Your dance studio can’t run a big contest all the time; in fact, if you did it too often, it would lose its allure. But routinely doing drawings or giving out prizes can generate a lot more excitement and free advertising than you pay for the prize. We like the idea of having a few ideas – along with prizes planned – ready to pull out when you hit a slump and realize that your dancers could use a little pick me up. Maybe you can pretty much plan on a contest hitting in January or February or a week or so after a big competition or recital. You may not have the time or energy to run a big sha-bang, but it’s the perfect time for a low-key contest or drawing!
Set the Parameters & Communicate Them
You’ll need to decide on several details before you begin:
• Is it online, in person, or both?
• What will the prize(s) be?
• Who is eligible to win?
• How long will entries be accepted?
• Who will perform the drawing?
• When will the prize be delivered?
Once you decide on the details, be sure to communicate them clearly. If your dancers end up frustrated because they didn’t know the rules or some were informed while others were not, the effect can be negative. And that’s not what you want. Remember, your aim is to increase positive engagement.
If you rely on the Jackrabbit platform to manage your dance studio, you could communicate the details through your parent portal, allowing everyone the same access to the information, regardless of their social media involvement or settings.
Consider a Variety of Entry Methods
You don’t want to make it too complicated, but perhaps each dancer can get a certain number of entries for a variety of activities, but make sure they’re easy to track:
• 2 entries for each time you come to dance rehearsal on time
• 5 entries for every Facebook check-in at the dance studio
• 5 entries for every day you tag the studio (10 if you include an original image or photo)
Of course, you could make it simpler or more detailed, depending on your aims. Perhaps you’re having trouble bridging the gap between the younger students and the older ones; you could add the detail that social media posts should reference another dancer from your studio that the person admires or appreciates. If you sense that your instructors are feeling under-appreciated, you specify posts that describe a positive trait or memory relating to an instructor at your studio.
Don’t Discount the Simple Stuff
Leave room for spontaneity. Simply announcing something like, “Post your favorite photo of yourself dancing for an entry in this week’s drawing” can go a long way toward positive momentum. Then put all the names in a dance bag and draw a name. If you really want to increase your social media views, post a video of one of your youngest dancers selecting the winner! (Watch for a future post in which we’ll talk about how videos increase your social media engagement.)