For today’s post on marketing your Facebook Contest or Sweepstakes, we’re getting some expert advice from Pagemodo’s General Manager, Alfredo Ramos. So take notes!
So you’ve decided to run a promotion on your Facebook Page. You’ve read through Facebook’s contest rules and guidelines, and you are avoiding commonly made mistakes when launching a successful promotion. The next (and arguably most important) step in launching your promotion is effective marketing.
Let’s assume that you’ve just finished designing a contest (perhaps you used Facebook Contests from Pagemodo?) and now the real fun begins.
Choose a catchy contest title. This seems obvious but it’s worth emphasizing. Your contest title might just make the difference between someone clicking on your contest, or moving on with his or her day. There’s no rule that fits all scenarios, but whatever you do, be enticing! What will they win? Do they need to submit anything? Or is it a sweepstakes/giveaway?
Link to your contest everywhere. Add a link to your contest on your website. Change your email signature to include your contest. Make sure that you have a visual tab image for your contest on your Facebook page. Pin a post highlighting the contest to the top of your Facebook Timeline. You can even change your About description on Facebook and Twitter to point to your contest while it’s running. And now that Facebook has softened their guidelines for cover photos, add a little blurb about your contest on your cover photo.
Tell everyone about it. This is the big one. You have got to get creative here. If you have a blog, make a short entry about your contest. If you have an email list, then email your list telling them about the contest, and again reminding them to enter. For the duration of your contest, you should be scheduling a daily post to your Facebook Page and Twitter profile (try Pagemodo to schedule posts to Facebook and Twitter automatically). If you are on Pinterest or Instagram, you can even design a visual image for your contest and post it there. As you do this, don’t hesitate to ask your users to share and re-tweet your contest to their friends – people are a lot more likely to enter your contest if it’s suggested to them by a trusted source. Do you work with partner organizations that can help you spread the word? Ask them to help you market.
Contest directories: to submit or not to submit? There are quite a few contest directories out there. Submitting to these can have benefits, but not always. If quantity of submissions matters more to you than quality, then go for it. The challenge is getting targeted entrants. For example, you may want people in a certain location to enter, or people in a specific age range or gender. Contest directories will not help you with this and you may end up getting more low quality entrants than desired. That said, if you don’t care very much about targeted entries, then here are a couple places to consider:
Promote! And of course, there is always Facebook promoted posts and ads. Launching an ad on Facebook is easy, and more and more businesses are doing it. For even small budgets, you can significantly increase the traffic to your contests using ads. The most important thing here is to target your audience properly – there is no value in having people enter contests that they are not eligible for because of their location, age, gender, etc. (Read more on promoting your business with Facebook).