CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUN. 21, 2014
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How to Run a Facebook Contest

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Facebook contests are a great way for businesses to engage their customers and prospects, thus creating increased brand awareness. Running such a contest not only enables you to increase the number of ‘likes’ on your business page, but also provides a great opportunity to collect information from your audience. Here are some guidelines for running a successful Facebook contest.

1. Get your objective right

Before getting started, you need to establish why exactly you are running the Facebook contest. Is your aim to create brand awareness? Or do you want to promote a new product or service? Do you want to engage your audience and collect feedback? Are you expecting to get more likes on your page? Are you fundraising? Your chances of success will be enhanced significantly when your objective is clear from the onset.

2. Adhere to Facebook rules

After establishing your objectives, you need to get familiar with Facebook rules regarding contests. These include rules about how to enter the competition, voting methods and how to announce winners. You can visit Facebook for details of the rules and regulations. If you violate any of these rules, your contest will be terminated.

3. Find a third-party app

To run a Facebook contest, you will be required to use a third-party application. Some of these apps are free, while others charge a monthly fee. Make sure the app selected is customisable as well as mobile-friendly. In addition, the app should be able to work not only on Facebook, but also on your blog or website. Visit Guava Box to view some great Facebook contest apps.

4. Choose a relevant and valuable prize

The prize selected for your competition should be one that is relevant to your audience. Make sure the prize reflects the products and services your business offers. For instance, if you run a fitness centre, you could offer the winner free membership. Similarly, a free lunch voucher would be an ideal for a fast food joint. If you are not sure what prize to choose, you could run a poll to get suggestions from your followers.

5. Promote the contest

It does not make any sense to run a contest if nobody knows about it. You should therefore invest significant time and effort in promoting the contest. One of the best ways of creating awareness is through Facebook Ads. These ads allow you to reach a specific target audience based on their demographics and interests. In addition, you can use your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest profiles to inform your networks about the contest. Don’t forget to include a link to the contest on your website or blog, as well as in your email newsletters.

Once the contest is over and the prize given, it is very important to have a follow up. Reach out to the participants and find out what they have to say about the competition. Were the rules of entry clear? Did they find it easy to sign up? Was the prize attractive? This will give you an idea of how to improve future competitions.

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