Contests make for successful social media campaigns because they can help facilitate a number of goals. They can help you to find new followers and customers, keep your existing ones engaged, and improve your organic reach. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to run a Facebook contest or to promote your small business.
Related blog post: 6 Facebook Contest Giveaway Ideas
Although other social media sites like Instagram support contests, Facebook giveaways are a good bet because Facebook is the most popular social media platform out there. Although Instagram is an effective means of searching for businesses, deals, and promotions, Facebook has been around for this purpose for a bit longer. This doesn’t mean Instagram giveaways are not effective—they are super effective! It just means that if this is your first giveaway, or if this is likely to be your audience’s first giveaway, Facebook might be the safer bet.
Like any marketing activity that you’re going to sink some time into, your Facebook contest should have a goal. Decide what social media marketing goal you want to accomplish with the contest. Examples of goals driven by Facebook contests include:
It’s okay to want to get more followers and likes. However, make sure that these follows and likes are coming from the right people. Your ultimate Facebook contest goal is to grow your business through new clients, customers, and sales. If you’re getting 1,000 new page likes from people who will not become customers, your Facebook contest is not helping your business.
A great contest prize is what entices all the potential customers. Use the tips below to come up with a prize that will ensure a successful contest.
Although you may be hesitant to invest so much into contest prizes, think of the return on investment you will generate from this promotion.Make sure to allocate an appropriate amount towards a prize. Offer something for which users will be willing to take action.
The prize should also be something relevant to your business. For example, many businesses will give away something like a free iPad. Although most people would love to have a free iPad, this prize attracts too many people, many of whom may have no interest in your business whatsoever. Your prize should be relevant to your target audience.
Offering a prize relevant to your business ensures that you will attract the right people for your contest goal. You only want to target people that are interested in your product or service. By picking a prize relevant to your business, like a free personal training session, free cake at your bakery, or free gift basket of spa products, your contest will attract people who are interested in your business. You may even consider giving away your product or service for free!
There are a number of different instructions or requirements you can lay out for your participants to enter the contest. Here are some examples of entry requirements. You might require one or more of the following:
You want to find a good balance here, such that participants are required to invest a little bit of time signing up, but not so much that they’re going to become discouraged or frustrated. Also, make sure to be as explicit as possible in your directions as to not leave any room for confusion.
While you will be able to contact Facebook contest entrants through their Facebook profile, you might also want to require email addresses into the entries. This will allow you to contact the winner more formally, and will also add all of the participants to your email list! Now you have a channel to keep in touch with people who are interested in your products or services.
Now is the fun part: letting people know about your contest!
Use free visual marketing tools like Canva to design an appealing and attractive post. You may want to include certain details in the image of the post as well as within the post caption.
The next step in the contest is to set up the post for the Facebook contest. Facebook makes it easy to create a post and “pin” it to the top of your business’s Facebook page.
When setting up a contest, follow the Facebook Contest Rules to make sure that your promotion doesn’t violate any of Facebook’s rules, such as ‘Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.’
Make sure that your contest post includes ALL of the information, including:
Facebook posts for contests will generally be longer than typical posts, since there is a lot of information to cover. Try to be as succinct as possible. You may want to test the description to a few others first to make sure the instructions are clear.
Facebook contests have the potential to reach a plethora of new customers. And since Facebook is the most popular social media site out there, don’t let this opportunity go to waste!
Here are some ways to reach out to increase participation in your Facebook contest:
Facebook contests are exciting, but you can’t forget about the contest itself and that you have to pick a winner. Depending on the type of contest, you’re either going to choose a random winner, or the person who best met the requirements for the contest (e.g. best photo, most referrals etc.).
For the majority of Facebook contests, it is a good idea to pick a random winner because it’s the most impartial way. Instead of blindly choosing a name, you can use a tool like the Random Name Picker.
If you had certain stipulations to your contest such as a submitting a photo, make sure to explain why you chose the winner so that nobody cries foul. For tips on how to pick a winner for social media contests, check out this blog post.
When choosing the winner, make sure to announce it on the Facebook contest page and elsewhere so that people can see the contest has clearly ended. Create a post with the winner’s name on it and tag them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make sure they know they won. If you collected their contact information like an email address, send them an email.
Make sure to craft a post sincerely thanking everyone for participating and invite them to check out your business’s product or service, as that was the goal from the get-go.
Even though the contest ended, you can still put it to good use. If you collected email addresses, follow up with the contestants via email, thanking them for participating. You can even give them a discount code to incentivize them to become customers or clients.
Another way to follow up after the contest is to write a blog post on your site about the recent contest explaining what you gave away or provided a discount for. If your contest prize was a new product or service, writing a blog post about the contest and the winner is a good way to get more information about it on your website. Follow up with the winner and include quotes or pictures of the winner and their prize on social media. Make sure to tag that person on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to increase engagement!
After the contest, take a look at your success. Did the contest work to achieve the goals that you set? If you found that the participation surpassed your expectations and it generated a lot of excitement, then there’s no reason you can’t hold more contests. In fact, you may be so pleased with the results of your Facebook contest that you’ll plan another one in the near future.
Running regular Facebook contests is a great idea, and the return on investment is quite high. There’s no reason that your business can’t create one today! To learn more about social media contests, check out 6 Facebook giveaway ideas for your small business.