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How to run a successful contest on Facebook

First ask yourself these questions:

Why run a contest on Facebook?

Running a contest on Facebook is very useful and can help you succeed in:

  • To have more fans
  • Engage your community
  • Obtain a better image
  • Collect data and better know your community

Running a Facebook contest, for who?

You certainly should know your community. Facebook already gives you pretty useful information and statistics: age, gender, origin…

All the data that is given will allow you to identify the major trends of your community to create the perfect contest.

Even better: targeting functions (gate posting) will allow you to directly communicate your contests to your target audience through the Facebook posts.

Do not hesitate to segment your fans in your base for more effective results. The more you can adapt to your target with the language you use, the graphics, and the types of gifts, the more your contest will succeed.

What types of contests are available?

Three different types of contest are at your disposal, and many more are coming:

  • Quiz: This is a good way to promote your brand through fun and informative questions about your business and your products. People answer questions and have a chance to be drawn if they answered correctly. The more they invite their friends through Sponsorship, the more chances they’ll have to get drawn.
  • Sweepstakes: The participants in your Facebook Sweepstakes will enter by the date that you decide. Simply select the information you need to collect (or add more). At the end of the contest, you can draw winners on your contest dashboard, it also takes into account Sponsorhip.
  • Instant Win: Fast and efficient, your fans will know immediately if they won. It’s the best way to attract everyone and collect the maximum amount of information in record time.
  • Survey : It’s not a real contest but it is the best way to get feedback from your fans. Ask them the questions that really matters for your business.
  • The Video Contest: This app is very viral and allows your fans to submit a video on your choice. Videos that receive the most likes from other fans will win the contest.
  • The Photo Contest: This works the same way as the Video Contest. Participants that submit a photo on your topic with the most likes wins.

In all five cases, you can collect the fan information you want and need such as : age, name, city, email, phone number, address, etc. Then choose between the different types of inputs through which your fans can answer your questions: text, checkbox, drop down menu, fill-in bubble, or multiple choice.

When to launch my Facebook Contest?

The best would be to follow your business cycles: and all the cycles are different from one business to another.

Let us give you some examples. You have a swim suits brand. Three months before the summer is the best time to start communicating! In the dead of winter, no one is interested and chances are people will start looking at swim suits just a few months before holidays.

For festivals and one-time events: Many members of the PageYourself members save tickets and dates for concerts or festivals. For these you cannot promote too early or late. A month and a half is plenty of time to start promoting such events to keep the news fresh and strong in your consumers mind.

Do not forget to think about developing your web communication when periods of the year are calmer. This way you can optimize your visibility and optimization on the Internet and social media when times get busy.

How long should my contest last?

The duration of your contest is determined by these criterias:

  • A beginning and end date If visitors arrive on the contest before or after your activity: they are redirected to pages that say they are too early or that they are too late. Personalize these pages for the best communication, interests, and your desired objectives to be reached!
  • Instant Win option: The Contest ends once all the prizes have been won The best time to start promoting is to choose a date close enough between the start and end date. More than a month of a contest it could be counterproductive, and your community will lose interest. The opposite side, promoting too late, could lose optimization in the number of participants. Find the right balance for your contests to promote: Between 1 week-1 month is the best.

Are regulations and rules necessary?

Once your contest is published on Facebook or any other site, it is essential that you are constantly regulating it. As required by many countries, rules and regulations must be written and accessible to any participants.

Attention for Italy, in addition you must apply for authorization and pay a deposit prior to starting a contest.

Here are some points that should be included in your regulations and rules:

  • Title/Name of Contest
  • Name of owner or name of a person to contact from the business
  • Legal mentions of the owner : The registration of the business
  • Start date and end date of the contest
  • The prizes that are to give away and to how many participants
  • Original location of where the contest was created
  • Available social network the contest will be available on (website, Facebook, mobile, blog…)
  • Refunds and Participation fee
  • Terms of costs and conditions

Check your countries rules before you run your contest, you wouldn’t want to be in trouble ;)

Winners yes, but what do they win?

Your contest will interest your fans if they win something:

  • A product: an iPad, a travel, a USB key
  • A price discount or coupon

Note: This will quickly pay for itself as the information they enter in your database will be yours to keep! The information that you collect will be able to be implemented in your future actions and communications.

Tip: A big prize (a vacation, an iPad) along with small prizes (USB drives, pens, etc.) allows for maximum participation. Sometimes only having a big prize offered can discourage participants because they will believe they have no chance.

Creating a Fan Gate to turn all visitors into fans

To create a Fan Gate, simply click on the ’Fan Gate’ button at the bottom of your Engine. Then select ’create a Fan Gate’ and give it a name to keep organized. Then create the Fan Gate as if you were to create an App.

Do not forget

  • Create partnerships and communication relay
  • Communicate about your contest before it starts (Do some teasing)
  • Try the contest before launching (testing phase)
  • Use smartlinks to be available on mobile devices
  • Track the number of participants and adapt your communication
  • Engage with the users that have participated
  • Measure the success rate of the quiz and make the next one easier if it is too difficult
  • Set the number of prizes to be won and stop the game at the right amount of time (Instant Winner)
  • Make the game interesting of course with benefits
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