This is a Guest post to the Four51 blog.
A simple Facebook contest can increase your fan base very rapidly and jump start your social media presence with minimal effort. This is a great way to get people to see your content constantly; they may not always be on your website or thinking about your brand, but when you post content to Facebook it will likely pop up in their News Feed.
There are several types of contests that you can run but one of the simplest contests is a “Like to Win” contest where the user has to like your page prior to entering, which is often referred to as a fan gate. This ensures that you are building your social presence with the contest. Yes, some users may unlike you after the contest period, but that’s okay.
There are several ways to go about contesting on Facebook, but here are ten tips to get the most out of running a contest:
1.) Be creative. Make the contest fun!
I recently ran a contest for the Minneapolis jewelry store that I work for and we bought a very rare pink diamond ring so we asked people to name it, the best name won a $500 gift certificate. There are so many types of contests you could run: photo competitions, sweepstakes, blog contests, and the list goes on. Have fun with it and your customers will have fun too.
2.) Give them something cool!
While setting up a contest you want to find a prize that is enticing, something that is going to make people sign up. It doesn’t have to be huge but the prize should be aligned with your company and desired by your client base.
3.) Let them know why they should like you on Facebook.
Don’t try and deceive them and pull the wool over their eyes—let them know that by entering in this contest that they must like your Facebook page. Tell them why it’s of benefit to them—do you post great tips, funny content, coupons, etc.? This will decrease the likelihood that they’ll unlike your page after the contest is over. In our latest contest I saw less than a 4% unlike rate.
4.) Promote the contest on your other social media platforms.
Not only do you want to have consistent branding with your marketing, this is a great way to ensure that your contest is known about. Tweet about it, post it to your G+ page and you can even pin it on your Pinterest boards, you never know how viral it could go.
5.) Use a photo and pin it to the top of your Facebook page.
With the visual age we’re in, we know that photos have increased engagement levels on social media sites, so use a photo to capture your audience’s attention. By pinning the photo to the top it makes it so that the post doesn’t creep down your Facebook timeline and that it is always at the top. Pins last seven days, so be sure to pin new content at least once a week.
6.) Cross promote on other company’s Facebook pages and websites.
Use connections that you’ve made to promote your contest through other companies. Not only will you reach more people, these are people you may not have reached otherwise. Be sure to return the favor when an opportunity presents itself.
7.) Use e-mail marketing to reach your current clients.
Yes, I said e-marketing and many marketers will disagree with me but e-mail isn’t dead yet. It is a great tool to reach your client base for a small fee, often producing a ROI higher than other marketing you’re doing.
8.) Make your contest visible on your Facebook page.
Make sure that your contest is easy to find on your fan page, you don’t want to drive people to Facebook and then have them dig for it. They’re not going to stay around long if it’s not obvious where it is.
9.) Don’t run your contest forever.
Keep the contest term short so that you keep your fans engaged. I’d say run it for 4-6 weeks and then announce a winner and prepare for your next contest.
10.) Stay involved! Stay interesting!
The worst thing you could do is run a contest, increase your fan count and then stop posting on Facebook. You want to have a solid social media strategy in place so that your fans are constantly interacting with your brand.
— This is a guest post contributed to the Four51 blog.
Jayme Pretzloff is the Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, the leading retailer of men’s watches in Minnesota. He is in charge of all digital marketing initiatives including his passions: SEO and social media marketing.
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