Marketers are always looking at finding new and effective ways to reach their target audience. With Facebook being a dominant online destination where potential customers and existing clients are spending significant time (more time than on any other social network), maximizing the effectiveness of your company Facebook page is vital. As well, for any Facebook Page, "Engagement is important because 79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked.” (Source: Vocus)
This research data means that building your Facebook fan base has value because it can be a sales channel.
Let's look at 5 ways Facebook Contests can be an effective method for pages to grow their Facebook community, and ultimately increase their sales.
Contests on Facebook typically involve voting on a tab or canvas app by the public, or judging by a select group in order to determine the winner. Entries may be submitted by fans, or fans may be asked to vote on entries added by the Page. While photo upload contests are the most common type routinely used, there are other types of contests such as video entry, essay or caption. Contests on Facebook must follow Facebook's Promotion Policy which includes items that a page must implement such as: Using a "third party app" (a tool beyond Facebook's own standard toolset, such as TabSite); Including a disclaimer that the contest is not connected to or associated with Facebook, and must not use a Facebook standard function (Like, Comment, etc.) as the primary means of being entered.
A very simply benefit of running a contest can be increasing your Page fan (Like) count. By hosting the contest on Facebook, you can invite people via e-mail, blog, and social media to come and participate. When they come, the contest tab can utilize a Like Gate, enabling your Page to capture the Like of that visitor before they can view the contest entries, enter themselves, or vote.
Entrants are one segment of those participating, while those coming to view entries and vote are another participating group. Entrants often comment to encourage votes, voters comment on their favorite of friends entry. These comments on Facebook are social so others in their network can see them and click through to see, explore, like and participate themselves. As well, the Page itself needs to comment in their News Feed regularly to alert users to the status of the contest, deadlines, and to encourage participation, all of which offers further methods for users to engage with the Page content. While simple in nature these repeated social actions and comments build fan affinity with a page (Facebook's ranking of how connected a user is to a page) and thereby increase post visibility to those fans going forward. Together, this can add more overall reach, exposure and interaction to the Page.
Contest entrants are motivated to seek votes for their entry and they become social catalysts, driving friends and followers to the Facebook page in their quest for votes. This allows the fan page (and contest) to be spread further by fans. A reference by a friend is trusted so there is more likelihood of a friend of a fan coming to the page based on the fact that their friend entered/voted/commented on that Page.
Contests draw users in and allow for multiple times and ways of connecting, as well as a simple method to reach the friends of contest entrants and voters. This increases traffic to the fan page. Fan pages that are having trouble growing and building their reach can use a contest as a means to draw new people to the fan page. A contest provides "a reason to come!"
Upon entering the contest a user should have the ability to share their entry socially. This empowers entrants to share on other social networks such as Twitter, G+, and of course Facebook to. As well, many contest apps, including TabSite, offer voters easy social sharing mechanisms to further increase the reach across Facebook and other social networks.
As this list outlines, running a contest on Facebook has potential to add long term value to a Page and to be a key contributor in Facebook and social marketing success. A contest must fit within an overall sales and marketing strategy. When implemented from a strategic community building and customer acquisition strategy, a contest can be a great contributor with specific ROI. So, the circle of connection between a fan and a Facebook Page can grow with use of apps like a Facebook Contest. In short, the more a Facebook Page can engage a user such as through a contest where there are the potential for multiple “Likes”, Comments, and Shares that connect the fan and the Page, the more the affinity of the user to the Page is boosted.
Contests can be a powerful tool for Facebook marketers as part of social strategy to growth their social community.
What questions do you have about Facebook Contests?
TabSite offers Facebook contest apps for Facebook starting at $19/month. Learn more about TabSite contests and promotion tool options here: