By Nazia Khan- Ahmed
An essential way of marketing on Facebook can be done by running a contest. If you conduct a good contest, it will definitely help in attracting a large number of audience. There are many different ways by which a contest can be helpful for your Facebook page and the marketing of your business. Some of the major aspects are discussed below.
Benefits of Contest
The basic aim of managing and running up a Facebook page is offering a reward to the customers. You can set up different rules for the contest that you have planned for your audience. In order to target the audience and to engage them in the contest you can set up random participation for them. There are many different types of contest that you can set up. For example, you can provide with multiple answer options for a question and then ask the audience to guess the right one. Similarly, you can ask the contest participants to Like and share your brand picture with your friends, this will lead the participants to have a chance to win the prize that is set for the contest. In this way you can randomly select one of the participant who followed the contest rules. Finally, the selected one will be able to receive the prize.
Contest are really helpful in increasing the number of audience or followers on your Facebook page. It is because many people will start following your page due to the rule of liking your page by which they will be able to qualify for the set reward. If in case the followers do not win the contest they will still follow you in order to win any other upcoming contest.
There are many ways by which you can get engage with many different users. This can also depend on the rules of your contest that what you want your followers to do. The contest can be in the form of the likes and share of a business page. This includes all those users who like your page and then share it with others following the contest rules. Similarly, you can make people to engage by commenting or by submitting any relevant picture for the contest.
In order to set up a good contest the engagement of users is very important. In this way the EdgeRank rating of a page can be increased. This would lead to more exposure of your posts among the people who participated.
Apart from this there are many other ways by which you can make the user to get engaged in a particular contest.
Guidelines for Contests
There are certain guidelines which you have to follow while setting up a contest on Facebook. It is not an easy task. In recent time, Facebook has relaxed some of these guidelines. In the past, any Facebook contest that had the title “like us to win” was banned. All those businesses who market their contest with this title were surely banned from the Facebook pages.
Nowadays, Facebook authority has made some changes in their guidelines. You have the option to either run the contest on the news feed of your page, run them by using an app that is specifically set up for the contest or you can also run them by using the entry engine of any third party. There are many ways through which the Facebook pages are allowed to collect the user entries for the contest. Some of them are discussed below:
The Facebook pages now are to gather the entries for the contest when a particular user posts anything on the page. This can also be done when a user clicks like or give their comments regarding a post.
When a user message on a page this also leads to collect an entry for a contest.
On Facebook the voting can be done by the number of likes. For example, if a user uploads two images on his Facebook page, the image which will contain more likes will win among the two. In addition to this, Facebook guidelines do not allow anyone to tag those specific users who do not intend to participate in the contest.
You can find a number of ways through which a user entry can be counted.
How To Run a Contest
If you want to run a contest on Facebook, there are many options which you can choose. Following are the three most effective ways by which you can run a contest effectively.
The first option is a simple one. When you decide to start a contest, you can announce to receive the entries of participants till a set deadline. These entries can be counted through the total number of likes or shares a person conducts. After the deadline is over you can select one of the winner from the total entries that you got. You can select the participant randomly. You do not need any software to do the selection of the winner.
Second option is that of a contest app that many businesses launch in order to conduct a contest effectively. These apps are of many types. That are specifically related to a company or business.
You can easily use the contest apps because these are just similar to many other available apps. The owner of the app who have designed the code for the app usually hosts the contest. You have the authority to customize the contest app from their website and then link it directly to your existing Facebook page. By following this procedure, you can use the contest app easily on your Facebook page and further attract many available users on your Facebook page with the help of this particular app.
The third option includes the involvement of the off-site promotion and management of the contest. It is considered as one of the most intensive option that can be used for conducting a particular contest by different businesses.
Apps you can Use to Run Contests
Now I will discuss about the available apps you can use to run your contests. One of the most used app is ‘Gleam’. It comes up with a great box with many possible ways of making entries methods. It will enable you to earn engagement from your marketing.
There are many possibilities from “like this page on Facebook” and “retweet this message on Twitter” to “join this Steam group” and “follow this account on Twitch.”
Each contest will be allocated 3 boxes on the top.
- Box number 1 will have the entries of the logged in has accumulated.
- The 2nd box will have total number of entries, so the user can calculate their chances if they have won.
- The 3rd box is the time remaining before the contest closes.
You can customize these three boxes according to your choice. You can customize the boxes and adjust them to the way you want. Each participant will have to have various accounts they will allow Gleam to access. You won’t be bothered about the authentication or security as Gleam will take care of all this.
Cost of Gleam
You can avail gleam is three prices first is free. You have unlimited amount of participants and entries. It will also enable you to detect frauds and scams.You can search for entries and users very easily.
Email signups are not available though, if you want them to subscribe to your newsletter you will have to upgrade.
Now there is another plan called ‘Pro Plan’ it is just $39 per month. It has many features like picture gallery, manual choices for winners, landing page, location restriction and many other options.
Now there comes ‘Business Plan’ it is $149 per month. It will give you display controls; entry imports for usage of hashtags.
If you want to find something other than Gleam you can go to Woobox. It is not limited to contests though. You can do so much than that like promotions, quiz, polls, prize claims and ads. It is really interesting. In my opinion Woobox is much more diverse than Gleam. It has more than 20 templates you can use as a base. There are many customization options not like just the basic color changing as on Gleam.
Kinds of Contests
After discussing the apps, you can use to run contests, let’s go through the types of contests you can run.
We’ve discussed about voting contests and raffle entries but there are many other types available for you to try.
- The Basic Raffle
Stack up entries made by users in a way through Gleam or just through Facebook ‘like this to enter to win’ contest.
You should wait for a while for entries to come your way, but not long enough for people to forget about your contest totally. Then pick a winner. Use the same app that you are using and choose a winner, the user will be notified automatically. With runner ups you have to do it yourself.
The same style of contest can be used to several prizes that you might want to giveaway.
- The Direct Win
This contest is more like a raffle which chooses the winner instantly. It is more like a fast food contest like “put in a code and see if you win” systems.
Put up an app that users can cooperate with to generate a specific code or chance to win. Some of them will win, many of them will not. I think these should be used carefully, unless you have a reasonable consolation prize for everyone who has participated. It always feels bad to use these kinds of apps and win nothing. However, giving out a baseline code for 5% off your store or something, with the option of having better prizes, is a more compelling option.
- Photo Contest
This one should be done in stages. You can ask your users to submit pictures. You can set a theme up like for example for mother’s day you can ask your audience to post pictures of themselves with their mothers or their kids. Limit them up to just one entry. You can also set the theme to landscape photos.
One you have picked the winners, select three winners and ask your audience to choose the best one. It will get you another form of engagement. You can also use Instagram to your benefit and Pinterest also. This is the point where you can use Hashtags to your benefit.
- The Voting Contest
Put up two choices and ask users to vote for which one they like better. You can do it by posting two images and having them like the one they like the best – though some people will vote for both to be safe – or run a poll where the user can vote for either option and the winner gets the prize.
Ask a series of questions with a prize offered at the end of them. Be careful with this kind of contest, though. If your prize is good enough, people will go out of their way to either hack or crowdsource the answers. This is a good contest to use for small gift cards or store discounts, but it’s not a great contest to use for exclusive prizes like an IPad.
- The Offer Claim
This is less of a contest and more of a time-sensitive offer. Just have, say, 10,000 coupon codes or 100 discount cards up for giveaway, and ask users to do anything to claim one for themselves.
- The Caption Contest
This contest is really effective if you run a photography page or a clothing store. Like post a picture and ask your audience to caption the image. Go through all the entries and see which one is your favorite. Select it as a winner.
You can do this with multiple judges and a prize for each judge to give a larger audience more of a chance.
I have posted an article in previous blog posts on what to giveaway in a Facebook contest. Always be careful of selecting prizes. What I have always observed is if you put up a tablet for giveaway people will come just for the tablet. If you put your own products as giveaway the people who will participate will be the ones who really care about your products.
About the Author
Nazia Khan- Ahmed is a Social Media Writer who has majored in Textile Designing. Also Holds Bachelor’s degree in Education and English Language Certification. Finds it impossible to discuss herself in third person but is doing so as per the demands of this bio. She is a home-maker and teaches Textile Designing to degree classes at the same time. Being nocturnal has taught her to manage her work in the night and her home at day time.