Why you should use Facebook contests
January 16, 2015
Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve jumped headlong into Facebook contests. Everything I’ve read says Facebook contests are the best way to build traffic, engage with your fans and add likes to your page. Needless to say, it’s been a brain challenger ever since.
Begin by setting goals for your Facebook contests
What do you want to accomplish? If your goal is to boost sales, use contests to create urgency, offer a coupon or give away a specific product. A sweepstakes helps to build your fan and email list because it’s very easy to enter. If you are looking to generate content that can be used in other ways, then you’ll want to do a photo, video or even a Pinterest contest. I chose a photo contest, but for all the wrong reasons. My goal is to boost engagement but also add to my email list. Starting with a Sweepstakes may have been a better choice and here’s why…
Choose your contest
A. Starter Contests – The participant is only required to enter their contact information and click a button to enter. Examples are a Sweepstakes such as a random drawing for a prize. Or, a Voting Contest where participants enter their vote on your current merchandise or possible future offerings and then receive a coupon.
B. Intermediate Contests – The participant is required to submit some type of user generated content in order to enter. Examples are Photo Contests where participants provide the photo, Photo Caption Contests where you provide the photo and participants title it and Essay Contests.
C. Advanced Contests – These Facebook contests require participants to do more time-consuming activities and should involve a major prize or cash award. Examples of these include a Video Contest. Or, set up a Pinterest contest that asks participants to create a board and submit the link to enter. Never one to do the easiest thing first, I thought a photo contest would be a great way to get started. Unfortunately, I learned about the challenges after I had already started.
Using your Facebook timeline vs. a 3rd party contest app
At one time, Facebook required you to use a 3rd party app in order to run a contest, but that has changed. Now, you can run a contest directly on your Facebook page timeline. There are, however, specific rules to follow. I chose to use a 3rd party because they offer a tremendous amount of assistance. Plus, the contest ultimately looks more professional. There are a variety of them to choose from. I chose Heyo.
I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Director for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.
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