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Start-Ups

5 Tips for Successful Facebook Contests

By Barbara Beauregard   |    November 14, 2016   |    1:22 PM

 

While some business owners credit Facebook contests for increased customer engagement, others view them as time-consuming endeavors that simply don't work. In truth, these social media tactics can be either, depending on how they're set up. 

If you're thinking about launching a Facebook contest to help collect data and promote your brand, learn five key tips that will promote greater success.

  1. Read Facebook’s policies and guidelines. Facebook has a strict list of “do’s and don’ts” for its contests. For instance, you cannot use a Like button or other Facebook feature to enter votes. You must also notify winners via phone call, snail mail or email before congratulating them publicly on Facebook. You are not allowed to include any sort of call to action, such as "tell your friends" or "don't forget to vote" on your timeline cover. You must also clearly state that Facebook is not sponsoring your contest. If you violate even one of Facebook's many rules, your contest, and your page, may be shut down.

  2. Choose the right third-party app for your contest. Facebook explicitly requires that you run your contest on a third-party application. Without one, it's nearly impossible to meet every one of the social media giant’s promotions guidelines. Numerous companies offer contest support. Make sure to go with an app that's customizable with embeddable or “anywhere” capabilities. Look for an app that can install the contest on you actual site, along with Facebook. Lastly, make sure the app has mobile capabilities, since most Facebook users access their accounts via mobile devices.

  3. Keep everything simple. Overly-innovative contests often flop, because they are just too complicated. Don't ask busy users to send in videos or fill out long forms. Never ask for job titles, marital statuses and other types of personal information. Remember, the fewer fields you ask the user to fill out, the more entries you will get.

  4. Pick the right prizes. Since your contest is centered on showcasing your company, you should choose one of your products or services as a prize. For instance, if you sell electronics, choose a popular item from your inventory. If you run a house cleaning service, consider giving away a few weeks of free cleanings. The prize doesn't have to be exceptionally valuable, but it does need to equal the effort it takes for participants to enter the contest.

  5. Organize your data and follow up. Once your contest is over and the prizes are out the door, it's time to start making sense of your data. Put everything into a spreadsheet and review what you’ve learned. Whether it's suggestions or feedback about your brand, your contest should yield valuable information. Once you've parsed the data, be sure to follow up with participants. Let them know you've heard their suggestions, so they will continue engaging long after your contest has expired.