Cutting through all the noise on social media can be a challenge.
Yet Facebook rewards engagement such as likes, shares and comments.
Having interactive content such as a contest is an inexpensive way to achieve this – plus it can be a fun way to promote your brand.
Before you dive into setting up a contest, here are a few tips to help not only make it a success but also ensure you are following Facebook’s rules.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR CONTEST IS LEGAL!
This might seem like an obvious one. It’s critical to ensure that your contest conforms to any provincial or federal laws.
For instance, you don’t want to be running a lottery (example where it’s a pay-to-play scenario such as purchasing a product in order to be entered into a draw)
2. BE CLEAR THAT FACEBOOK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CONTEST
Not only must you make it clear that Facebook has nothing to do with the contest, but you are also responsible for obtaining "a complete release of Facebook" from your contest participants.
You can achieve this by ensuring that all rules & regulations are accessible via a webpage (and drawing attention to where these rules can be found).
And in any posts you do promoting the contest, make sure that you're including the wording "This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook"
Here’s a link to Facebook’s full guidelines.
3. START WITH THE WHY
You want to have a clear goal of what you’d like to achieve with your contest.
Do you want to increase the awareness & visibility of your brand or product?
Are you wanting to collect data on people’s likes/interests? (think survey here)
Are you wanting to collect email addresses to build your mailing list?
When you get clarity on your goal, then you can start brainstorming contest ideas that will help you reach it.
For example, you may want to have people enter by posting in the comments of the contest a photo or video of themselves using your product. People are drawn to images, and even more so by videos. If you come up with a creative way for people to create this content for you, it increases the chances it will be shared and attract the attention of others. You could even take it to the next level by saying that the top 5 entries will be featured on your website & social media.
Or maybe your primary goal is to build up your mailing list (which you can then use to market to a larger audience of people interested in your brand/products).
This is your classic tried & true "Enter to Win!" format …. in exchange for their email address, they will be entered into the draw.
In this instance, the fewer the steps the better. You want to make it easy & fast for people to sign up. Even if your goal is getting valuable market research, remember that the longer the form the fewer people fill it out.
4. DON'T ASK FOR PAGE LIKES AS AN ENTRY METHOD
Gone are the days where you could state that the person must like your page in order to enter.
This used to be a very common method to help increase your following, but Facebook now considers it a violation of their guidelines.
5. DON'T ASK FOR FRIEND TAGS AS AN ENTRY METHOD
This also was a very common method for entry that many brands would use, where you had to tag a friend (or 2 or 3) in order to enter.
But Facebook has also added this to their guidelines in an attempt to protect people’s privacy.
While you can encourage people to share your post about your contest, you can't include it as a method of entry.
6. DECIDE HOW THE WINNER(S) IS CHOSEN
You want to make sure this is clear in your contest rules & guidelines, so that people feel confident. Will you be randomly choosing someone? Will there be a group of people who will judge entries? Whichever makes the most sense for your contest, be fully transparent.
7. A PRIZE WORTHY OF ENTERING!
This might seem like an obvious one, but can sometimes be treated as an afterthought. You want a prize that is relevant to your business/brand so that you’re attracting your perfect customer/client (vs random people), and gets them excited to enter.
8. PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE
Once you’ve planned out your contest, also plan out its promotion. Remember that organic reach on Facebook & Instagram averages roughly 6.4% of your page’s followers. You could have a terrific contest, but if no one knows about it then it’s not going to achieve your goals.
Ideas to help raise awareness of your contest :
include the contest on your website’s homepage in a very visible location
use your mailing list to make an announcement
ensure you are promoting your contest across all of your social media channels
create a fun hashtag and encourage people to use it
set aside a budget for Facebook/Instagram ad campaign, targeted to your ideal audience, using ad images & copy that catches people’s attention.
9. MONITOR AND MEASURE YOUR RESULTS
You definitely don’t want to "set it and forget it". Actively be monitoring your contest to see if it is performing as well as you would like. And if it isn’t, see if you can identify what could be improved. Do you have too many questions? Is the prize not attractive enough? Is it a case you just need better reach? That last one can easily be achieved by setting up a Facebook/Instagram paid ad campaign.
And when your contest ends, do a full debrief on the results it generated. This can provide valuable information as to what worked (or didn’t) so that you can repeat (or tweak) for the next one.
Good luck and remember…..people always love to win stuff. 😃
Until next time!
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