By John Boudreau
Everyone likes to win prizes and contests, especially through social media. These days, you are most likely communicating with your customer online more than you do in person. Has your business taken advantage of this? Not only are contests a great way to community build, but they also help your business show it cares about your audience. According to industry statistics, over 1 billion people are on Facebook. Knowing this, now more than ever is the time to get on board with Facebook contests. However, understanding what it takes to grow your fan base from zero to 700 takes time and patience, as well as a great marketing strategy.
We have seen contests gain traction on Facebook through creative, innovative ideas, which also involve different partnerships. For proven results, here are some examples you can use for inspiration:
This California insurance agency runs a game of Hangman every Wednesday from their Facebook page. How do they do this? Throughout the entire day, the staff promotes the contest, and at the end, the winner receives a stuffed cow named Cee Cee the Cow, who is the mascot of Partee Insurance! By conducting this type of contest, the agency has increased their following to well above 800 likes. However, this didn’t happen overnight or from luck. The team works hard to engage their customers on a weekly basis as well as remain creative with the words they select for the game. The consistency of this contest contributed to its success, in addition to the prize being a brand related item, which helped to further promote awareness throughout the community.
The Weimer Group created strong local partnerships and incorporated those relationships into a contest. During the holiday season, the team set up a 12-week, 12-gift giveaway program, all involving local prizes. In order to run the contest, the agents used an easy promotion application. The first partner promoted was free and then the rest were $15 per promo. In the first week of the campaign, the Group was able to help one partner gain 70 “likes” in only a few days!
Fans had to enter their name, email, and “like” the page of the “partner of the week” in order to win a prize through a raffle drawing. What took the contest to the next level was how the winner was announced. The Weimer Group made personal videos for each winner, explaining exactly what the prize entailed. The dedication and appreciation the agency shows to their local partners and clients reveals how important consistency, promotion, and engagement are to a quality contest.
Rules and Regulations to Follow
So how did these agencies turn ideas into reality? They first had to followÂ rules and regulationsÂ established by Facebook. Failure to abide by these rules when running a contest could cause it to end before it even begins. Some of the terms and conditions are listed below:
- If you use Facebook to administer a promotion, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion.
- If you are not sure if your promotion complies with the laws, seek out help from a professional.
- Contests must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.
- Promotions must include an acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored by or associated with Facebook and disclosure that the participant is providing information to you and not to Facebook.
- You must not condition entry upon the user liking a Wall post, commenting, or uploading a photo on a Wall. In addition, do not use the Like button as a voting mechanism.
Helpful Apps to Invest In
With so many rules to follow and not a lot of experience, the stress of organizing an event could be heightened. However, to help you remain calm, you can use approved applications. The following includes apps which vary in price and functionality, but all of them make it easier to run a contest and obey the rules:
- Easypromos (Free)
- Wildfire (ranges from $25-$250 and $3-$5 per day)
- Offerpop (cost of this app goes by the number of fans your page has; less than 100 fans, it is free to use)
- Static HTML (Free)
Put Yourself Out There
With an understanding of the steps to take to run a viable Facebook contest, now you can work on engagement. Your goal should be to get your audience excited and interested in your contest, as well as your business in the process. Here are some tips to help you promote and execute your contest:
- Offer a unique, enticing prize.
- Social media is interactive, so your contest must be fun and entertaining. No one wants to participate in a boring game. Some good ideas to start with are photo or video contests.
- When it comes to creating the rules, make sure they are clear, concise, and simple to follow.
- Before, during, and after your contest, always promote it. Use all the resources you have at your disposal, including other social media outlets, your website, and blogs. You can also have your employees and partners spread the word.
Setting specific goals for your contest can help you remain true to your mission and business’ values. No matter what kind of prize you offer your customers, the fact that you were able to keep them engaged and energized is the biggest prize of all! Most importantly, have fun with the whole process, because no idea is too out of the box. Your audience will appreciate your efforts to reach out and understand their needs!