Everyone is familiar with the Facebook Timeline contest, where you're asked to like and/or comment to win. Another popular one is to share to your own Timeline to enter, but that's actually against Facebook rules—so keep that in mind when planning a contest or promotion for your business. There are also 3rd-party apps designed to help you run a contest, at varying cost to you. Each method of running a contest has its pros and cons, and that's what we're going to look at today.
Before you begin planning out your contest you should take a look at the Facebook Terms of Service to see what their rules are for running a contest on your page. Always best to cover your bases!
A Timeline contest is the easiest type to run, requiring just a simple post to your page explaining the contest, rules, and prize. You can choose which type of contest to run—like and/or comment, provide a photo caption, submit a photo or video of your product in action—based on the goal you've decided on. For instance, if your goal is to extend your Facebook reach and increase your following, a like/comment or photo captioning campaign would be your best bet. If your goal is to solicit user-generated content that you can later use for marketing purposes, asking for photos and videos of your product is ideal.
Another option is to grow your email list by setting up a contest landing page on your website and asking the visitor to fill out a short form in order to enter. Just make sure if you take this route that you ask for as little information as possible—you want your form to be quick and easy to fill out.
The advantages of a Timeline contest are pretty obvious, but there are some disadvantages, too.
As far as choosing a random winner, there are apps that can assist. Fanpage Karma, Woobox, and Contest Capture are all worth a look. And AgoraPulse has a free Timeline contest app you can use to simplify the whole process.
A 3rd-party app will add a tab to your page where all the contest information will live. On the upside, there's more you can do with a 3rd-party app, like running sweepstakes, quizzes, polls, or photo/video contests. The downside, of course, is that these services will cost you some money. You can learn more about pricing and see examples by visiting these providers:
Each method of running a contest has its own pros and cons, but with a little research, you can choose the approach that's best for your business. Facebook contests are a great way to generate interest, grow your fan base, and gather leads. Define your goal and get started. (And don't forget to cross-promote on your other social media!)
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.