In a recent blog post, we provided some solid advice for organizing contests on Facebook. We covered all the essentials, like the basic types of competitions and the various legal requirements for running a competition.
Once you have absorbed those details, you are one step closer to launching your own contest. But before getting started, you should answer a couple of important questions. Why do you want to run a contest? And what are the specific goals of the contest? Perhaps you want to showcase a new product, raise awareness, generate leads, gather Likes and boost engagement or simply redirect users to a carefully crafted webpage.
After you have some good answers, you should consider the specific type of activity required from participants. Do you want them to only like your post or leave a comment to enter? Would you prefer that they create and share photo or video content? Another popular option is to ask for longer written comments, captioning a picture prepared by you or simply providing answers to a question.
Now, if you feel ready to launch your Facebook contest, here are 10 simple tips to help make it a success:
1. Keep it simple. Users may be reluctant to perform complicated tasks to just get a chance of winning a prize. Remember your goals and the type of competition you are running, and keep it simple. This also extends the contest registration process if you made one available — do not ask for too much data early on.
2. Think about mobile. Most users will probably see your contest on their mobile devices. Make it easy for them to enter and participate in the event with just a couple of taps on their screens.
3. Show the rules. Clearly state the requirement of the contests, who can enter, the prize (or prizes) and how the winning participant will be selected. If you plan to use content generated by your followers in the future, be sure to explain where it will be used. Remember to state that the contest is not organized, associated or administered by Facebook.
4. Use the right words. Think hard to develop a catchy headline. Make it short and effective. Try to use words that might attract people (free, unique, valuable). Remember to add a clear call to action. If the contest is easy to enter, use bullets to list the necessary steps.
5. Show the prize. One good picture can get the imaginations of participants running wild. It is a simple way to attract immediate engagement through the contest. You should also provide a brief description of the prize that indicates why it is unique and desirable.
6. Create the perfect hashtag. You can use it as a simple way of making the contest more memorable and spreading awareness.
7. Use all you channels. Make sure your fans (including potential new fans) know about the contest. Mention it on your webpage and blog if you have one. Tweet about it, and send emails to your fan base. If the contest revolves around pictures, then Instagram is another obvious place to promote it.
8. Keep it alive. During the contest, use additional posts to remind people that the contest is running and that there is a valuable prize up for grabs. You should also mention the submission deadline to create a sense of urgency.
9. Use Facebook ads. This is especially important if you want to maximize the number of people that see your contest. An extra bit of promotion and visibility will not hurt, but…
10. Target carefully. Nothing will disappoint users more than a contest with great prizes that they cannot win because of geographical or other restrictions. When promoting a contest, be sure that it reaches the correct audience.
When all the excitement is over, remember to publicly thank all contest participants and highlight the winner or winners. You should also reach out to whoever won to ask for a picture of them with the prize. If possible, reward all participants of the contest, for example with a discount code.
You can also use the opportunity to tease your audience about an upcoming contest. After all, once you know the fundamentals, running a Facebook contest is fun and easy.