As a business owner, you may be updating your Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn pages on a daily basis. However, there comes a point where the addition of fans and followers begins to slow down and eventually may come to a halt.
How can you jump start a following? All it may take is a little creativity, innovation, and motivation. Are you leveraging contests to gain more leads and customers? You should be!
According to a study by AllFacebook, 30% of people have participated in contests or promotion via Facebook. The best news about this is that this number continues to grow.
Contest Success in the Past and Present
There are a number of brands out there that have had contest success in the past and present. Aside from the big guys, I have seen many small business owners and agencies use the right techniques in order to bring contest success. Remember: These contests do not have to be elaborate to work! Sometimes, simplicity is the key.
For example, Partee Insurance, an independent insurance agency located in California, runs a weekly game of Hangman on their Facebook page. It started as a small game for its clientele to play in order to bring a little fun to every Wednesday, but now it has grown more than ever (800 fans later!) Outsiders are getting involved just to give weekly players a challenge. What do you get once you win? An adorable purple stuffed cow, of course! CeCe the Cow is the agency’s mascot — and she is quite a prize! The overall consistency of this contest is what keeps it going. Clients and fans STILL eagerly wait for Wednesday’s Hangman to arrive.
Another great example of a simple and exciting contest comes from Remland Insurance, another independent insurance agency in California. A Facebook post was created on February 27, 2013. There was a picture of California that read “Name a California city or town that does not have an ‘E,’ this is tricky!” The caption of this picture was “Time to show some California pride…Play along! A random winner will be selected to win a $25 gift card! GO!” Over the course of two weeks, this post went viral, ending with 215 likes, 48 shares and over 3,200 comments!
So, how can you take advantage of this new way of being social?
Steps to Create Your OWN Facebook Contest
Now that you have seen a few examples, it is YOUR TURN!
1. Keep a Goal in Mind. What are you looking to gain through this contest — more likes, more fans, more traction? What you choose to do will depend on this goal so it is important to establish this early on. For example, if you are looking for more followers, you may want to say: “Refer a friend to our page and have your name entered to win a $100 gift card!”
2. Choose a Prize. How much are you willing to spend on this contest? Make sure the prize is in your budget. You wouldn’t want to let down any winners! You also have a few options for prizes. Here are a few ideas:
- Gift cards to local shops, restaurants, or even your own business.
- Discounts (10%, 20% or even 50% off items)
- Tickets to local sporting/concert events
- Electronic devices (iPad, iPods, etc.)
3. Find a Third Party App. It is important to know that Facebook has a few rules and regulations in terms of running contests. One of the most important rules to be familiar with is that fact that you need to use a third-party app to run a contest. Some of these apps may require a fee, but these apps make it easy to run a successful campaign. App options include: Offerpop, Wildfire, and Fanappz.
4. Create a Buzz. Now that you have the contest all figured out, it is time to create a buzz! Promote your contest using other social networks, word of mouth, or even having your employees post about it on their own personal pages. Building a hype is important!
Now that you have the steps, it is time to get moving. Whether you work alone or work with a team, it is time to sit down, get creative, and take action. If you build a successful contest, you may not only gain new fans and clients, but perhaps a local friend or two!
I have one last question for you: Are you ready to get competitive?
About The Guest Author: John Boudreau, COO and Co-Founder of Astonish, has been in the insurance marketing and technology business for nearly 10 years. Before Astonish, Boudreau honed his problem-solving abilities while working as an environmental analytical chemist. He also founded Ion Marketing Group, a digital marketing company focused on the real estate industry.
Opening Winner Envelope Photo via Shutterstock