Running a Facebook Contest People Will Actually Enter

You have probably heard that a social media based contest – especially one that revolves around Facebook – can be a great way not only to promote your business and your brand to a new audience but also to increase engagement with your current customers. That can be true but running such a contest can be harder than you think.

One of the biggest hurdles many have found that they face when running such a contest is not setting it up – there are some great apps out there that make that very easy – and it is not administering it either, because those same apps help with that too. What is often very hard though is actually getting people to enter! Here are a few tips that should help:

The Prize

Choosing the Right One: The prize on offer should be one that corresponds with your business and will interest your target audience. Ideally, it should be your product or service but failing that, it should at least tie in with your niche.

Justify the Effort: If you are only giving away a t-shirt that is fine – just don’t expect that your fans will write an essay to get it. If on the other hand, you are giving away something far more substantial then that effort would be justified and most users would actually feel accomplished if they won for something ‘big’ for something they created rather than just for entering their name and email address.

The Copy

The copy that explains your contest has to be clear and concise. If it takes you half a page of copy to explain what your contest is all about then many users may become confused and frustrated enough to simply not bother to enter at all.

Your copy should also be very honest. For example, if you were a restaurant giving away a month of free appetizers but you really only want the prize used on one of your slower evenings, make that clear upfront to avoid misunderstandings and disappointments further down the line.

To Fangate or Not to Fangate?

Many people do choose to fangate their contests, only allowing those who have liked their page to enter. This can be a good way to gain fans but doing so also comes with risks and downsides. The first is that many of the new likes will simply unlike your page once the promotion is over. The second is that you will gain fans that have no interest at all in your brand, just in winning something which means as a follower, they also have very little value to you in the long run.

It is often better to ‘give to get’. Make your contest open to anyone and those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say and to offer in general will come to ‘like’ you of their own accord, whether they win something or not.

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