Here are four tips for running a successful Facebook contest that will resonate with your fans and followers, and demonstrate measurable value for your brand.
1. Set goals for your contest
When developing a concept for your contest, consider what you hope to accomplish and set applicable goals. If you’re running the contest mainly for awareness and engagement with your Facebook page, set goals like:
Increase Facebook followers by X
Increase engagement with your Facebook page by X%
Also, consider the impact that your contest could have on your website and other social channels. You may want to set some larger business-related goals for the contest such as:
Increase total clicks and retweets on Twitter by X
Drive X additional visits to an important page of your website via a call to action on the contest thank you page
2. Choose an app to run your contest
Recently, Facebook announced that it no longer requires the use of third-party apps to run contests. This means brands can now use Facebook to:
Collect contest entries by asking users to message the page
Collect contest entries by asking users to post to the page
Collect contest entries by asking users to like or comment on a post
Utilize Facebook likes as a voting mechanism for contest
Facebook did, however, maintain that brands cannot administer promotions on personal timelines or ask users to share a particular post to their own timeline (or the timeline of a friend) in order to be entered in the contest.
Even though the recent updates to Facebook’s contest rules no longer make it a requirement to use an app to run a contest, third-party apps are still valuable. First of all, they help give your contest legitimacy by providing a more official entry process instead of simply requiring users to like or comment on a post to enter. App-run contest entry forms can even be customized to display a message to thank users for entering so they aren’t left wondering if their submission was counted.
Secondly, apps provide analytics to offer insight into how the contest is going. They also enable you to easily report on information collected through the contest entry form such as names, emails, and so on – all for a relatively low cost with flexible pricing structures. Finally, apps enable you to “fangate” so you can utilize your contest as a mechanism for acquiring new fans for your Facebook page.
3. Select a relevant prize
When deciding on a prize for your contest, choose something relevant to your business – you don’t have to give away an iPad. For example, some businesses give away their own products. If this isn’t realistic for your business, another nice idea is to select a prize that helps reinforce the use of your products. For instance, if you are a mobile app company, you might try giving away mobile device accessories such as iPad/iPhone covers or a stylus as your contest prize.
4. Devise a promotion plan
Before you launch the contest, develop a plan for promoting it – don’t just rely on your existing Facebook fans finding the contest on your page.
To kick off the contest, feature a brief article on your blog or website with a link to enter. Additionally, if you have the resources to do so, create a callout widget to serve as a reminder for visitors to enter the contest throughout your website.
Next, cross-promote the contest on your other social channels. On Twitter, use your characters wisely to highlight what the prize is and how to enter. On more visual channels, such as Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube, use eye-catching graphics or even a short teaser video to promote the contest. If you elected to fangate your contest, cross-promotion is an excellent way to acquire new fans for your Facebook page.
Finally, do remember to promote the contest on your brand’s Facebook page at multiple points throughout the contest so your existing fans have the opportunity to enter as well. Many third-party contest apps offer helpful promotion options directly from the app.
Another neat way to promote your contest on your Facebook page is to change your cover photo to feature an advertisement for your contest. Since the cover photo is the predominant piece of real estate on your page, it’s a good idea to check with your team before making this change to make certain that you’re keeping in line with your company’s larger branding guidelines.
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