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Facebook Contest Success Tips and Tricks

Updated on October 24, 2012

Secret tips for a successful contest

So you want to run a facebook contest to get more likes, expose your product to more people, or to sell more products. If you know people that have tried running a contest or if you have tried one yourself you might have gotten a lot less people involve than you anticipate.

Running a successful contest is not easy and if it's your first time then it might be impossible. But don't worry we have compile a list of the top things to consider and some secret hacks that will save you time, money, and your insanity.

Successful Facebook Contest Checklist

Here is a quick checklist to keep in mind for your Facebook contest

  1. Good Design Design matters
  2. Worthy Prize Something people actually want
  3. Determine what your real goal is Is it likes, feedback, referral, testimonial, or something else?
  4. Simple to Enter

Is the facebook contest the best solution?

There are many options for marketing depending on many factors. Here are some questions to ask to see if a Facebook contest will get you the best results:

Yes if...

  1. Naturally viral product, something cool.
  2. Status product, e.g. Designer purse
  3. Consumer product
  4. Product service targeted younger demographic
  5. Online product

No if...

  1. You have a B2B product
  2. Product or service people would rather keep private e.g. Core sore cream, adult diapers
  3. Super niche market
  4. Product targeting older people

Have you consider other options? Would they be more effective than a Facebook contest?

social media target goals
social media target goals

Set your goal

What is your goal? Set some target numbers for success.

By setting your goal then you can determine which type of Facebook contest to run.

Which type of Facebook contest to hold? - Sweepstakes, essay, photo, and video

There are four types of contests you can hold. Depending on your goal you will select the one that will achieve it.

  1. Sweepstakes: People enter by providing some information such as their name and email. This is the easiest and has the highest entry.
  2. Essay: People enter by sharing a story or a testimonial. This help build content and provide real personality to the brand.
  3. Photos: People enter by submitting a photo. This is quite easy to do as most people have cameras or cameras on their phones or have friends with cameras who have taken pictures. It is easier for someone to post a picture than to take a new one.
  4. Videos: People enter by providing a video. This is the most difficult, you can automatically eliminate a large percentage of people because they do not have cameras or camera phones. There are also people who are camera shy and would not enter.

Facebook Policy and Guidelines

Make sure to follow Facebook's Contest policy and guidelines. If you violate it you can even lose your fan page. And make sure to have the proper disclaimers. Here are some of the main guidelines. You should review their full guidelines here. Also when you use a third party app (see below) they will help you follow many of the rules.

  1. Not allow to use Facebook features (e.g. the like button) to enter a contest
  2. Must notify winners by email, snail mail, phone, or signing telegram before posting publicly on Facebook.
  3. Cannot contain Call to Actions such as "Vote for us" or "Tell your friends about us" on the cover image
  4. Must clearly state that the contest is not part of Facebook and Facebook does not endorse the contest.

Facebook contest prize
Facebook contest prize

Picking the right prize

The prize should reflect the effort

Remember the prize will determine if people will enter your contest. If the prize is small then people will only be willing to take small actions. While if the prize is big people will do small and big actions.

There are a lot of contests that will give away an iPad which is great but consider giving away your product or service. This way it will cost you less because you are only paying cost for it while it will promote your product or service.

Consider something unique or dramatic. Something that is noteworthy, if you a hosting company try giving away a higher plan with more storage and bandwidth or if you are a clothing line you can give away a piece of every design in a collection. Think creatively.

A good idea for an inexpensive prize is to offer something unique or one of a kind. It could be something they can't buy but relates to your business. Or you can offer a product or service that you will be releasing in the future.

Choosing the right 3rd party Facebook contest app - What to consider

There are many 3rd party apps to host your contest with. Here are a list of things to consider:

  1. Flexible Make sure the app does what you want it to do. Also consider which features would be helpful.
  2. Cost Keep in mind the value you will get from the contest as well as your budget. Start with one of the many free options out there then consider if the paid option would provide enough value to justify paying.
  3. Embeddable This is an important feature because you will want to promote your contest on many platforms, websites, and blogs.
  4. Mobile version Must have a mobile compatible.

Compatible Mobile App

Choose an App that's compatible with mobiles. According to Facebook in 2012 543 million of its most active users access Facebook from a mobile device, increase of 67% over last year.

Market your contest

Promote your contest as much as possible to maximize the entry and spread the word.

  1. Homepage Promote the contest with a banner on your website. Make it eye catching and exciting to get attention.
  2. Twitter Post updates and interesting news on twitter to drive traffic back to the site.
  3. Youtube Make a video and post it on youtube, load the video with related keywords and write an extensive description to get traffic. Also use the video to encourage people to join the contest. Hire inexpensive resources on Fiverr to help you create an awesome video.
  4. Offline marketing If you are a restaurant print flyers and hand out to your patrons. Use any tool to get the attention of people who will enter.
  5. Use Facebook Ads Since the users will already be on Facebook, it's a lot easier for them to head over and enter your contest. As well with Facebook you have good tools to target just the right customer.

Trick: Keep it simple

The simpler you keep the contest the more entries you will get. It's easy for someone to take a picture of their favourite shirt than it is to have them make a video of them dancing and singing in their favourite shirt. When having people fill out entry forms, the less information the more likely it will be completed.

Get the most out of the contest

When the contest is over doesn't mean you are. After the contest gather and analyse the information. Did it meet your goal? What did you learn from the contest? What important information did they provide?

You can also contact all entrants and offer them a special offer. Or you can just contact them to engage and build your relationship.

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