Social Marketing

How to Create an Explosive Facebook Contest

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One of the fastest ways to grow a Facebook Page is with a contest. They are easy to market, they go viral quickly, and they tend to have a huge return on investment when properly marketed.

But there are things to keep in mind. Not only does Facebook have strict rules about how you run your contests on their platform, there are best practices that will ensure much better results for your efforts if done right.

The Rules

Facebook has strict rules about contests, so be sure to read them carefully here:

https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

The most important rules are that you:

*  Indemnification of Facebook in relation to the contest

*  Not requiring a Facebook Like as the only means of entry

*  Not announcing winners on Facebook only

There are others, so be sure to read the page above carefully (Section E) and take notes of how your contest complies.

Create Your Contest

The easiest way to ensure compliance is to use a third party service that builds compliance in and coaches you through the process. These services cost money, however, with some of them being quite expensive.

Some of the least expensive, however are:

*  WooBox

*  Wishpond

There are dozens of others, but either of these will allow you to run a contest for less than $20 a month, assuming you have a small Facebook population following you. Most services scale depending on size and duration of the contest.

Building Your Promotion

The idea is to make the contest as accessible as possible, so while there are dozens of creative ways to reach your audience, the simplest contests are often the ones with the best ROI.

Here are some examples of different types of contests and how they perform depending on your audience:

*  Free Entry – Give someone free entry to the contest with an email address and they are immediately in the pool. These are the easiest to spread, but the least likely to get press or attention from bigger sites.

*  Content Creation – Have users create videos, articles, images, or other pieces of content to show their fandom. This is a GREAT way to engage your audience, but it takes much more promotion and the entry totals will often be lower.

*  Recruit a Friend – Add this to any contest and your Like counts will skyrocket. You can even integrate Twitter into most recruit-a-friend campaigns for significantly improved results.

*  Everything Else – There are numerous other contest types, including leaderboard contests, point-contests, coupon contests and Pinterest-integrated contests. We’ve seen the best ROI on a straight sweepstakes or content submission contest though.

If you are interested in creating a contest on Facebook, do it right and then promote it properly. You can’t just let it loose in the wild and expect it to work. You need to send a press release, post on other blogs, build momentum around your contest and create a buzz. Do all of this, while following Facebook’s rules, and you’ll see maximum return on your investment.

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