Operating different contests and promotions is a great way to occasionally refresh your pool of leads and to build up a larger base of fans and followers. Of course, there are downsides to this brand of advertising, hence the reasons that promotions are typically short-lived, sporadic events with companies. They don’t want hordes of uninterested people signing up just to get a prize. But around the holiday season, on the cusp of a new product release, or any other special occasion you can think of, a Facebook promotion can benefit you in numerous ways.
There are a few different types of promotions you can operate as a brand on Facebook. You can create a standalone promotion with the use of a third-party app, where you’re actually running it off-site yet using Facebook to promote it. Or you can create a promotion that operates specifically on Facebook, using Timeline business tactics to promote and operate it.
You can offer sweepstakes, games, polls, quizzes, personality tests, and a wide range of other promotions. Before you get going, however, you first need to go over the checklist of a successful promotion to make sure everything’s in order.
The Essential Checklist for a Successful Promotion
Comply with the Rules
The first item on the checklist: Facebook’s rules. Make sure that you’re always in full compliance with the rules. Some of the rules you’ll need to know include:
- Entrants must release Facebook of liability
- Winners cannot be notified through Facebook
- You cannot imply that you’re partners with Facebook
- Likes can now be utilized as votes
- Comments, Likes and messages can be used as entries
- You must comply with territorial rules (where you live)
After you’ve learned Facebook’s rules, it’s time to create your own rules for the contest.
Create Your Own Rules
When it comes to your particular rules, you want to keep things simple. The idea is to create a fair system that’s going to do away with (or at least reduce) cheaters and scammers trying to take advantage of the entry system. You should create simple, easy to follow rules, such as:
- One entry per person
- All entrants must enter by X date
- Code of conduct (language, images, etc)
- Make it clear how voting works and how a winner will be selected
- Stipulate the exact terms of the prize(es)
- Make it clear what someone must do to enter (email, mobile number, Like, comment, etc)
Find a Unique Angle
Following Facebook’s rules and creating your own, you should be able to find a wide range of different ideas concerning your promotion. What you want is a unique angle here. Whether you’re hosting it from your page entirely or with a third-party app, you want something that’s attractive, first and foremost. Try to create a unique image(s) for the contest, or even a cool promotional video clip to use with your advertising (more below).
When it comes to the types of promotions you can operate, the sky is truly the limit. You can post a simple personality test that offers a coupon for everyone who participates. You can host a true sweepstakes, where you’ll raffle off a big-time prize. You can offer deals and discounts, free gifts – practically anything you can think of, you can make a promotion out of it. Just make sure it’s not copied or recycled from someone else.
Having an original, interactive promotion isn’t always enough to draw a big crowd. You also want to provide some incentive. If you’re just a basic user surfing around Facebook and see the promotion through an ad, a share, etc, it’s probably the 17th similar item you’ve seen. But if this one is offering up a big prize, you’re definitely going to look twice.
Don’t worry too much about offering a prize of significant value. Even if you manage to spend $1,000 in total for the promotion, including the prize and advertising, this is money you can easily make back if your promotion is a success. Even 50 new customers spending $20 each will break even. Anything beyond that is pure profit, not to mention increased brand exposure and potential repeat business.
Create Your Off-Site Process
In order to ensure that everything runs smoothly, you need to have an off-site process ready to go. What you’re going to need to handle your leads effectively includes:
- A mass mailer/auto-responder
- Landing pages that are functioning properly
- A functioning system for collecting entries and sorting them
- An accurate way to tally votes and name the winner
- Enough time set aside to properly handle the promotion
As long as your process is ready to go, you’re ready to go. Just remember not to forget to tighten up your end of the promotion outside of Facebook. If you get hit with a huge turnout, you’ll be behind the 8 ball trying to get out of a jam. Entries will pile up, you’ll end up messing the contest up, and your reputation will take a hit.
Advertise Your Contest
When you’re ready to launch your contest, you’ll need to do more than simply deliver a post. Even if it breaks into a lot of News Feeds and picks up engagement and shares, you’ll never reach as far organically as you will with a paid boost. So make good use of ads.
Use an ad-management app to create, test and launch good ads promoting your promotion. Use the Promoted Post feature and give your post some legs. Invest in the advertising and you can reach a lot of people with news of your promotion.
Also have a look at this graphic illustrating 8 ways to drive traffic to your promotions.
Going down the checklist, you can see that it’s all about the details here. Yes, it’s an investment if you want to have a huge promotion with a great turnout, but most of the work is in overseeing the process to ensure that it runs fluidly.
Simon Campbell, a writer from a Facebook ad campaign tool – Qwaya. He loves to write different topics about social media and participates in some communities and forums. If you have more social media marketing questions, feel free to ask Simon on Twitter.
image by insidefacebook | infographic by woobox.