How to Use Social Media Challenges Like Celebrities to Increase Engagement

Photo Credit: @bigeatswithbiggulp

Have you heard about the latest challenges swirling around social media? Celebrities like Nicki Minaj and Amber Rose posted some shocking imagery that went viral last week and inspired people to post their interpretations. Remember the Bow Wow Challenge, which started when the young rapper was called out for taking a commercial flight, after posting a private jet on Instagram? This may not have been a positive reflection of him, but it did get people talking about his new show, which we’re sure a few of those people tuned into out of curiosity.

We’re definitely not suggesting you lie to your audience like Bow Wow, or post racy photos like Nicki Minaj, however, we do suggest you shock them with a challenge they’ll get excited about. Here are three ways you can use the social media challenge to spark engagement and excitement about your brand.

Join in on a Popular Challenge

People are always happily surprised when brands show a little personality, but they love it! Remember Wendy’s’ social media feud with McDonald’s? They received so much love on social media, from retweets to a bump in their followers just because they kept it real.

Wendy's received so much love on social media, just because they kept it real. Click To Tweet

Although this wasn’t a social media challenge, there’s a lot we can learn from the battle of the fast food chains. Not many people are going to expect you, as a business to join in on a social media challenge. The mannequin challenge increased awareness of the song “Black Beatles” when it went viral. The legendary Ice Bucket Challenge is also another great example of a challenge that your business could’ve participated in. Pour a bucket of ice on your head, get a few laughs and a bunch of support from your followers, and raising awareness of ALS. It’s a win, win!

Create a Custom Challenge

This one will allow you to incorporate your product/service in your Challenge. Set up a campaign that challenges your fans to do something thought-provoking, exciting, or even insane (as long as it’s safe.) L’Oreal provides the perfect inspiration.

We all hear taglines like “Because You’re Worth It” in commercials so much that they lose their meaning over time. L’Oreal came up with the genius idea to convert their tagline into the hashtag #WorthSaying, remind women that they all have something that is worth being heard. You may not have access to celebrities like the makeup brand did but you can incite a great conversation and get people talking about your brand.

Convert Your Challenge into a Contest

Want to really get people interactive? Offer an incentive. Come up with a great challenge that’s relevant to your brand and will excite your customers, and have them compete for one of your products/services. You can have one winner, runner-ups, or all of your participants can be winners, who receive a discount. The rules are totally up to you.

You want your challenge to make a lasting impact so make sure your audience is just as excited about participating in the challenge, as they are about winning the prize.Think about what they enjoy, their sense of humor, their personality and go from there.

When making the decision to join or create a challenge on social media, the number one rule for businesses, is to remain within your brand’s identity. What works for one brand, won’t always work for yours.

Do you know there’s a difference between a sweepstake, a contest, and a giveaway? Get the scoop on these three types of campaigns.




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KWSM is a digital marketing agency made up of journalists. We specialize in social media management, website design and video. Our offices are located in Orange County, CA and Atlanta, GA, but we serve clients all over the country. Read More