One of the best ways in which you can boost both fan growth and engagement is through Facebook contests. These simple competitions are highly effective in spreading the name of the brand throughout different fan networks, as more Facebook users become enticed with the prizes that you are giving away.
It can be quite difficult for brands to gain a solid fan base, and using contests allow them to gain more fans and make people aware of their name and business within a short period of time. Contests come in different styles and forms, from raffles, photo postings, and custom apps.
But there are also certain challenges that come with using Facebook competitions, making small-medium businesses hesitant to use them on their own pages. However, these concerns can be easily surpassed, as long as you are aware of these lessons below:
1. Be Aware of Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines
Above anything else, Facebook has its own rules set for contests and promotions, and they are quite strict when it comes to implementing these guidelines. Brands that were found to have violated these rules are sanctioned by having their pages closed or permanently removed.
“In addition to our other remedies, we may remove any materials relating to the promotion or disable your Page, application or account if we determine in our sole discretion that you violate any of our policies.”-Facebook Promotion Guidelines
Basically, the rules that you have to take note are:
- Running competitions directly on their Facebook Page. You are not allowed to run a competition directly on your Timeline profile, and must rather use a competition app.
- You can’t automatically accept contestants who simply clicked ‘LIKE’. You may have your contestants click ‘LIKE’ first but this must lead them into entering a competition that was properly arranged.
- Contest interaction among participants should take place only within your competition app and not on your page.
- You are not allowed to notify winners on their Facebook profiles. Notification may only be done by means of private messaging or directly contacting them through email.
Violating any of these rules will definitely result to Facebook picking up your brand page and closing it without notice. Famous brands are not exempt to these rules, and there are even those whose pages have been removed because of going against these guidelines.
If in case your page has been removed due to violation of terms, you may apply for appeal within 48 hours; this way Facebook can assess the situation and consider putting up the page again.
2. Consider the Legal Terms and Conditions that Apply to Your Contest
Aside from Facebook’s own promotion guidelines, your contest should likewise adhere to the laws of your own state, as well as those of your target contestants. For example, there are certain jurisdictions in which you are not allowed to run a raffle or sweepstakes contest, such as Norway, Sweden, India and Belgium, and in these countries you have to run a competition that requires skill and extra effort from aspiring participants.
3. Your Facebook Contest should suit your overall Marketing Campaign
Brands that found success in using contests were able to achieve their goals not just because they used the right kinds of games or promos; their contests fit perfectly in their marketing campaigns. Hence, you should first take time to study which types of competitions would work best for your marketing objectives. They should complement each other so you can achieve your goals effectively and accordingly.
Does your contest fit your target audience? To check, ask yourself these questions:
- Is your target audience that type of people to join the contest?
- What kind of contest would your target market most likely join in?
- What prizes fit the best interest of your target audience?
Does your contest also fit your other marketing strategies?
It is also important to consider contests that match your offline marketing strategies. This way, your online community will become more enticed to purchase your products and services, while at the same time your offline market will get excited to go online and join your contests.
4. A Facebook contest may not only bring benefits but as well as bad publicity.
As they say, even the best of intentions may go wrong, and this applies to Facebook contests too. You may have planned out the perfect contest for your page, but when you execute it the wrong way, or just give a wrong impression of your competition, this may result not to fan growth, but fan hysteria.
Hence, it is important to look through all the aspects of your contest. It is best that you explain the mechanics, terms and conditions of your competition before launching it to your market, so they will know what exactly to do. If at any rate you receive negative comments about your contests, try to respond to them right away for damage control.
5. There are Many Other Ways to Promote Your Brand on Facebook-Not Just Contests.
You don’t have to depend your whole marketing goals on contests alone, as there are a zillion ways to spread your brand and business to your online audience. Hence, if you don’t see launching Facebook contests to be effective, or representative of your brand on social media, then don’t push it.
After all, when you get to nail the right marketing scheme for your brand, you’d definitely enjoy a solid and continuously growing fan base not just in the present, but as well as in the future.
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