A Facebook Contest Can Win You Fans and Customers

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Looking for an easy way to promote your business and build a following? A Facebook contest could be the answer.

Here are some tips to help get you started on your own Facebook contest.

Facebook has a number of rules for business promotions, so be sure to follow them. You must use third-party apps and make it clear that the contest is in no way associated with Facebook, among other rules. You can’t require people to like or comment on a wall post, although you can require entrants to like your page, check in or connect to an app.

Popular third-party apps for Facebook contests include Wildfire, Woobox, Votigo, Strutta and North Social. Before settling on an app, make sure it offers the features you want, such as analytics, voting options and mobile support.

Offer a prize that relates to your business. Offering the latest hot gadget might attract more attention, but you want your contest to bring in individuals who are interested in your product and can be converted to customers. So if your business is a grocery delivery service, a gift card to the supermarket makes more sense as a prize than an iPad, notes Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.

Sometimes a prize alone may not be enough to get fans to enter a contest or share it with their friends, so consider offering an incentive such as a coupon, discount code or other freebie to entrants (make sure you have enough freebies on hand, or clearly announce the limit).

Once you’ve settled on a good contest, you need to promote it, so Tweet it, pin it, blog about it, put out a press release, take out a Facebook ad. Whatever you think will be cost-effective.

When the contest ends, quickly distribute the prize and incentives, and send a follow-up email to all entrants announcing the contest results and offering them a special incentive or discount. With any luck, your effort will pay off in more customers and followers, so keep your Facebook page interesting so you don’t lose your new fans.

Adapted from A Quick Guide to Successful Facebook Contests by Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.