Facebook offers numerous opportunities for small business owners to promote their products and services through advertising and organic content. You can also run a contest on your page at no cost, although many business owners choose to promote their contests through targeted advertisements. Let’s take a look at the why and how of it:
Why Run a Facebook Contest?
People love contests, particularly if they feel like they can win. RevSquare offers several reasons to do this, including:
- They engage customers with the brand/business
- They are a great opportunity to collect information about customers and potential customers
- They can easily go viral, especially on Facebook
- Facebook provides lots of useful measurement tools about contest reach
5 Easy Steps to Get a Facebook Contest Up
There are five steps to running a successful Facebook contest:
- Make sure the prize is relevant to your business. Free meals or appetizers for restaurants and a free subscription to a service are good examples. Make sure they aren’t the same as promotional items you’re already offering. Something with wide appeal like a free tablet is nice, but it isn’t really relevant unless your business sells mobile accessories, airtime or something else that’s related to mobile.
- Study contest entrance options. Understand that the more information you require to enter, the fewer entrants you’ll get. But those entrants may have more useful information.
- Create the contest. Facebook no longer requires using an app to run a contest. Businesses can administer them on Timelines. Apps are still permitted, however.
- Promote the contest. In addition to Facebook, it can be promoted on other social networks, through email and with targeted Facebook ads (more on promoting your contest below)
- Pick your winner, announce it, and do post-contest promotion.
How to Run a Facebook Contest Without Apps
There are a few ways to run a Facebook campaign without an app:
- Require entrants to “like” the page to enter
- Require comment to enter; this can include comments with a purpose, such as fill in the blank, offer a caption to a photo you post, or offer an opinion
- Require a comment and “like” to win
- Have a photo contest
- Be the first to post the correct answer to a question related to the product
- Use a crowdsource approach, in which visitors are asked to name a new product, choose the new logo and so on
You can use your Facebook page to announce and promote a contest or provide a link to enter, as the financial services company J.G. Wentworth did for its “Dream Big” contest. This method helped the company get the best of both worlds: It used Facebook and other social media to cross-promote its contest, and then it was able to collect entrants’ data without relying on a Facebook app.
We can’t mention J.G. Wentworth without getting this commercial stuck in your head of course. One of my favorites!!
Promoting Your Contest
To get the word out:
- Buy a Facebook ad that targeted to reach your demographic
- Promote your contest across all your social media accounts
- Send an email to your existing customer email lists, and ask that they enter and share with friends
- List your contest on websites that curate these sorts of things; Wishpond has a great list of the best contesting websites
Finally, don’t forget to post the winner and promote the news across all the above channels, too.