How to run a Facebook Contest or Facebook Sweepstakes
Wishpond has a full suite of Facebook Contest Apps. Learn how to run a Facebook contest here and try one out!
How to Run a Facebook Contest: Introduction
A Facebook Contest is an easy way to engage Facebook likes and convert them into email signups by enticing them with a prize. There are many different types of Facebook Contests from the most basic “random draw” Facebook Sweepstakes to highly involved video contests with a full panel of judges to decide a winner. Each has different benefits and may be more valuable depending on your type of business and campaign goals.
A Facebook Contest is a great way to achieve your goals in social media. One Facebook contest can give you the same return on investment as hundreds of pieces of content saving you time and effort. For small business owners and small marketing teams, this time-savings is invaluable. In this article you’ll learn how to run a Facebook Contest to achieve specific goals and expand your business to new audiences.
Check out a few Facebook contest examples before we jump in:
How to Run a Facebook Contest: 5-Step Guide
1. Choose a Prize and Entry Method
The prize is the most important piece of your contest puzzle as it’s what entices people to enter. It’s crucial that you make the prize relevant to your business, in order to encourage future purchases down the road.
A great prize idea for your contest is a gift card for your business. Why? There are two main reasons:
1. A gift card is enticing to all of your potential customers – it’s the prize that is the most enticing to the largest group of people. If you give away a certain product or service, you will only get entries from people interested in that specific product. With a gift card, you will attract entries from anyone who is interested in your business and all of the products you sell.
2. It will only attract people who are actually interested in your business. When it comes to contests, you shouldn’t always just be looking for the highest number of entries. For example, if you give away an ipad you will get a ton of entries, but those people will only be interested in ipads, not your products. This will make it almost impossible to convert these users into actual sales for your business. Giving away a gift card ensures that entrants have an interest in your products, making it easier to nurture them into paying customers.
Next, decide what users have to do to enter. Do they need to submit a photo? Or just enter their email address? What you ask for at the time of entry depends on your goals. See “5 Strategies for How to Run a Facebook Contest to Achieve Specific Goals” below for help in determining what to ask for. Here are 3 entry methods to consider:
1. Contact Details: This method requires people to enter their email address, name, phone number, etc. to enter. For this method you should ask for the smallest amount of data you need to be able to contact entrants with follow-up emails to convert them into sales.
2. Contact Details + User-generated content: This method allows you to ask users to enter photos, videos and text to enter. It provides you with great user-generated content to use in future marketing, and allows you to run contests in which users vote on their favorite entries to win.
3. Contact Details + Friend Referral: To boost entries you can require people to refer “X” number of friends to the contest for their entry to be valid. This is a great way to boost entries and sharing, expanding the awareness of your campaign.
2. Build your Contest Page
The contest entry page needs to be simple and exciting. It must get people excited about the contest and prize, and make it easy to enter. Here are the 5 elements of an entry page for a contest on Facebook:
1. Attention-Grabbing Title: A short title phrased as a call-to-action is the best way to maximize entries. For examples, “Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card from Diamond Candles!” is both simple and informative – it tells visitors what they can do on this page, what the prize is and who is running the contest. It contains the essential information a person needs to feel informed enough to enter the contest.
2. Graphic of Your Prize: An image of your prize is a great way to entice and motivate people to enter. If you’re giving away a gift card (recommended), include an image with the gift card value in text and a product that people can buy with that gift card.
3. Entry & Prizing Info: Include a short paragraph with info about the prize, how to enter and any rules or restrictions for your contest. You can easily add a link to an outside rules & restrictions page using our HTML Text Editor, to keep from overcrowding your contest page.
4. Entry Submission Form: An entry form for a Facebook contest consists of an email address signup box and an “Enter Sweepstakes” button. For contests that require entrants to submit photos, videos or text entries, it can include a file upload field or text area. It can also include custom fields like city, age, etc. to capture more personal details.
5. Share Buttons & Facebook Comments: Make it easy for entrants to share your contest with friends by including share buttons directly on the contest page. Wishpond’s Facebook Contest Apps include built-in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest share buttons. They also include Facebook Comments to boost interaction on the contest page.
3. Promote & Share your Contest
With your contest set up, it’s time to promote it. There will be organic growth from entrants sharing with friends, but you will need a few promotional boosts in the beginning to create the initial seed. Here are 5 methods to promote your contest:
1. Send an email blast: Email your customer email lists – they will be the most likely to enter and share with friends to help jump-start your contest.
2. Promote your contest on social networks: Share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you have a social presence. This is a great way to introduce users from other networks to your Facebook Page and get them hooked more into your brand.
3. Add a banner on your website home page: If you’re an online business, you get the most traffic to your website, not your social network accounts. Capitalize on this traffic by including a banner on your homepage that links to your contest entry page.
4. Create a Facebook Ad:This is a great way to reach new customers outside of your current community. These ads can be very targeted to reach your demographic.
5. List your Contest on popular contesting websites: There are a ton of contesting websites that allow for free submissions. These are a great way to get access to new communities of customers. Check out our list of 19 websites to post your contest to.
4. Monitor your Contest
Depending on your contest goals, you may be interested in tracking entries, shares or new Fans. Here are 3 methods for monitoring metrics of your Facebook contest:
1. Facebook Page Insights: This tool allows you to track the number of shares, likes and comments your contest’s posts receive, and the number of new Fans your Page received during the run of your contest.
2. Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your contest across the entire web.
3. Wishpond Campaign Reporting: Wishpond’s Facebook Contest Apps include real-time campaign reporting, which allow you to track views, entries and bounce rates in real-time. This allows you to update your contest in real-time as it’s running.
5. Post-Contest Follow-up & Promotion
Even after your contest is over, you can use it to promote your Facebook Page further. Here are a few suggestions on how to leverage your contest and keep your entrants engaged with your business:
1. Profile winner(s) on your blog and share on Facebook and other social networks.
2. Create a video showing you choosing the winner to create excitement.
3. Send a follow-up email to contest entrants to convert them into sales.
4. Share your plans for future contests on Facebook to keep your followers hooked.
All of these activities keep the momentum going and will prime followers for future posts from your Facebook Page.
Pro Tip: Create a custom cover photo on your Facebook Page promoting your contest, with an arrow pointing down to the Page Tab to enter. See how Qwertee did this below:
How to run a Facebook Contest using a 3rd Party App (like Wishpond)
3rd party apps like Wishpond’s make it easy to create your Facebook Contest. Using our simple fill-in-the-blank campaign builder you can have your contest created in 5 minutes. Facebook contest apps automate the set up, installation and data storage required for a contest. Here are the steps you take inside the Wishpond campaign builder to create a Facebook contest:
1. Create your contest page by adding text, images and form fields to our contest template.
2. Install the contest app on your Facebook Page, Twitter account or website, where it will automatically appear when the contest goes live.
3. Once your contest begins, go to the Campaign Report Page to check out campaign stats including views, entries and conversion rate in real-time.