Why and How to Run a Facebook Contest
Today, most people are using Facebook as their primary social media platform, and as Facebook continues to grow, it can be hard for some brands to shine. Marketers now need interactive content that stands out from everything else, and a great way to create brand awareness is through Facebook contests.
There are several benefits that come from running Facebook contests, such as increasing engagement with current followers, furthering your reach to potential customers, and bringing in new leads. When creating a Facebook contest, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Facebook Contest Rules
The first thing we need to look at before starting a contest is the Facebook contest rules. These rules change over time, so make sure you always stay up to date. You can find Facebook’s Page guidelines here – you’ll want to review them before each contest you run. Three things to keep in mind when running a contest on Facebook include:
- Running the contest legally (not running a lottery where participants are required to spend money to play).
- Housing regulations, acknowledgments, and consents on a different page, such as a landing page.
- You are not allowed to require people to use their timelines or their friends to participate.
So, it is okay to ask participants to like or comment on the post, react to other comments on the post, post on the page’s timeline, and message the page. It is not okay to ask participants to share the post on their timelines, tag their friends, or share the post to their friends’ timelines. It is not against the rules to ask people to like your page, but there isn’t a simple way to track people who have done so.
One of the most important things you can do before starting a Facebook contest is to set goals. What are you hoping to achieve from this contest? Here are some ideas of the goals and objectives you may have in mind:
- Increase brand awareness
- Gather new emails and leads
- Get followers more involved
- Acquire more Facebook fans
- Bring awareness to new products and events
- Gain insight into what your customers like
- Generate more traffic to your e-commerce store
- Increase customer loyalty
Did you know that collecting email addresses is one of the core components of all lead generation strategies? Tempt people to sign up for your newsletters and promotional emails by structuring the contest so that people have to provide their email address to enter.
If you’re looking to acquire some new customers, try offering a discount or promotion to entice new customers that enter the contest. Gain more followers by asking them to like your business page and even your Instagram profile.
If you’re interested in hosting an event, a Facebook contest can help create awareness of it. Think about offering free admission to the winner and follow up the contest with a special discount code for the participants that did not win. This is a great way to fill up your event!
Know Who Your Ideal Customers Are
A common mistake that businesses make when trying to define their target market is casting their net over a wide range. There are so many different demographics and populations, and you need to take some time to figure out whom your product is best suited for. By targeting specific demographics, you will have higher quality entries because these people will actually be interested in your product, service, or event.
When you know who your target market is, you’re more likely to get more entries. You can also run more than one contest if you want to target different groups of people. Remember, marketing to everyone could mean that you might end up appealing to no one.
Choose the Right Type of Contest
There are a multitude of different contests you can run on Facebook, including sweepstakes, photo contests, and referral promotions, among others. Each of these contests have their own advantages. Once you know the type of contests you can run, choose the one that best supports your objectives.
Sweepstakes and Giveaways
One of the easiest contests to run would probably have to be a giveaway. When people are enticed by a desirable prize, they will perform the action of your choosing, which can be as simple as liking the post or as complex as making their own video.
Some businesses get a ton of qualified leads from the sweepstakes that they run them every month to build up some excitement for their audience.
When running a sweepstakes contest, you can also include a popup that asks participants to like your Facebook page. People will always have the option of not liking the page and can still sign up for the contest.
Photo contests can be great for generating traffic. After people have uploaded photos for the contest, you can structure it in a way that allows others to vote on the pictures they like the best. Participants are likely to share their entry with their friends, asking them to vote for them. This can mean some major exposure for your brand.
Some businesses will even pick two winners: one from the photo entries and one random voter. By doing this, you are providing an incentive for everyone to participate, whether it be through entering a photo or voting on one.
You can also ask your fans to submit photos of them using your products. This strategy is excellent for brand involvement, and it creates a sense of community. These photos are the perfect user-generated content and can later be used as social proof to show your potential customers how much current customers love you and your products.
Referral promotions are wonderful for generating new leads for your business. By using this strategy, you have the opportunity to get double the number of entries, if not more.
This is how it works: when people enter your referral contest, you give them an extra chance to win whenever they share your contest form with a friend and the friend enters. It’s a win for everyone because people who refer their friends have an increased chance of winning and you’re increasing the number of people who enter.
Instead of sending out ads to people who may not even be interested in your product or service, this type of contest gets people who are already interested to refer other people whom they think will be interested.
Tips and Practices
Here are a few final tips for running Facebook contests for your business!
You can keep it simple
Most of the people checking Facebook are doing it from mobile devices. To avoid missing out on potential entries, you’ll want to make sure that your contest is mobile-friendly. If you’re using a third-party app for your contest, make sure that it works smoothly on mobile devices, and always check on your own device before making your contest live.
If your contest requires participants to go to a landing page, make sure it requires a low amount of effort to complete. When forms get greedy asking for things like zip codes to salary ranges, you’re likely to see a drop-off in the number of people willing to complete them.
Or you can make it more complex
Maybe you’d rather filter out the low-quality leads. By creating a high barrier to entry (really anything that requires more than two clicks), you can scare off those who aren’t entirely committed to participating.
If you really want to gather some fantastic, top-quality, user-generated content, you can make the prize exceptional. Consider asking people to write a story, leave a review, take a photo, or make a video.
Boost and Promote your Contest
While people may naturally come across your contest in their News Feed, it may not be enough to get you the results you’re looking for. To help drive the visibility of your contest, boost it using Facebook ads.
Also, consider promoting your Facebook contest beyond your Facebook page. Share your contest across all your other social channels, your website, your app (if you have one), and email newsletters.
Measure Your Success
After the contest is over, look at your success. Did you achieve your goals? Hopefully, you’ll find that participation surpassed what you expected and generated a lot of traffic, new followers, and plenty of excitement. If you’re pleased with the results, you may have to plan another contest in the future! If the contest didn’t meet your expectations, don’t give up. There are so many types of contests you can run, and by trying a multitude of them, you’ll figure out which ones will best suit your audience.
Running contests on a regular basis is a great idea and has a high return of investment, so there’s no reason you can’t create one today!