It is beneficial to any business to engage its followers on social media, especially for retail bakeries. Social media can be a great way to get customers involved and create a dialogue with them.

But how do you get the conversation going? Visual posts, like photos and videos, are key, but one creative way to potentially reach even more people is contests. Bakeries are ideal for running contests, because the potential rewards are very desirable.

Here are some interesting ideas for social media contests that your bakery can run, courtesy of Small Business Trends.

  • Surprise Giveaways – By randomly rewarding a social media follower with a prize, word can spread and more people may follow you in order to win future giveaways.
  • Photo Entry Contests – You can ask followers to send in photos of their own home recipe creations or dessert decorations, with the best photo winning a designated prize. This can also benefit you in providing ideas for future offerings.
  • Form Submission Contests – Through a third party platform, have followers enter a contest in a less public way. A great example of this was Flavor Right’s Icing Funds Contest, held during the summer and fall of 2016. Entrants were asked to tell their independent retail bakery’s story, their inspirations, and their dreams for their business.  Flavor Right awarded $20,000 in prizes to 13 winning bakeries, including a grand prize of $5,000 to Tina’s Cake Emporium in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and two first prizes of $2,500 apiece. The contest was very successful and Flavor Right plans on doing it again in 2017.
  • Trivia – A smaller-scale way of getting engagement is to ask trivia questions on Twitter, with the first correct answer winning a small prize or special deal. This can become a weekly tradition that followers will expect, giving them something to look forward to.
  • Caption Contests – This can be a fun way to get engagement. Ask followers to share their ideas for funny or interesting captions for a photo you’ve posted and award the best one.

These are just a few of the options for creative contests that can make your followers feel like a part of your business and create new customers. Many of the top bakeries use this strategy to great effect, and so can you.