1. Comply with Facebook’s rules and use a Third Party application. We like Shortstack.com. Their application is very easy to use, flexible and their customer service is top notch. *Update: Facebook has since lifted the requirement for using a third party application for Giveaways, but I still recommend using one for building your email list.
2. Do your research and come up with a contest or Like campaign that your target market will be interested in. If you just decide “let’s give away an Ipad” be prepared for the professional contest junkies who will bring no value to your Facebook page or business after the contest is over. One great way to come up with ideas is to monitor conversations around your target market. In monitoring #LBI on Twitter for a client of ours, we noticed all the people sharing pictures of sunsets and sunrises. Since our client is a romantic restaurant and Inn, this was a perfect match. The Sunrise Sunset Photo Contest was born. Winners will get an overnight stay and dinner for two. The contest has already brought in 60 entries and we will be running it for another month. More importantly, it’s been shared by all the major influencers on Twitter in LBI.
3. Don’t be stingy. If you want people to enter your contest, you are going to need to offer a prize that will motivate them. A 25% off dinner for two coupon will not cut it. Come up with an experience. Maybe partner with a Limo company and throw in tickets to a show in addition to a romantic dinner for two. Whatever it is, make sure people will really want to win it.
4. Don’t be difficult. Don’t make your potential contestants jump through hoops to enter. They won’t do it unless you’re giving away one really, really attractive prize. Keep entry to a simple form after “Liking us” or uploading a photo. And, if you are requiring a photo, be sure it’s of something that your contestant won’t have to work too hard to produce. As in the sunrise – sunset contest, we already knew those pictures were out there. We just had to urge them to enter them into our contest.
5. Create an Eye catching graphic and develop a compelling contest page.
6. Write your rules. Contests need rules. You’ll need a start and end date. Must be 18 years or older to enter, that kind of stuff. You’ll also need a disclaimer saying that Facebook is no way involved with the contest. Here are 10 tips for writing rules to keep in your back pocket. http://www.sociallystacked.com/2013/03/best-practices-for-writing-facebook-contest-rules-10-tips/
7. Get as much mileage out of the entry form as possible but don’t make it too daunting or intrusive. We always include a check box to gain permission to add them to our email list. Yes, I would like to receive email notifications of upcoming specials and promotions
8. Partner with a well-known charity in your area or a charity that would appeal to your target market. This is a great way to boost the Likes on your page and give back to your community. Designate a budget of at least $500 and pledge to donate $1 for every like to your charity of choice. Of course, talk to the charity first and get the okay. I would advise to choose a charity that has a presence on Facebook, so they can help you promote it. End your Like campaign with a check presentation and pictures.
9. Call in favors. Sometimes, you need to reach out privately to your connections to ask them to either get the ball rolling with a contest or to help share it. Obviously, don’t overdo this or you’ll lose friends, but many times contests and Like campaigns need a little nudge to get going.
10. Budget for paid promotion. In the past we have had clients incorporate their contests into their email marketing, radio spots, in store posters, etc. Think about how you will get the word out about your contest outside of Facebook and of course, on Facebook. Facebook offers paid targeted advertising and paid promotion of posts. You’ll want to take advantage of this to gain the exposure you’ll need.
Have you seen little to no results from your Social Media Marketing? We are helping clients achieve real leads and sales through Social Media Advertising, Contests and Sweepstakes. Contact us now to learn more.