Invent a contest
The first step to a successful Facebook contest is to have a creative idea that will engage your audience. This might be the hardest part. If you’re in need of inspiration, see what your competition is doing, ask your Facebook fans what they’d like and of course you can look to other successful contests.
When you’ve got your idea, write your rules. Keep it simple and clear. You don’t want your fans spending too much time figuring out how to enter or they’ll give up. Make it clear who can enter, how long the contest will run, how the winner will be selected, what the prize will be, and anything else relevant to your contest.
Create an app
Running a Facebook contest is more than just making a status update or asking people to like your page to be entered. You can make status updates about your contest, and you can ask people to like your page before entering your contest, but it all needs to be done through an app.
Facebook has rules; you have to follow their guidelines. The rules are all here under promotion guidelines. But the easiest way to do it and follow all the rules is to use a third party app. We us ShortStack, but Woobox or Offerpop would also do the trick.
Tell people about it
A Facebook contest doesn’t happen by itself. It seems like all your fans are paying close attention to your page and just waiting for you to post your contest, but guess what, they’re not. You need to entice them to your contest through other social media channels and even traditional marketing. The best social media contests are marketed across channels. Work it into a blog post, talk about it in Twitter, include it in your e-newsletter and on print materials, talk about it on the radio, on TV.
Notify your winner
It seems like a Facebook status update would be a good way to notify your Facebook contest winner that they’ve won, but that’s not quite right (there’s a good chance they won’t even see that post). You must let your winner know via phone, email, face to face, skywriting with a plane (OK, maybe not that), whatever works best…other than just a Facebook status update. Once you’ve notified the winner, you can post about it; Facebook can’t be the only means of notification. The reason for this: Facebook wants to avoid becoming “ You’ve won, click here” spam. Makes sense.
All set. Bring on the summer Facebook contests! Planning to run one? We’d love to hear about it.