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Every brand would love to build a fan base and increase engagement. Creating engagement-oriented content increases the likelihood that your message will gain traction and spread, so why not let the fans do the talking for you?

Unfortunately, it's easier said than done. We live in a social-media-saturated world where over half of active adult social networkers follow a brand. Your audience might be spreading the word for you, but it can take years of practice and research to get them consistently hitting the "share" button for you.

Using well-executed sweepstakes promotions, drawings, and contests to reach fans can increase the likelihood that members of your audience will share with their friends—AKA, your future audience.

These three tips will help you sweep up more fans in no time.

1. Create ways to engage that seamlessly integrate with your fans' social habits

If consumers feel interrupted in their day-to-day lives or they think that their privacy is being invaded, they'll tune you out, without thinking twice. Every aspect of the contest needs to fit flawlessly into your audiences' conversations. Find out where your fans are spending the majority of their time. Is it Pinterest? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Vine? Once you unearth that channel, you can work on intersecting with their lives.

We helped Kirkland's, a home decor retailer with over 300 retail locations, find a way to intersect with consumers without disrupting their lives. After defining its target audience as women age 25-44, the company determined where those fans were socializing: the ever-growing world of Pinterest, where 80% of users are women and they are voluntarily engaging with brands.

From there, Kirkland's strategized how to get a slice of the Pinterest pie. The result? The Pinning Parlor, a microsite full of inspirational pinnable photos, DIY projects, and home decor tips geared toward engaging both current fans and new customers. In return for pinning those images, fans received coupons and were entered to win a grand prize.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Tim McMullen

Tim McMullen is founder and CEO of redpepper, an integrated ad agency that produces creative content and marketing promotions for brands.

Twitter: @timmcmullen

LinkedIn: Tim McMullen