Facebook Contests – Are you doing it the Right Way?

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There is no one way to decide if a Facebook Contest may work for your brand. The way Social media is growing, your contests need to be in line with your competitors. It is always important to keep an eye on what your competitor is doing! You might just come up with brilliant ideas.

I have been running Facebook contests for brands for a while now and it’s surprising to see that when we expect a particular contest to work, it won’t and when you don’t expect, it works brilliantly! Read on to know how this happens?

The most important thing you need to watch out for is the ever-changing Facebook Contest Policies. The most recent one being – running a contest on your Timeline. The first time you came across this news, you would have thought of it as a brilliant feature, with this feature the process of developing an application would reduce.

But look at this the other way: When you have an application, it is a way to increase your fan base and collect data, on the other hand having a contest on your Timeline doesn’t lead to a substantial increase in the fan base, there is no way to store data of participants. Applications offer an additional gate which makes it compulsory to like the page before u begin the app, such a thing can’t be done through a timeline contest.

The Investment Game

A contest held through an application. In order to enter the contest the user has to like the page.

Applications allow you to have your Terms and Conditions, Rules listed within the same frame. For a Timeline Contest you either have to list down the Terms and Conditions & Rules under the Notes section or provide an external link! It’s a bummer. It will drive your user away if he/she has to click on an external link.

Every contest post that you make has to clearly spell out what your contest is about and to participate they have to Like or Comment on it (whatever is suitable for your contest).

Here’s an Example:

Post Example

This example clearly spells out that the user has to participate in the contest by posting answers in the Comment Box.

The 3P’s

When conducting a Facebook Contest the most important things you need to remember is: Planning, Prize and Promotions. The 3P’s!

Planning: This is one of the most important part in how your contest would work and how it is received by the audiences you Target.

When planning a contest always ask yourself:

  1. What is the purpose of your contest?
  2. What is it that you aim to achieve through this contest?
  3. Do you want more exposure for your brand or do you want to launch a new product?
  4. Are you just aiming at increasing the number of likes on your brand page?
  5. Do you want to build on user engagement, gather user feedback or develop brand advocates?

A contest has to always reflect your brand image. Run contests with a specific agenda. Don’t do it just to count yourself among those who have done it.

An incentive is always important for a contest to succeed. Make sure that the prizes are delivered to the winners on time and they are the ones you have promised. If you turn away from what you have promised it could lead to negative impression on your brand. A simple contest could tarnish your image.

The last and the most important part of a contest is Promotion!

Make your Facebook contest social! Don’t confine its promotions to just one platform. Send out timely reminders to people about your contest through tweets, emails, newsletters and posts on your Timeline. You can also increase your promotional reach by using Facebook ads. Make your contest ad crisp and catchy. Facebook ads are a great way to get in touch with people who are a part of your target demographic. While connecting with your existing customers, you can also reach out to new customers.

Simple Ad
A simple Ad like this clearly
spells out that you are hosting
a contest, and doesn’t give
away too many details!

A few more things that you need to keep in mind while conducting a contest are:

Keep your Contest straightforward. Complicating it by having too many levels is a complete no – no. Remember, a user is on Facebook wants to get away from his or her life’s mundane routine. It’s a stress buster! We all know that don’t we? ☺

Formulate your privacy policy: Have your privacy policy ready. It should tell people what you intend to do with the data you collect from them during the contest. If you plan to use that information for something other than just judging the contest, you need to mention that in the policy.

Do your post-event homework: Be sure to follow up on the information collected after the contest is over. Gauge the responses and feedback of customers. Are they being positive about you? Have you been suggested to improve your brand or customer engagement in any way?

The most brilliant contest in the world is of no use if you do not measure its results. Measure the extent to which the contest has met your goals. If lead generation is your goal, include a form and a CTA on your contest page. If reach and brand awareness are your goals, make your contest entrants share your brand/contest page on their Timeline. Facebook Insights is a great tool to measure contest effectiveness.

Have you run any Facebook contests yet? If yes, what were the tactics you used and how effective was your contest in achieving the set goals? Mention in the comments below.

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