How to Run a Contest on Facebook

If you’re looking for a way to get Facebook likes, a Facebook contest or sweepstakes is the perfect way to accomplish your goals. Running a promotion on Facebook doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, with the right tools, it’s pretty simple. The steps below outline how to run a contest on Facebook so that you can get Facebook likes and grow your audience.

Step 1: Determine Your Objectives

Clearly understanding your objectives will help determine if a contest or sweepstakes is right for you and also what format will suit your needs best. If a high number of participants is your goal, a sweepstakes is probably going to receive the largest number of entries. This is because sweepstakes are easy to enter -for the most part all you need is an email address. If you’re looking to really engage your audience, a contest is going to be a better choice for you. The easier the contest is to enter, the more entries you’ll get, which is why video contests typically receive fewer entries than photo contests.

Step 2: Outline The Details

Once you’ve decided on a format, you’ll need to decide what type of prize you’ll be offering. This may seem like something you can figure out at the last minute, but you’ll want to decide this early on and make sure it is a well thought out prize. A prize can make or break a contest. It needs to be worthwhile for the participant to enter, and it needs to be even more worthwhile for them to share your promotion with their friends.

You’ll also need to decide how your winner will be selected. If it is a contest, you can let your audience vote on the winner, or you can select a winner yourself. You can allow for multiple rounds of voting with finalists and semi-finalists or you can have one round of voting. Think about how long you want your promotion to run and what will produce the best results for you based on your objectives.

Lastly, decide what user information you’ll be collecting. One of your motivations for running a contest will likely be to collect participant info for later marketing efforts. Decide what information you’ll need to administer the contest and ask for other information sparingly. Again, the more you require of the user, the less likely they are going to be to participate, so keep it simple.

Step 3: Follow the Rules

When running a Facebook contest, it’s important to follow the Facebook promotion guidelines. These guidelines state that “Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.” So, what does this mean? You’ll need to either create an app yourself (Votigo offers tools for that) or you need to work with a developer who creates an app for you (Votigo does that too). You also can’t use Facebook functionality as a means to enter a promotion, so “like this post to enter our sweepstakes” is not allowed – the same goes for “upload a photo to our wall to enter our contest.” You need to use an app. It’s that straightforward.

Step 4:  Promote Your Promotion.

The old saying “If you build it, they will come” is certainly not the case with Facebook promotions. You need to actively promote your promotion in order to garner entries and votes. This doesn’t need to be costly or complicated, in fact – one of the best ways to promote your promotion is by simply posting about it on your Facebook wall. Timely reminders and updates to your existing audience will help ensure that your promotion is a success. Email reminders, social media posts and website mentions are all opportunities to promote your promotion. For more information on promoting your promotions check out this recent post.

Step 5: Moderate and Manage

After your promotion has been launched, you need to continue to manage the promotion. How you manage your promotion will depend upon what details and format you’ve decided upon and also what your ongoing promotional plans are. If you’ve chosen a photo contest and you are going to pre-screen submissions – you’ll need to actively approve and reject submissions throughout each day, or at least once per day. You’ll also need to select and notify a winner once your promotion has ended.

 

Step 6: Use The Results

Running a promotion is a great way to get leads and quality user-generated content, so make sure you use your results. Nurture your new leads with an email campaign or another promotion. You’ll also want to find ways to use your UGC entries. Often times when a contest is over the marketer fails to capitalize on the great photos, videos, essays, comments and relationships acquired during the campaign. Instead, create a photo or video gallery of the entries on your website or mix a few quotes into your advertising campaigns. Any of these will strengthen the relationship you’ve built with your customers and make your marketing more authentic.

Once your promotion has come to a close, you’ll want to analyze the results and measure success. Take a look at the promotion as a whole, there may be benefits or successes that you had not anticipated. Perhaps your promotion revealed a new market for your product, or an existing perception of your brand or offering that you were unaware of. Take a look at what content you received from entrants and see if you can glean new insights about your customers. Try and learn as much as you can from the promotion. Find out what worked, and what fell short. Take these lessons with you the next time you run a promotion and build upon your successes, while learning where you can improve your strategy.

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  1. Pingback: Social Engagement: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…or Likes | Votigo Blog

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