Last month, Facebook changed its promotion and contest guidelines
, making it easier for businesses and brands to hold contests. Gone are the days of strict rules and third-party apps. If you’re a small-business owner, rejoice.
Once you’re finished celebrating, ask yourself these questions to make sure the contest you run is one that will draw attention—the right kind—to your brand.
1. Did you set goals?
It’s crucial to establish your objectives before launching a promotional campaign. What are you trying to achieve? Focus on your needs. Are you promoting your latest product? Repositioning your brand? Do you want more Facebook followers, new emails and leads, more traffic to your website, or immediate sales? All these can be achieved through Facebook contests.
2. What’s your type?
Based on your goal, determine which type of contest is best for you.
• Sweepstakes: Increases Facebook followers
3. Is your prize relevant?
• Group deal/Coupon: Promotes immediate sales
• Photo/Essay/Video: Increases engagement through user-generated content
• Any app contest: Offers list of email addresses
Prize value should always be in line with the time commitment. Offer smaller prizes for sweepstakes, and much larger prizes for an essay contest. Motivate contestants. Also, choose prizes relevant to your business: Offer gift cards to your store, an experience money can’t buy, the product you’re promoting, discounts, etc.
4. Do you know about Facebook guidelines?
Facebook is clearly more lenient now than ever about their contest guidelines, but don’t be fooled, there are still a lot of dos and don’ts you must be aware of.
You can’t ask people to:
• Share a post or a photo to be entered
• Share a contest on a personal account
• Require contestants to tag themselves in a photo to enter
But you can:
• Ask entrants to use the “like” button as a voting mechanism
5. Is it short and simple?
• Require contestants post something on your page to enter
• Announce the winner on your page
• Expect contestants to return to your page at a later date to vote
Most contests should last a week at the very most. Anything longer will diminish motivation. Consider weekly contests to develop momentum and gain consistent traffic to your Facebook page. Are the contest rules clear? Make it easy to enter. The more complicated it is, the fewer entries you’ll receive.
6. Are you promoting it?
Promote your Facebook contest on Twitter, your blog, an e- newsletter, etc. Your social media strategy thrives on cross-platform promotion. You could even pay for advertisement on Facebook itself. Post reminders about contest deadlines, and update the promotion’s status. Encourage the use of #hashtags by including them in your contest instructions, on Twitter, etc.
[RELATED: Learn how to create content that sticks for the long haul at our December NYC summit.]
7. Are you tracking the data?
Look at the metrics. Who participated? How many new followers do you have? Who was most engaged? Use the contest as a means to gather information about your customers.
8. Did you follow up?
Don’t forget to announce the winner(s). Let the contestants know who won by posting names on your Facebook page, or by email when applicable. Thank those who haven’t won’t for their effort and participation.
A version of this story originally appeared on Proper Propaganda's blog.