1 Set Goals right from the Start Is there a goal you want to achieve with your contest? Write it down. However, make sure that your contest goals are S.M.A.R.T. What does this mean? 2 choose the type of the contest Essentially, a SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Not to mention that this rule absolutely applies to contests on social media. So, make sure to define your contest’s goals before even planning it. Many contests fall short because it’s the wrong type of contest for their fans & followers. But that’s mainly due to lack of planning and preparation. Choosing the right type of contest is the first step. And there’s plenty that like gangbusters. For example, there are caption-based contests, photo- vote contests, video-vote contests as well as sweepstakes, which are always a great choice for Facebook. Want to promote your product or ser- vice? Or maybe grow your email list? Social media contests can generate traffic for any of these goals. Offering some kind of prize for the winner will typically get the best engagement – and is referred to as a giveaway. 3 choose the right Software You’re not planning on running the contest, manu- ally are you? Unless you have a lot of extra time on your hands, using contest software like from Hoot- suite or Rafflecopter for your social me- dia contest is probably the best way to manage it. The truth is, software programs come with built-in voter verification features and other tools that will let you col- lect Facebook user numbers and name from everyone engaged with your post. And the best part? Whatever type of contest you choose, you can always use the information you collect for any of your future marketing campaigns. Insights you can use to market to your audience better.