Nowadays, Facebook contests are becoming an increasingly common phenomenon. Many business owners are using such contests to collect vital customer information, as well as get as many people as possible to ‘like’ their pages. However, many businesses don’t benefit much from running such contests due to certain basic mistakes. This includes ignoring customer feedback, having the wrong prize, or simply failing to invest enough time in promotion.
Here are some tips which will help you organize a successful Facebook contest.
1. Determine if a contest is really necessary
This might sound trite, but the fact is that Facebook contests will not work for every kind of business. If you are certain that your business would benefit from such a contest, take time to think about what you would want to accomplish. Some of the goals you could have include:
- Raising funds
- Getting more likes on your Facebook page
- Increasing brand awareness
- Promoting a new product
- Enhancing user engagement
2. Choose the appropriate type of contest
Based on your goals, choose the type of Facebook contest which would work best. This could be either a photo, video, sweepstake or essay contest. A sweepstake contest is easy to set up and enter. Essay, photo and video contests are more difficult to enter. However, they provide a lot of great content for your page.
3. Get familiar with Facebook’s regulations
Facebook has several rules and regulations which govern its contests. For instance, you need to mention explicitly that the prizes being offered are sponsored by Facebook. Other guidelines include:
- The like button cannot be used for voting or entering a competition
- You are not allowed to display on your Timeline cover image messages such as ‘Vote now!’ or ‘Spread the word’
- Before posting the results on Facebook, winners must be contacted first via phone call or email
If you fail to adhere to any of these rules, you contest will be banned. Worse still, your page might be shut down.
4. Run the contest via a third party app
According to Facebook regulations, contests should be run through a third-party application. You will find many providers out there ready to offer contest support. Make sure you find an app which has the following features:
- Flexibility – Find an app which you can customize so as to achieve your objectives
- Affordable – Use an app which is free or low-cost so as to minimize your losses in case the contest is not successful
- Embeddable – Some third-party apps can only be used on Facebook. Find one that can also be embedded on your website
- Mobile capabilities – Since most people access Facebook using mobile devices, make sure the app is mobile friendly
5. Keep it simple
The secret of a successful Facebook contest is to make it easy to enter. A brilliant contest idea which has a complicated entry process is likely to fail. Avoid asking for too much information. In many instances, the entrants name and email address is sufficient. The less information you ask for, the more entries you’ll receive. In addition, make it easy for people to find the contest app. You could label the app ‘Snapshots’ or ‘Register now’ and post regular updates about it.
6. Select a relevant prize
Contest offer a great opportunity to promote your own products or services. Therefore, if you are in the landscaping business, you could offer four months of complimentary landscaping services. If you sell books, you can give away a few titles in your collection. The idea is to choose a prize which will not cost you too much. However, it needs to be directly proportional to the effort required to enter.
7. Promote the contest
Besides posting details about your contest on Facebook, you need to promote it on other channels such as Twitter, as well as in your email newsletters. Once in a while, keep reminding your fans and followers about the ongoing contest. Provide share buttons which people can use to share information with others in their networks. Finally, remember to insert information about the contest on your site’s homepage.