A successful contest is one that is well planned and prepared. Launching a social media contest may sound like an easy task, but its not. Whether you’re planning to launch a straight forward contest like a sweepstake, caption contest or a Facebook photo contest, you’ll need to have a strategy placed before you launch your contest.
Here are some questions that you should ask yourself before launching your Facebook contest.
1. What are the goals of the contest?
You need to build your contest according to your goals. What are you trying to achieve with your contest? Do you have a specific goal or do you have more than one goals? Are you looking to:
- Increase engagement?
- Increase likes?
- Increase sales?
- Increase loyalty?
- Collect email addresses?
- Drive traffic?
This information is extremely important to determine the type of contest you should run and help you form a contest that will achieve your goals.
2. What type of contest should I run?
The type of contest will be based on the goals that you have for your contest For example, if your goal is to increase engagement, you can create a ‘Questionnaire Contest’ by asking your fans some questions, each time someone gets it right they earn themselves a another chance to win.
Want to collect email addresses for your mailing list? Set your Facebook contest app (yes you should use one!) to a page where participants would need to register their email addresses before joining your contest.
Alternatively, you could also launch a Facebook photo contest. This will get users to upload a photo of a theme you decide. There would be a voting system and engagement will increase as fans will share and ask their friends to vote for their photo.
Here is an example:
3. Should I use a Facebook app for my Facebook contest?
The simple answer to that question is YES you should. It is important to use a Facebook app for your contest as you’ll be breaking Facebook’s promotion guidelines if you don’t. That could get your contest, or even your page, banned. There are many options to choose from when thinking of a Facebook app for your contest. Binkd is one of them.
There are many other benefits of using a Facebook app for your contest too. One of them is that you’ll be able to have a ‘fan gate’. A fan gate makes sure that fans will need to like your page before they can participate in your contest. Another benefit is that you’ll have analytical tools thrown into your contest to evaluate and monitor its performance.
Here is an example of a fan gate:
4. What prize should I giveaway?
One of the most important aspects of any contest is the prize. If it isn’t good enough, your Facebook contest might not be effective. Having said that, you do not need to give away something like an iPad, iPhone, or iAnything – as mentioned in my previous post about whether you should run a Facebook contest
Give away something which is highly relevant to your business. If you’re offering marketing services you could offer your services as part of the prize. If you own a retail store, you could give away some of your merchandize. By not targeting pure numbers and the bottom line when measuring your contest, these relevant prizes would target relevant fans who will stick around even after your contest ends.
5. How long should my contest be?
Contest length varies depending on the type of contest you plan to organize. For sweepstakes, your contest length would be shorter as there isn’t much that users would be able to do once they participate. In comparison, photo contests require people to get their friends to vote and the longer you give them the more engagement you get.
One important thing to note is not to keep your contest open too long as people might procrastinate and end up forgetting about it. Keeping your contest open for too long also leads to the loss of momentum especially when there are no new entries. My guess? No more than a month – unless you plan to run a contest to win tickets for the next Superbowl.
You want your contest to be exciting and to motivate your participants to race to the finish line, so be sure to anticipate the correct length by factoring the targeted amount of participants, the timeliness of your prizes and the number of promotions you plan to run.
6. How should I promote my Facebook contest?
If you want to get the most out of your contest you’ll need to promote it. Before launching your contest you will need a strategy on how you’ll go about promoting your contest to get entries.
If you don’t already have a large (and loyal) number of fans, you can promote by:
- Facebook ads: (one of the best methods)
- Email newsletter
- Blog about it
- Getting brand advocates involvement
- Twitter and YouTube involvement
Either way, you would want EVERYONE to know that you are running a contest, so be sure to shout it out loud so everyone can hear. Let your friends and family know about it. Personally, I believe that Facebook ads are one of the best methods out there because you can easily target your audience according to their precise interests.
Those are six important questions that you need to answer before you run your next contest. What do you think? Did I miss anything?