How to run a successful Facebook Sweepstakes & get NEW CUSTOMERS

Facebook Sweepstakes have the potential to get you a lot of exposure, email addresses and NEW CUSTOMERS.

But how do you attract a critical mass of people? How do you attract shoppers who are actually interested in purchasing from you and are not just looking for a freebie? And how do you convert entrants in your sweepstakes into CUSTOMERS? Here’s how it’s done: 1. Give away a BIG gift card to YOUR store Sweepstakes are social in nature. People love to talk about winning the grand prize draw – especially if it’s one that they can’t afford right now. This is key to remember – entrants to your sweepstakes won’t be telling their friends about how great the sweepstakes is or how great your brand is – they’ll be talking about how great the prize is! But don’t giveaway an iPad. You’ll get a lot of entrants but only ones who are interested in iPads, not your products. The best prize is a $100 (or more!) gift card  to your store. Why? It applies to every customer who is interested in YOUR products. And it is large enough to grab people’s attention. It will get people talking about the cool things that they’ve seen in your store that they’d purchase with the gift card. It will also bring entrants to your store simply by enticing them to see what they can use their gift card to purchase – which may turn them into customers on the spot if they see something they want. Remember, the whole point of running a sweepstakes is to get new shoppers to check out your store and convert them. 2. Plant a large seed to give it a boost Wishpond Facebook Sweepstakes have a built in auto-sharing feature. This means that every person who enters your sweepstakes will automatically share a post to their Facebook Profile about it – which gives you exposure to their entire social network. It’s up to you to get those first few entrants to get the ball rolling. Your sweepstakes is not going to simply start from zero and take off on its own. How do you do this? There are three ways: 1. Distribute it to your current customers. This is an easy and free way to start the organic sharing. Your customers already love your products so entering for a free gift card is a no-brainer. Send out an email to your customer lists and post to each of your social networks to let each of them know about it to get them entered and to start sharing with their friends. 2. Distribute it through established blogs There are a ton of established blogs that have sections just to showcase free giveaways from other sellers, so it`s easy to piggy-back of their traffic. Here’s a great list of blogs to post giveaways to in this article Each of them accept free outside submissions. 3. Online Ads Facebook Ads are a great tool to use for targeting specific consumer groups. You can create ads targeted based on explicit demographics and interests of users. This is perfect for your Facebook Sweepstakes. Most ads are boring and are about a sale or a new product – but you’re giving away $100 for free! This will entice a large number of shoppers who have never heard of you to click on your ad. And it will give you reach to brand new social circles that you don’t currently have access to. 3. Convert your entrants into customers Once all the hoopla is over and you’ve picked your winner, what do you do? You can sit back and hope that some of the non-winners of your sweepstakes come to your store and shop, but they may have simply forgotten that they even entered. Facebook Sweepstakes gives you the email addresses of each of your entrants – so this is the perfect time to convert those interested entrants into CUSTOMERS. You can send a warm email by offering them a small consolation prize – like a 25% off gift card – as a thank you for entering. This will quell their immediate negative feelings of not winning and leave them feeling positive towards you. It will also give them an excuse to head to your store and start shopping.

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About the Author:

Nick is the Director of Marketing at Wishpond.

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