20 Social Media Contest Ideas to Promote Your Hotel

20 Social Media Contest Ideas by SmartGuests.com
Getting people to like and engage on our fan page always seems to be difficult. Especially after Facebook’s recent change of their algorithms, resulting in lower reach and pay to play business model. So how can you attract current and future guests to join your social media? CONTESTS! Using contests or competitions is an age-old marketing strategy and it’s primarily due to two reasons. The first reason is people are naturally competitive – everybody likes to win. The second reason is people love getting prizes – who doesn’t like free things, right?

A decade back, online contests entail tons of logistics planning, but with today’s social media, you can have a contest up and running in just a few clicks. For hotels, holding social media contests is a great way to drive engagement on your social pages, connect guests and reinforce your hotel’s brand identity.

Every great social media contest starts with a good idea, but sometimes, it’s difficult to get going because you simply don’t know where to start. To help you, here are 20 social media contest ideas that you can use to promote your hotel. I’ve also included a few tools to make it easier to run these contest.

Photo Contests

  1. Share your best family vacation photo contest. Ask your social media community to submit their best family vacation photo and submit a short description or caption explaining why.
  2. Best fan sign contest. Very simple yet very entertaining. Interested participants will hold a fan sign describing why they deserve to win the contests. You’d be surprised at how entertaining the entries would be.
  3. Selfie contests. You can either have them submit a selfie taken during their stay at your hotel or any time during their vacation.
  4. Photo contests involving local attractions or landmark. People who have been in your locality are likely to go back if they enjoyed their vacation. Ask them to submit photos taken during their vacation with a famous attraction or landmark in the background.
  5. Selfie with their favorite hotel staff. This is a great way not only to hold a contest, but to drive testimonials. While your guests are checked in, ask them to take a selfie with a hotel staff that they think gave them five-star service.
  6. Favorite hotel food contest. If you’re confident that your hotel serves sumptuous food, then this one is for you. People love taking photos of their food before they eat. Ask them to submit a photo of their favorite food they ate at your hotel. Winners can eat the same entrée for free when they come back.
  7. Caption this photo contest. Post a photo of your hotel or a scenic image taken from your locality and ask your followers to caption the photo.

Video Contests

  1. “I Deserve A Free Hotel Stay” contest. Ask your followers to submit a short video on why they deserve to get free accommodation from you.
  2. Music video contests. While they’re checked in, ask your guests to film a short music video and require that no less than five shots of the video should feature your hotel.
  3. Vacation travel diary. Ask your guest to document their vacation using video. The best travel video diary wins.
  4. Share your best travel tip video contest. Participants would submit a shot video showcasing their best travel or vacation tip. They can be as creative as they want.

Trivia Contests

  1. Name that landmark photo contest. Turn a photo of a famous landmark to a jigsaw puzzle. Every day, reveal a piece of the jigsaw and ask your followers to guess what the landmark is.
  2. History trivia. Promote the culture and history of your locality by holding this trivia contest. Start with the most difficult clue first. Continue giving out clues until someone gets the correct answer.
  3. First to answer contest. Using Facebook or Twitter, ask easy trivia questions. Whoever answers first wins. This type of contest usually drives high volume of engagement within a short timeframe.
  4. Scavenger hunt trivia contest. Post questions on your Facebook page and the answers can be found somewhere in your website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website. It’s also a great way to draw attention to your website if it has recently underwent a redesign and you want your audience to take notice.

Other Contest Ideas

  1. Logo contest. Does your hotel need a new logo? Get ideas from your social media network by asking them to submit their logo ideas in exchange for an irresistible prize.
  2. Tagline contest. Same with the idea above, your social media followers can give you great ideas if you’re thinking of changing your hotel’s tagline.
  3. Submit a blog post contest. Are you running out of ideas for your blog? Why not ask your social media followers to submit an article or an essay talking about their recent vacation in your area? Definitely a win-win situation
  4. Meme contest. Meme’s are always a hit in social media and they easily go viral. Ask your followers to submit their own meme for your hotel.
  5. Occasion-specific contest. For Valentine’s Day, you can ask your followers why they deserve a free night’s stay with you with their special someone. For Father’s Day, ask your followers to tell you about why their dad is the best father in the world and the best answer wins.

Social Media Contest Tools/Apps:

WooBox: Woobox helps you easily create powerful contests, sweepstakes, coupons, and more to grow your fans and amplify your marketing. Try it for free.

RafflecopterRafflecopter is the world’s easiest way to run a giveaway. Run a giveaway.

Offerpop: Select from a library of products that help brands create social experiences across digital properties. Quickly launch interactive contests, offers and promotions on websites and social networks. Gather customer data, including email opt-ins and demographics, and track results on customer acquisition, sales and engagement. Try it here.

Rules:
* Before you start any contests, have a strong understanding of the platform’s rules. Here’s a video from Facebook’s guidelines.

Clearly, when it comes to social media contests, the only limit is your creativity.

Rupesh

Rupesh Patel, hotelier and founder at SmartGuests.com, a U.S.-based Hospitality and Review Tools company that helps hotels increase revenues and occupancy, by boosting their online reviews and reputation. His proven system has not only improved his own hotels, but have helped hundreds of other hotels (large and small) get an advantage over their competition. He regularly shares his passion for entrepreneurship, customer service and marketing on numerous industry sites, social media and blogs.

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