Running a successful Facebook contest for your business doesn’t happen by luck.
It takes careful planning and promotion.
But…if you do it right, they can be a great addition to your marketing strategy.
We’ve seen the benefits first-hand over the last 12 months. With just one monthly Facebook contest, we were able to:
- Increase engagement
- Bring in new contacts, and
- Boost page exposure
And the great news?
You can too!
Below are the 23 steps we’ve tested and proven to work. If you want to run your best Facebook contest, here’s your guide!
Looking for the Exact Formula to Conquer Facebook Marketing? Here’s Your NO-FAIL Strategy!
Proven Steps For Running A Successful Facebook Contest
1. Set Goals and Objectives
Creating a contest is much more than just rewarding current customers with prizes.
A well-created contest isn’t an isolated event. It rolls over into your overall marketing strategy and helps meet specific objectives.
To really understand what you’d like out of a contest, you must remember and understand the modern marketing funnel.
Going from attracting customers to engaging them will be a huge win for your business. Don’t just throw together a half-baked contest.
That’s where your real value in contests comes from. And by leads, in most cases, I mean email addresses.
Getting people on your regular email subscription list gets them, virtually speaking, into your door. They are the ones who will read your content and take part in your events.
From there you can start building a customer profile and providing the content they really want.
There is a place for promotions with the goal of getting more likes, but, in most cases, that doesn’t generate strong, qualified leads.
Some goals and objectives you may have:
- More Facebook fans
- Higher brand awareness
- New emails and leads
- User-generated content
- Product development crowdsourcing
- More engaged and loyal fans
- Immediate sales
- New product/event awareness
- Greater insight into your fans’ likes
- More traffic to your e-commerce store
2. Know Your Target Market
One common mistake businesses make when defining their target market is casting a wide net.
You need to remember that marketing to everyone means you’re marketing to no one.
There are so many demographics and populations of people and it’s up to you to figure out who your product is optimized for.
Targeting certain demographics will give your contest higher quality entries. These will be people who are actually interested in your product. You’ll also get more entries in general.
By knowing your target market, you can run more than one contest targeting different groups.
For example, if your fans are split between genders, you can run one contest for men and one for women by using different themes and messages.
3. Choose the Type of Contest
There are about 15 different types of contests you can run on Facebook. The top three for all businesses, in general, are sweepstakes, photo contests, and referral promotions.
Each has its own advantages.
Sweepstakes are a great first contest to run, while photo contests are great at involving your fans.
As for referrals, while more advanced, they are a perfect way to generate leads.
These contests are great because they are very easy for participants to enter.
In fact, some businesses get so many qualified leads out of sweepstakes contests that they run them every month, building up excitement for their audience.
If you’re running a sweepstakes contest, it makes sense to also include a pop up that asks the participant to Like your Facebook page.
It won’t turn people away because they will always have the option of not liking the page, and still being able to sign up for the contest.
5. Photo Contest
Photo contests are a great source of traffic.
After people upload their photos, you can structure the contest in a way that lets others vote on which photos they like best.
The participants usually share their entree with their network, asking everyone they know to vote for them.
And that means major exposure for your brand.
Some companies even pick 2 winners: one from the photos, and one random voter-winner. This provides an incentive for everyone to participate or vote.
Another great idea is to ask fans to submit photos of them using your product. This is fantastic for brand involvement and sense of community.
Such photos are also the perfect type of user-generated content.
You can later use them as social proof, and to show your potential customers how much your current customers love you.
6. Referral Promotion
Referrals are the perfect source of new qualified leads for your business.
For example, a mascara brand can give away a free mascara to anyone who refers five friends to their company.
Those five people must also enter, referring five others. This is smart marketing!
Instead of sending out an ad to people who are totally uninterested in makeup, this strategy gets people who are already interested, to refer those they think may also be interested.
7. Determine The Budget and Choose Appropriate Prize
In order to increase value in your contests, you need to give away something that’s related to your business.
You can give away a gift card to your business, a product you sell, or a lifetime subscription to your content.
After all, if your hair salon gives away an iPad, you’ll get entrants who are interested in a free iPad, not necessarily your salon.
What’s more, those people will unsubscribe once the contest ends and not care about anything else related to your business.
8. Choose the Contest Entry Method and Guidelines
There are many ways to structure your contest, and there’s no one right way to do it. The key is to choose the structure and the entry method that best aligns with your goals.
Also, try to keep it as simple as possible.
You can ask people to like your page, submit an email address, answer a question, or submit a video.
9. High Converting Promotional Page Tips
If you want to create a promotional page that gets you many qualified leads, follow these tips:
- Write an attention Grabbing Headline. Use words such as Ultimate, Free, Amazing, and Major, as these tend to do the best.
- Use a professional looking image (not one from a Google search)
- Write a brief description: What is the promotion? How do people enter? Use bullet points if there’s a lot of detail.
- Show a prominent call to action button, like ENTER
- Consider using a countdown clock as it adds urgency
- Have a simple form: In general, just ask for a name and email address, unless it’s a huge prize. Anything more hurts your conversion rate.
10. Determine Your Contest Time Frame
Decide how long your contest will run.
Choosing a time frame that is seasonal, a limited offer, and a quick promotion will always encourage conversion.
Most contests run for a month, but two weeks may also be long enough for your promotion if you think enough people will enter in that time frame.
The key is to make it long enough for people to hear about it from their friends and enter.
If you’re a popular brand, you can even run promotions that close in one day, playing on that sense of urgency.
This works when you do lots of contests and people generate interest knowing that you run a lot of contests.
If this is your first contest, start out with a month. You can then shorten contests as interest rises. SEE MORE