ikTok, Instagram and Facebook are great platforms to promote your business. You can do a lot of marketing for free or low cost. One of the easiest ways to use social media for marketing is to have contests to get more likes or to create a buzz around your business. In this article we’ll show you how to create a contest using social media.

The Anatomy of a Contest

Social media contests are usually set up with a specific goal in mind. The goal might be to get more followers and likes, or to engage with your customers before and after their rental experience. You can also use contests to encourage customers to refer friends. In reality, most contests will help you engage with your customers and get more followers at the same time.

For this article, we’ll create a contest for sharing the best video or picture of the customer’s rental experience. This is a very powerful way to promote your business. Other people will see the videos and pictures on social media and associate your business with awesome rental experiences.

What's the Prize?

Participation is related to the prizes given. If the prize is $10 dollars off the next rental you may not get a lot of contributions. But offer a free full day rental or high dollar gift card, and you'll see more posts coming in. Ideally you’ll want one major prize, 2-5 medium prizes and 5-10 smaller prizes. Smaller prizes such as branded merchandise of your business are excellent as people love these items, and offer free advertising for you.

Keep in mind where your customer are located. If most of your customers are local, you can offer rentals or discounts as prizes. On the other hand, if many of your customers are visiting, merchandise such as GoPro cameras or similar will be enticing to get more people to participate.

The Contest and the Fine Print

Finally you need to determine the rules. Do you have restrictions (age, location, etc.)? When does the contest start and end? How are the winners chosen?

Create a page on your website where you describe the contest and the rules.

Here is an example of what your contest webpage might look like:

Remember to add a few fun photos of rentals to the page to get the inspiration started!

Market your Contest

In order to get as many customers as possible to enter the contest, it will be important to market your contest. We'll show you options below.


  • Home page. Ad a contest description to your website
  • Product page. Add a brief contest description on your rental pages.

Email & Texts

  • Booking Confirmation and Reminder Emails. For customers that rent from you, include a brief contest description in the automated emails.
  • Thank You Email / Review Text. Add the same description to your post visit emails and texts to promote the contest.

Social Media

  • Create a post about the contest and pin it to your social media pages.


  • Create a large "Summer Video Contest" sign and include the QR code to your website. You can easily create QR codes using a QR generator like the one here: https://www.qr-code-generator.com/. Hang the signs in the office, on the dock or other places where your customers will see it.

Running the Contest

While the contest is running, make sure that you check in on submissions daily or every couple of days. Commenting or sharing submissions will make the contest more engaging for everybody. You can also pick "best video of the week" and highlight it on your personal social media pages.

At the end of the contest, pick the winning submissions by filtering social posts by the hashtag. You'll need to direct message the winners to get their shipping address.

Good luck with your contest!

Jun 25, 2024
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