Run An Online Photo Contest to Engage Members (Idea 2 of 10)

online photo contestIn the past 5 years the ability to share pictures and photos online has become second nature. It has been suggested that over 2.5 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook every month. That’s ridiculous. Back in September the popular photo sharing site Flickr announced that its 5 billionth photo had been uploaded. We all love to share photos and we have lots of them. Speaking as a father with young kids, I may have just taken the 5 billionth photo of my children the other day! Well, one really fun way to get the people in your organization engaged is run an online photo contest.  [This post is part of the 10 Ways to Engage Your Members with Technology]

An online photo contest is a type of user-generated contest. The idea generally consists of people submitting an entry to the contest through through online social platforms like Facebook or Twitter. In the case of a photo contest you could use Flickr or Google Picasa. Let’s consider an example of a online photo contest using Flickr.

Let’s say you’re a nonprofit that helps individuals who struggle with bad haircuts. What if you held a contest where members had to upload a photo of themself next to a person with a really bad haircut. No doubt, this could generate some extremely funny photos, but what else could happen? Couldn’t it help your members:

  • Get creative
  • Learn about other people in the organization
  • Build online community
  • Get familiar with your organization’s brand or cause

Yes, I think it could. After all, it’s everyone that participates that votes and whenever a photo is uploaded it links back to the person that uploaded it and people will read about each other. Read each other’s bio, see their picture, and learn a little bit more about that person. So the next time they see each other, they’re going to chat. They’re engaged with each other now and your organization is what glued them together.

So how would you do this in Flickr? Well, check out these examples first. Then  you’d just

  1. Decide the details of the contest
  2. Create a Flickr account
  3. Create a Flickr group
  4. Provide a link to the group and invite people to upload a picture
  5. Spread the contest through social networks

This post makes it all sound pretty easy, I’m sure. You’ll definitely want to put some planning and strategy around this contest. For example, spreading the word about the online photo contest could be tricky. So check out Wildfire and votigo for two solutions that can help you manage your social media contests.

The good news is that it won’t cost you much money and you’re sure to have members that are much more prepared to engage with each other and your organization.

Have you ever done this before? If so, leave some words of wisdom in the comments below. Otherwise, give this a shot and let us know how it goes!