How to create sharable content for your Social Media Competitions.

In my previous blog post which can be found here , the topic of Social Media Marketing and specifically how to run a successful Social Media Competition was discussed. This blog post will look at the importance of creating content which users will be willing to share, some effective techniques to use and problems which you might encounter.

Content Marketing

Key to a businesses success in this digital day and age is the ability to use content marketing to their advantage. So what is exactly is content marketing and how is this relevant to running a social media competition for your business? There are a wide range of definitions for content marketing but in essence it is the business process involved in creating and distributing content which is valuable and fascinating enough to help attract and acquire new customers, whilst also driving engagement from existing users. (Pulizzi, 2014)

8 Different types of content a business can produce

  1. Blogs
  2. Long form content
  3. Case Studies
  4. White Papers
  5. E-Books
  6. Infographics and images
  7. Downloadable templates
  8. Videos

Click here to read further about these types of content.

(Gotter, 2017)

Despite these different forms of content which a business can choose to produce, image and video content would be the most suitable for sharing when holding a social media competition for many reasons including the ease and convenience for the user to digest before deciding to share or not. (DeMers, 2017)

Although not part of a social media competition itself, below is an example of video content marketing done well, Three’s Dance Pony Dance campaign was a huge success and demonstrates how content which is engaging and entertaining can help increase brand awareness and potentially add market value. The video as of April 2018 had nearly 13million views on YouTube alone.

Video content produced by Three Mobile (2013) 

Now this blog post has looked at a few different types of content a business can produce and what content marketing is, it is time to link it to Social Media competitions.  It is important to remember that content marketing is a tactic employed by businesses and that social media is a channel in which to distribute content. (Braun, 2017) 

As an example, say for instance your business is looking to run a Social Media Competition where users looking to enter the competition need to share a specific image or video produced by your business on a Social Media platform such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in order to enter. We will now look at some top tips and effective techniques to remember.


 Top Tips and effective Techniques for creating sharable content 

  1. Ensure your audience is clear and defined- Before creating the content, ensure it is something that your target audience would want to see and share. For instance, if your business is a charity concerning a humanitarian issue, it would not be wise to create content which is meant to be humorous.
  2. Understand the motivation and emotions behind users wanting to share your content- Studies have shown psychological triggers as to why people will share content online; including social approval, the ability to communicate with others, to reinforce their own beliefs and ideas and also for entertainment purposes.
  3. Ensure content can be accessed and viewed easily on mobile devices- Ensure users wanting to view your content and share it, are able to do so through their mobile devices whether at home, out socialising or on their way to work.
  4. Video content is key- If possible, produce video content. Studies show that by 2020, nearly 80% of consumer internet traffic will be from online videos.
  5. Produce content which is valuable, relevant and consistent- The content being produced by your business should always offer something to your audience, whether it be something they can learn or something they find entertaining. Additionally the content should try and be consistent with the image you want your brand to give off, and how you want your business to be perceived.
  6. Find out what is trending and tie in pop culture-  It is important to see what is in the news, what is trending on social media platforms and what is happening in your industry and in society in general. Tie these events in where possible and be relevant.
  7.  Be unique and create a buzz- A tip from Brad Hess, the senior digital marketing manager at Ceros, a company who specialise in creating interactive content.
  8. Include Social Sharing buttons and tell your audience how to share- sounds silly but it is important to remind your audience to share and let them know how. If posting content on your businesses website directly, include Social Sharing buttons. (Seen below)


An example of Social Sharing buttons on a website

(Sabbagh, 2018)

Some problems you might encounter

  1. Creating content users do not want to share- It is important to try and produce content which is going to be appreciated by your target audience, if not the content which took time to produce, may be seen as irrelevant and not worth sharing by your target audience.
  2. Content created being Hijacked- This is more common then you might think, with content such as hashtag campaigns being hijacked on social media platforms. An example of this can be found here , where Mcdonald’s started the #Mcdstories campaign, which users of Twitter hijacked.
  3. Content being created, being misleading or false-  This can be linked to Social Media competitions such as when EE ran a competition for free Glastonbury tickets, which did not materialise for the winner who was offered MasterCard vouchers instead. Despite Twitter backlash, EE failed to respond and competitor O2 capitalised. To read further about this particular case click this link.


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Bartee, R. (2017). 12 Tips for Creating Shareable Social Media Content – Online Marketing Institute. [online] Online Marketing Institute. Available at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2018].

Braun, E. (2017). Content Marketing Vs. Social Media Marketing: What’s The Difference?. [online] Marketing Solved. Available at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2018].

DeMers, J. (2017). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2018].

Frick, T. (2010). Return on engagement. Amsterdam [etc.]: Elsevier.

GIPHY. (n.d.). Black Think About It GIF by Identity – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at:–think-hmm-d3mlE7uhX8KFgEmY [Accessed 8 Apr. 2018].

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Hill, K. (2012). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Apr. 2018].

Interactive Content Creation Software. (2018). Ceros – Interactive Content Creation Software. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Apr. 2018].

Jasin, A. (2017). 10 Awesome Ways to Make Incredibly Shareable Content. [Blog] Buzz Suom. Available at: [Accessed 8 Apr. 2018].

Kolowich, L. (2018). How to Create Shareable Content: 46 Tips From the Experts [Infographic]. [Blog] HubSpot. Available at: [Accessed 8 Apr. 2018].

Macleod, I. (2013). EE faces the music on Twitter following Glastonbury ticket competition fail: and O2 steps up. [online] The Drum. Available at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2018].

Oberoi, A. (2014). The 7 Secrets to Shareable Content. [online] Entrepreneur. Available at: [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].

Pulizzi, J. (2014). Epic content marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Realview. (n.d.). How To Create Content Worth Sharing To Promote Your Business Online – Realview. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Apr. 2018].

Riegger, C. (2016). How to Create Social Media Contests That Convert. [Blog] Social Media Examiner. Available at: [Accessed 5 Apr. 2018].

Sabbagh, D. (2018). Rise of digital politics: why UK parties spend big on Facebook. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 8 Apr. 2018].

Scott, D. (2011). The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly (New Rules of Marketing and PR :how to Use. John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, S. (2017). Why is content marketing importnt for your business. [Blog] Campaignium. Available at: [Accessed 8 Apr. 2018].

Three Mobile (2013). Three – The Pony #DancePonyDanceAvailable at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2018].

VisMe, (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Apr. 2018].

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