Heather is passionate about helping companies deliver marketing that is hyper-relevant to the customer and drives profit for the business. As an experienced strategist with 20 years developing integrated marketing strategies across a range of industries, she advocates a data-driven approach to marketing.

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Successful Facebook Contests – The Quick & Dirty

ContestLet me describe a scenario you’re probably familiar with.  Your brand is on Facebook (who isn’t?) and someone unfamiliar with Facebook comes up with the great idea that you MUST have a Facebook contest.  What do you do?

Luckily, the Social Media Examiner recently put out a FANTASTIC article with tips for running a strategic, successful Facebook contest.  I’m not just going to repeat everything in the article (seriously, go read it, it should be your contest checklist) – but I will summarize the main themes covered in the article.

Be Strategic

Great contests don’t just happen, a lot of thought and careful planning goes into them.  A great contest takes a number of things into consideration and requires you to really think critically about how/why people interact with your content.  How much effort does entering the contest require and what is the value of the prize?  A video contest needs a bigger prize than a $25 gift certificate.

Be Smart

Make sure you’re following the rules.  By having a business page on Facebook, you agree to follow their Terms and Conditions or you risk having your business page shut down.  Contests need to be run using a third party app but there are many out there with different features and price points.  Let us know if you need help.

Simplicity Rules

I’ve worked with several clients that created contests that were just too complicated to enter.  In some cases, it wasn’t clear what was expected of participants to enter, there was too large a gap between the online world (Facebook) and driving them to an offline location, or the timeframe was inappropriate and the contest lost steam.  Your audience is presented with contests daily.  It needs to be dead simple for them to understand how/why they should enter.

Get the Word Out

The best contest in the world is not going to be successful if people don’t know about it.  This means thinking beyond your Facebook fans when promoting your contest.  It could mean promoting it using traditional media, or it might mean using Facebook ads to gain visibility with others already on Facebook.

What’s your experience with running contests on social media?  What do you wish you’d done differently?