social media excited about your brand. It’s a phenomenal strategy to create awareness and new followers. It shows that spectators are having a good time which is great for user-generated content.

    Capitalize on the selfie trend by using them as contest entries by asking individuals to tag your sports business, as well as use the event hashtag, for a chance to win. This contest could be done live at a sports event or at anytime when supporters are wearing your branded gear. Promote the prize to encourage participation. The more images you gather during this contest, the more content you have to share for your website and social media marketing.
  1. Photo Contest with Voting
    Take your Selfie Contest a step further by picking the best and most creative photo based on votes generated during the contest period. This method urges participants to promote their photo to their followers. It’ll create lots of exposure for your brand since the goal is to produce the most votes to win. A great way to track “votes” is through likes! You might even take the top three photos and set up a final-round vote on your sports website to drive even more traffic. With this added public voting element, your contest could go viral.

Concluding Best Practices for Instagram Contests

Here are a few final key tips to increase your sports brand following when holding your instagram contest:

  • Prior to running your Instagram contest, be sure to develop a plan. Set goals (ie: gain 30 new followers) to help measure your progress
  • Have a clear call-to-action (CTA) for viewers to follow, especially if your contest drives traffic to your website.
  • Use high-quality images that represent your sports organization or brand and display the prize and/or contest rules
  • Consider hosting weekly or monthly contests to create some anticipation and consistency for your followers. It gives them something to look forward to and can have a tremendous impact in growing your following
  • Keep prizes brand-related like t-shirts, event tickets, free coaching session, etc.
  • Post a follow-up reminder to get more entrants

Give some of these contests ideas a try to boost your sports brand, keeping your organization top of mind!

Series: Big Impact Social Media for Sports Organizations

Thanks for reading part four in the Upper Hand series on Big Impact Social Media for Sports Organizations from Upper Hand CEO Kevin MacCauley.

If you are looking to improve your recruiting strategies and really tap into your sports organization's social media channels, make sure to subscribe to the Upper Hand Blog so you don’t miss a thing! You might also like, Part Three: The Power of Images &amp; Videos on Sports Social Media Accounts.

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Topics: Contact Management, Sports Business Management

Written by Kevin MacCauley

Kevin is the CEO at Upper Hand, a sports software company aiming to simplify front and back-end office tasks, by providing cutting-edge marketing and registration tools, and business intelligence, that enable unsurpassed performance for sports businesses across the nation.