Businesses and organizations that run contests on social media platforms are found to have generated twice as many followers as those who don’t. Facebook promotions and social change campaigns enable your organization to connect with your community and have some fun with your fans.
Launching a campaign is the most effective way to gain new fans of your organization or to deepen your connection with those you already have. A variety of promotions are available; be strategic and select the promotion most appropriate for your needs.
First, we recommend that you review Facebook’s Official Promotion Guidelines before selecting and launching your promotion. These guidelines explain specific rules for sweepstakes and contests that you will need to follow.
Define Your Goals
What are your objectives and goals for this promotion? How will you define success?
Maybe your fan page is relatively new and you’d like to boost your number of “likes” or followers.
Maybe you want to target fans of a valuable demographic.
Do you already have fans that have “liked” your organization’s page but don’t interact with the brand in an emotional context?
Are you looking to maintain momentum of your already active Facebook page that has a large amount of followers?
Do you just want to “reward” your fans with an exciting promotion?
Defining your goals will help you to design a promotion that best addresses your organization’s needs.
Sweepstakes vs. Contest Promotions
There are two basic kinds of promotions: sweepstakes and contests.
In a sweepstakes, winners are selected at random. Sweepstakes promotions require little commitment from entrants and are optimal for launching a fan page, attracting new fans, or boosting your company “like” count.
In a contest, winners are selected by achieving a certain goal. Contest promotions require more user engagement and help to engage an already-present fan base.
Run a photo, video or essay-based contest when you want to deepen connection with your fans.
When planning your promotion, whether a sweepstakes or a contest, remember that the more information, steps and time you require from potential entrants, the less entrants will participate.
Run a simple one- or two-step promotion if you’re looking to see a spike in your “like” count.
Launch a multi-step promotion that requires thoughtful content and a deeper level of engagement if you’re looking to stimulate an already existing fan base.
Daily voting contests are a great way to connect with your fans and drive interest in your product or service.
How long should your promotion run? Promotion length should be dictated by the prize you are offering. If your prize is of relatively high value, consider running a contest for an extended period of time. If you plan to give away a lower-valued item, such as a $25 gift card, shorten your promotion timeline. Smaller promotions can last just a few hours while larger promotions may last up to a month or longer. Check out the Falken Tire Porsche Cayman Giveaway Sweepstakes, a six-month promotion that ends on October 5, 2011.
As you plan the launch date of your promotion, ensure that you have enough time to develop the concept, creative elements, and a positive user interface experience. Confirm that your terms and conditions are in line with your legal requirements, and that you have the right start date, end date, times and time zones. (We nearly launched a contest late due to time zone confusion!) Clearly define your winnings and odds of winning. We recommend that your legal department conduct an internal review of the promotion.
Be aware that your organization can not use Facebook’s basic features or functionality to conduct a promotion. In other words, you can’t give away a prize just because someone “likes” your page or tags your organization in a photo. You must use a third-party application or develop your own through iFrame.
Based on our experience using several different platforms, here are some options that we recommend: www.wildfireapp.com, www.strutta.com, www.offerpop.com, and www.northsocial.com.
Make sure you clearly state that Facebook is not in any way involved in your campaign. We like to add the following copy to all of our campaigns: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to (your name) and not to Facebook.
Clearly state that any information obtained is being given to, and will be used by, your business and NOT Facebook. If using a third party application, this disclosure will be already listed on your behalf.
Organizations need to clearly and realistically define the amount they are willing to spend on Facebook promotions. Consider the following:
What is the cost of the “prize” you are offering?
Will you be using a Facebook ad campaign to promote your contest to current and prospective followers?
Is there a fee associated with the third party application you have decided to use?
Facebook application campaigns can range anywhere from $2,500 to $150,000+ for integrated and custom-designed applications.