February is National Heart Health Month. What a great opportunity to engage local communities in contests to promote heart health awareness while increasing the engagement of your social media profiles. For this post, I am assuming that the contests will be facilitated on a social media platform like Facebook, but a contest is also a good way to increase traffic to hospital websites.
Ideas for National Heart Month contests are:
- Essay Contest: How Can You Keep Your Heart Healthy? – This is an opportunity to leverage school partnerships by working with local schools for contest submissions. Part of the criteria for submission to the contest should include a Facebook “like”, share, or Twitter retweet for active social media users. This will significantly increase the reach of your contest and improved exposure for your brand.
- Heart Month Art Contest – Once again, leverage the school partnerships for participation. Extra incentives can be added like a prize or reward for the most “likes” or shares of an art entry posted to the Facebook page. This gives the students an opportunity to showcase their talents while simultaneously increasing the brand of the hospital.
- Photo Contest: Go Red – Wear Red in the Workplace – This contest will accept photo submissions of coworkers dressed in red that will be added to your hospitals Facebook page. This contest could have other award multipliers like photos with the most number of people wearing red wins a gift card. Or a photo with the most number of “tagged” employees wins a healthy lunch posted to your hospitals Facebook page.
- Best Heart Survivor Story – Ask heart disease survivors and family members of those survivors to submit their survival stories and explain what quality healthcare means to them. This would not receive as many submissions as the other contests that would use participation from the schools, but engagement would likely be much higher due to the very personal nature of the submissions. The personal nature is likely to increase comments, likes, and shares, but also demonstrate the quality of care of your hospital and the personal nature of care provided.
- Contribute to A Cookbook – Best Heart Healthy Recipe – The goal is for people to submit original heart healthy recipes for a local cookbook or simply that can be shared electronically. This contest is tricky as it could easily be overrun with recipes that are copied and pasted from other sites on the internet which will not be original recipes and that is okay. As with all of these contests, the goal is participation. Just because the recipe is already posted online does not mean that everyone has seen it, so it still adds value. To improve the quality of submissions, the contest rules could require an explanation of what to expect when preparing the recipe. The explanation could also easily copied or fabricated, but it takes more effort.
- Sign up for 10,000 Step Challenge – Most hospitals already have some form of 10K step challenge. Sometimes new ideas are not needed if old ideas can be reused and add value. This contest is very simple- people simply sign up to complete the 10K challenge for 30 days and X number of winners will be drawn at random at the end of heart month. The entrant could receive additional entries by sharing the contest post on social media profiles.
Ideas For Prizes: Gift Cards in the $25-$50 range work extremely well. Increasing the prize award to larger numbers like $1,000 typically do not stimulate much greater participation than smaller amount so if you have the funds, just increase the number of smaller value gifts and increase the number of winers.
How to Administer Contests: After you have selected your contest and worked out implementation details, Woobox is an option that should be considered for contest development and management. Woobox is an inexpensive and feature rich platform that already has templates for most of the social media sites, which and dramatically reduces development and implementation time. Contests can create a lot of attention for a hospital for a relatively small investment, but it is important to establish very tight rules for participant eligibility and work with your legal team for approval. Heart month is arguably the most established and most celebrated months on the healthcare calendar and taking advantage of all of the other organizations that will be promoting different elements of heart month campaigns will prove to be rewarding for proactive hospitals.
Are there any other contest ideas that have been successful or are good ideas that are easily implemented?