It’s hard to scroll through your Facebook newsfeed without being asked to like, share and comment on a brand or business page for a chance to win a prize. With Facebook easing the restrictions on brand promotions, contests are a straightforward, low-cost social media tool for growing a fanbase and spreading awareness. But before you jump on the “like and share” bandwagon, ask yourself a few questions to be sure you’re going about things the right way:
Why am I running a contest?
Is it to get more “likes”? Stop right there.
Contests are an effective way to engage fans and reward them for their loyalty while getting the word out about your business. It’s smart to use them as a promotional tactic, as long as they’re designed with your fans in mind and not just your bottom line. The short of it? it can’t be all about the “likes”.
If it’s not about Likes, what is it about?
Engagement. Relationship building. Customer cultivation. And numerous other benefits! The more you interact with your fans, the richer the conversation will be, and the more likely they will be to share out your content — even without a prize at stake.
At the end of the day, a “like” tells you nothing. What you should strive for is quality content, conversations and community building. All three of these can be achieved through a contest. Focus on these things, and the “likes” will come.
How can I stand out against the competition?
Even if your fans aren’t following your direct competitors, there are dozens of other brands, businesses, friends, and family members competing for space in the newsfeed. Don’t let this discourage you. It just means you need to work hard at creating a promotion that will resonate with your fans.
Be genuine. Be creative. Think beyond the typical “Share this post to win” format.
How can you turn the contest into a conversation? What can you do to learn more about your audience AND benefit your needs? A contest is a good way to get your audience’s attention. Now that you have it, how will you keep it? Maybe it’s a photo contest or a series of questions that will allow you to engage with your fanbase.
Finally, just because you CAN run a Facebook contest, doesn’t mean that you should or that it’s what your business needs to do right now. While Facebook contests can be practically free to execute, there’s still a time commitment involved. Be sure that you have the resources and reasoning to run a social media promotion.
What questions do you have about Facebook contests? We’d love to chat with you here!