This post is by Jim Belosic, co-founder and president of Pancake Laboratories, the creators of ShortStack, an application built on the Facebook platform, which offers affordable, white-label tab design that includes contests, commenting, sharing and many other easy-to-use features. Be sure to check out part 1 of this post for more tips on designing an effective contest.
Once you’ve designed your Facebook contest, you need to make a big deal out of the fact you’re giving something away! You should be talking about your contest on your page’s wall, your newsletter, Twitter and every other way you speak to your visitors! Be careful not to overdo it, though — there are five points at which you should be posting about your contest to increase engagement without being annoying.
- Let them know it’s coming. Before launching a promotion, let your fans know about it! Let your Facebook followers be the first to know what’s happening — they followed your page for a reason. Give them a sneak peak of the contest’s details, drop some hints on the prize or just tell them the day you’ll be launching the giveaway.
- Launch with a bang! Don’t just post it on your Facebook page : Tweet about it, send out an e-newsletter and use every tool in your arsenal to engage with your audience. Use your announcement as an opportunity to increase connections — a user who only receives a newsletter might suddenly become someone who likes your Facebook page.
- Remind them the contest is still taking place. Has it been a couple of days since you’ve launched? Remind your Facebook fans that it’s still taking place. They may not have seen the initial hype, so get in there and remind everyone that they still have time to enter, just be careful not to don’t overdo it. Message fatigue can become a real problem if all you talk about is the contest — use the contest to promote your business, not the other way around.
- Warn them about the amount of time remaining. Is there only a week left to enter the contest, or is voting ending this Friday? Let your fans know! Reminding them that they only have limited time to get involved will help spur those users who haven’t yet participated but want to.
- Announce the winner. This is obvious, right? You might surprise yourself — it’s not unusual to find a Facebook contest that never announced a winner. Don’t let your efforts become anticlimactic — create a win-win for your business and the entrants by making a big deal of the winner. It sets the tone for future contests and indirectly sends a message to other fans, reminding them of the incentives for participating. What’s more, it’ll encourage future participation and help strengthen your relationships with your page’s active fans.
If your budget allows, utilizing Facebook Ads is a great and affordable way to dramatically increase the reach of your promotion. A well designed ad is the single most important element of a successful Facebook Ad campaign. Keep the design aesthetically simple and be as concise as possible while still conveying your promotion’s necessary information. Be effective with your ad-spend by targeting users who share the interests and demographics of those who already like your page. Use Facebook Ads as an opportunity to engage and grow your fan base, as well as promote your contest.
After Your Contest Has Ended: So your promotion just ended — you’re done, right? Well, sort of, but you’ll be missing out if you leave it at that. You ran the promotion for a reason, and gathered useful information along the way. It’s time to put that data to use! Throw that information into a spreadsheet and use it as a learning opportunity. What did you learn about your visitors? Did you learn anything about your business, or where you should be heading next? Analyzing your data can be an excellent opportunity to fine-tune your business if developed correctly.
Did you remember to ask users for their opinions and suggestions about your business, product or service? This kind of data can be invaluable, but most users won’t give you this information without something in return, so your promotion is a great place to ask for it. Were any of your visitors’ suggestions interesting or valuable? If so, show your users you’ve been listening and take action with their recommendations. Tell them you’re listening to engage with your users and further motivate them to participate on your page, share your content and become even bigger fans of your business.
When all is said and done, you’ll have a much better chance of running a successful promotion if you’ve followed the above suggestions — use the “social” nature of social media to your advantage, and take advantage of third-party tools to help you set up and run your promotion. Facebook, and social media in general, can be extremely powerful in brand-building and business-promotion if used correctly.
Whether money’s no object or you’re on a shoestring budget, there are tools out there that will help you develop your own custom iframe promotions and applications on your Facebook tabs, allowing you to harness the power of interactive media by integrating many features into a single, professional Facebook tab.
How are you promoting your Facebook contests?
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