This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
With close to 3 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the biggest social media platform on the planet. That makes it a valuable channel for driving your business goals. After all, the key to successful marketing is to define your target audience and meet them on their favorite platforms.
While not everyone is on Facebook, one thing is certain, it still is the world’s most popular platform. Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, you definitely should leverage Facebook’s multitude of features to market your brand and products. One Facebook marketing feature in particular that yields a good return is the Facebook contest feature.
Why Should You Create a Facebook Contest?
Facebook contests have been around for some time, but they’re still one of the best methods to grow an active audience and build meaningful engagement with your brand. Here are a few reasons why you should consider creating a Facebook contest:
1. Extend Your Reach and Increase Followers
One of the most significant benefits you’ll reap from running Facebook contests is that they’re an excellent way of extending your reach. Creating a contest your target audience engages with results in your contest and brand being shown to their networks. With the extended reach comes the added benefit of you gaining more followers.
2. Increase Brand Awareness
Another reason you must incorporate Facebook contests in your social media marketing strategy is that they are a great way to increase brand awareness. Whether you promote your Facebook contest organically, use paid promotion, or both it’s inevitable that you’ll reach people you couldn’t have otherwise reached. As a result, more people will become aware of your brand and product.
3. Get More Engagement
Facebook contests get more engagement than average posts for the simple reason that they’re a much-loved form of interactive content. People prefer interactive content over static content with 66 percent of marketers citing increased engagement rates after employing interactive content in their campaigns.
4. Provides a Data Collection Avenue
Effective marketing campaigns are data-driven. That’s because data enables you to gain a better understanding of your target audience, allowing you to create more personalized campaigns.
Running a Facebook contest is helpful in this regard as it provides an opportunity to collect data about your audience. Whether the contest is in the form of a quiz or simply an engagement-based contest, you still come out with a goldmine of data at the end of the day.
With these and more benefits, there’s no reason why you should ignore Facebook contests. They’re an excellent way to drive engagement and build an active audience for your business. Of course, they’re also an excellent way to raise brand and product awareness and thus drive sales.
How to Create an Effective Facebook Contest
Now that you’ve seen the value of Facebook contests, let’s quickly dive into how to create an effective one. Not all Facebook contests are created equal. Knowing how to create one that your audience will participate in is essential to the success of your campaign. Here are a few pointers to help you:
1. Determine Your Goals and How to Measure Results
The first step to creating an effective Facebook contest is to define your goals for the contest.
What do you want to achieve with your Facebook contest?
You can achieve a lot of business and marketing goals with a contest, a few of which can include:
- market research
- brand awareness
- data collection
- crowdsourcing product development
- launch a new product
- build an email list
- drive sales
- gather user-generated content
Determining the goal of your contest is essential as it will help you design one that’s best suited to help you succeed. It also helps you know which key performance indicators (KPIs) you should use to measure your contest’s success. Examples of KPIs you can use include:
- number of participants
- new followers gained
- number of clicks on your contest
- email sign-ups
With your goals and KPIs determined, you’re ready to start designing your Facebook contest.
2. Select the Type of Contest You Want to Run
You’ve determined the reason for running a Facebook contest. Now the next step is to choose the type of Facebook contest that will help you achieve said goals. There are three main types of contests you can run on Facebook:
These are the simplest Facebook contest type and, as the name suggests, involve giving away a prize to the lucky participant(s) who enter the contest. Most giveaway contests require a participant to engage with a post (like, comment, or share) to enter.
Photo contests are an excellent way of driving engagement and collecting user-generated content for your other marketing efforts. These usually involve picking a theme for your contest and asking your audience to post photos (preferably while using your product) in line with that theme.
Referral promotions require a bit more work to design and manage but they’re one of the best ways to generate leads for your business. Participants have to share (or refer) your contest with a friend or people in their network to enter the contest.
An effective Facebook contest aligns your marketing goals with the right type of content. To aid your decision, you must understand your audience and the type of contests they prefer.
3. Determine the Contest Rules and How You’ll Run It
Every contest needs rules to govern how participants enter. As you design your Facebook contest, you must pay careful attention to how you determine yours.
- What actions must participants take to enter?
- Will you allow multiple entries?
- Is the contest open to all countries?
- What can constitute grounds for disqualification?
- Are there any age restrictions?
Remember, you’re not running a contest just for the fun of it. You’re running your contest to benefit your business. As such, the rules you set for your contest must help you with that. They must be aligned with your goals.
The rules of your Facebook contest will also determine how you will run it and the kind of data you will collect. Examples of how you could run your contest include:
- Designing a funnel that requires participants to submit their email addresses or other data.
- Using a Facebook messenger bot to lead users to an opt-in page where they perform the required action to enter the contest.
- Using engagement as a means to declare their participation in your contest. This could be anything from tagging friends to following your account and everything in between.
Besides setting rules for entering the contest, you must also determine how the winning participants will redeem their prize.
4. Choose the Right Prize
One of the fundamental pillars of an effective Facebook contest is the prize you’re offering. Hallmarks of the perfect prize include:
- Personalized. Your offer must be something that your target audience is interested in. It must not appeal to people who aren’t your target audience.
- Product-related. To ensure your contest helps boost your business, your prize must be tied to your core business. For example, if you’re a dentist, offering cutlery as a prize won’t help you reach your ideal customer.
- Pain point specific. Understand your ideal customer’s pain points and tailor an offer designed to address one of them. Doing so will help direct participants to your other product offerings.
Choosing the right prize for your contest is crucial to ensuring higher engagement rates. It also ensures most participants fit your ideal customer profile (ICP).
5. Design Your Facebook Contest Page
With so much content being published on Facebook, it can be easy for people to miss your contest as they scroll through their feeds.
To improve the chances of your contest being seen, your design must be optimized for visibility. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
Write an Attention-grabbing Headline
The headline is the first thing users will see. Make it stand out by using descriptive language. Also, ensure it paints a picture of the benefits of winning the prize.
Invest In Professional Images
Invest in professional eye-catching images. Images play a great role in stopping users from scrolling. They’re also helpful in quickly conveying your message.
Write a Brief but Detailed Description
Give users all the information they need to get excited about the contest. Your description must also explain how to enter the contest. The best way to format your description is to use bullet points.
Use a Simple Form
Make it as easy as possible for your interested parties to enter your contest. If you’re using forms, make them simple—don’t ask for too much information. Complicating the sign-up form will negatively impact your conversions. The only exception to this rule is if you’re offering a huge prize that’s worth the effort.
Design a Prominent Call-to-action
Your call-to-action (CTA) must not only be prominent but it must be clear what the next step to be taken is.
Besides these best practices for designing an effective Facebook contest page, you can also consider other optimization options. A typical example would be to use a countdown timer to add urgency.
6. Promote Your Contest
Your Facebook contest’s main goal is to grow your audience and increase engagement with your brand. To do that, it must reach as wide of an audience as possible.
That’s why part of your Facebook contest creation process must include a promotion strategy.
A few Facebook content promotion tips you can employ include:
- Paid ads: Organic reach can only get you so far. To reach a wider audience, leverage Facebook ads to promote your contest. You can also use retargeting to advertise your contest to people who’ve viewed your content.
- Share it with your email list: Promote your Facebook contest to your email list to ensure maximum participation. It also helps you keep your subscribers engaged.
- Spread the word on other social media channels: Leverage your other social media platforms to spread the word about your contest.
With your contest in front of the right audience, you can expect high participation rates.
7. Choose and Announce the Winner
All good things come to an end, including your exciting Facebook contest. You need to wrap it up by picking and announcing the winner. You have two options when it comes to picking a winner:
- Randomly picking a name: Randomly picking a name is the best way as it’s impartial. Use tools like Random Name Picker or Comment Picker to make it easy.
- Selecting the best candidate: This works best if you set specific criteria for your contest. However, make sure to explain how you came up with the winner and why.
Once you’ve picked your winner, you must announce them on your Facebook business page and other channels you promoted the contest on. Bonus points if you can make it a Facebook Live event.
8. Follow Up After the Contest
Picking the winner of your Facebook contest is not the end game. The end game is growing your business. That’s why you must have a follow-up strategy. One of the best ways to do this is to send out an email to participants offering them a discount on your products as an appreciation for participating in your contest. Nurture a relationship with the people who participate in your contest and you’ll be able to turn them into loyal customers.
Facebook Contest: FAQs
People love personalized content. To increase participation, ensure you know your target audience and create a contest tailored to them.
Always set goals for your contests and determine the KPIs you’ll use to gauge the effectiveness of your contests.
Executed well, a Facebook contest is a cost-effective way to achieve many business and marketing goals. Yes, they’re definitely worth it.
Promoting your Facebook contest is a critical part of running a successful contest. Make sure to promote it on all your other channels and platforms.
Facebook Contest Conclusion
Looking for interactive content that will help you grow your audience and drive engagement with your brand?
Then you must consider running a Facebook contest. With added benefits like lead generation, a boost in sales, and much more, including them in your online marketing strategy is a no-brainer.
Executed well, your Facebook contest is an excellent way of getting ahead of your competition.
What has been your experience with Facebook contests as a marketing strategy?