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Heather Burks has been working with Jive for 4 years...first as a customer, and now a member of the Jive Professional Services team. She enjoys her role as a Social Business Advisor, sharing Jive's best practices and community management expertise. Her personal goal is to help our customers become unstoppable! In this piece, Heather shares how to use contests in your community.





Contests are a great mechanism to both engage employees and teach best practices for using a community. Running a contest is a fun way to engage your community members, while still focusing on using the community in the way it was designed for them. Contests also provide the different departments or teams a way to highlight their strengths and the opportunity to practice using the software to collaborate more effectively. The goal of a contest should be to highlight a specific feature of the community or to develop content that can be used to help community members. Some examples include:

  • Highlight features of the community by challenging teams or departments to:contest blog.jpg
    • Be the first to complete their profile
    • Blog about how they are using the community and the value it brings
    • Use discussions to get information out of email and into their place in the community for a specified time period
  • Work together to produce content that will inspire and help others in the community:
    • Develop a promotional video about how to use the community
    • Create a how-to document or manual on frequently asked about features


Team prizes for the contests can range from simple, zero-cost to something that fits within your company's budget. No or low-cost prizes include:

  • Letting the winning department or team wear jeans on a specific day (assuming your company is the button-up type)
  • Feature the department or team on the homepage of the community and highlight why they won
  • Award or certificate of achievement to display on their profile or in their work space

Some low cost prizes include:

  • Gift cards to a restaurant, cafe, etc.
  • Pizza party or catered lunch for the winning team
  • T-shirts, mug or mouse pad featuring their contribution or specific to the community


I recommend running contests as often as once per quarter. This will help the community stay engaged, learn new information, and make contributions that will serve the community as a whole. Remember, the goal of a contest is provide a fun, work-related way for community members to engage, highlight their skills, and work together to build a community that will continue to meet their needs.


To the community managers, what are some contests you have run to engage your community?