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A Guide to Social Media and Contests

How to Run Facebook ContestsContests are a great way to up your engagement on Facebook.  Not only do you gain exposure by people participating, but you are also directly engaging your fans in a positive and meaningful way.  Remember, a good portion of users on Facebook are following their favorite brands to learn about special promotions or giveaways. So, running a contest can be a great way to get followers interacting with your brand and meeting their online needs at the same time. Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting Contesting on Facebook.  Before we get started highlighting the different contests and what you can do though, it’s important that before you begin running a contest, you’ve thought about and know the following things:

1. Do you really need a contest? – What type of business are you? If you’re in retail, a contest is a great way to showcase your product and gain customers. If you’re a niche B2B company, then maybe a contest isn’t the best way to gain meaningful clients.
2. Know Your Audience – What do you think they want to win? What would be motivating for them to enter? Decide on a prize that your audience will want and will be motivated to participate in.
3. Know Facebooks Rules and Regulations – Facebook has a lot of rules regarding running contests on their site. Most of them revolve around not using Facebook directly in any form of the actual contesting (advertising on the cover photo, “liking” being used as a vote, and communicating with winners) The most important one in though, is that you have to use a third party application to run the contest.
4. Decide on which type of contest to run – There are tons of different contest types out there.  The main ones are sweepstakes, photo, essay, and video. We’ll go into more detail about these over the next few weeks though.
5. Decide which application to use – As previously mentioned, you must use a third party application to run a contest on Facebook.  There are lots of apps out there for you to use, and depending on your budget and type of contest some are better than others.
6. Advertise your contest – Once you have the contest up and running, let the world know abotu it! Use Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform to let everyone know about the cool opportunity to win some free stuff!

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