June 20, 2013

prize basketOne of the best ways to attract a surge of fans to your Facebook page is to run a contest. Unfortunately, if you do not structure your contest correctly, these fake fans will do nothing for your company’s bottom line. Use the following strategies to create contests where both your company and your fans win.

Start by choosing the right prize

There are many contest-sharing websites on the Internet that will spread the news of any contest with a fantastic prize. Cars, trips, cash, and hot electronics such as iPads will attract lots of attention to your Facebook page. However, once the contest is over, you’re unlikely to ever see any of these fans again, since they’ll be off to the next hot contest. Instead, choose a prize that will be meaningful to your target audience. Don’t give away something that you normally sell, since that might encourage people not to buy it until they find out if they won. However, giving away an accessory for something you sell, or an upgrade, are both excellent choices for prizes that will appeal to your target market and meaningfully increase your Facebook fans.

Select the right contest app

Rather than trying to do a contest the old fashioned way, where you print out the entry form for everyone who entered on a slip of paper and pick a winner, use a specialised Facebook application designed specifically for running contests. Ideally, this application should perform three major functions. It should interface with Facebook’s authentication system so that you know every entrant is a valid Facebook user. That puts the onus on Facebook to detect false accounts, not you. Second, it should allow you to easily select a winner from the pool of valid entrants. Third, it should allow your contestants to share information about the contest with their Facebook friends. The third function is optional, since contests that appeal to highly targeted markets may not want their contestant pool diluted by friends and family who may have no interest in their products.

Select your winner

Equally as important as using the right method to choose your winner is informing contestants in advance of the method that will be used to select a winner. For contest entries that involve a level of skill, such as those requesting photographs or essays, you can choose the finalists by popular vote. The ultimate winner, however, should be chosen by a panel of people related to your company. This prevents someone from winning simply because they had the most friends and family. Other contests should involve an element of randomness to the ultimate winner selection, even ones that require correct answers to trivia questions or puzzle solving. This discourages people from cheating, since there is no guarantee that the effort put into cheating will pay off with a win.





Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy



(Image: Morguefile)

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