As with any social media contest, increasing engagement and participation with your brand is one of the main objectives for developing the contest in the first place. What many underestimate as a crucial point in the contest is when it is over. This is after you choose what pieces make up the puzzle, and what information you gain from users. Without clarifying what your end goal is through implementing a contest, your contest lines become a little blurry.
With the information you retrieve, you will be able to contact the sought after users once the contest has ended. So, the best advice for developing a contest is to work backwards in the planning process. To begin, start thinking about your post-contest marketing activities, or what you want accomplished in the long run. Do you want to build an email list? You will need names and email addresses. Are you hoping to gain more Facebook fans or Twitter followers? You will need usernames. Figure out how your target audience will provide you with this information and your objectives will become more clear.
Once you have the end of the contest sorted out (your goal), you can jump back to the beginning. Think about what you want your audience to do in order for this contest to appeal to them. Develop your creative and lay out the details of your contest further. Allow yourself the ability to execute future marketing efforts with this contest, or the information you receive within it.
While the immediate reaction to developing a contest is to start from the beginning and move forward, many times this is not the case. Without having an end in mind, the beginning will result in a shaky start and an uncertain path. With social media contests, those paths become defined once you can successfully outline your objectives. So, what are you waiting for? Go to the end so you can get back to the beginning.