Running a contest on Facebook just got easier! They’ve been making a ton of changes recently, and this is one I really like. Facebook recently decided to allow business pages to run contests without using an app, so now you can ask users to like a status, comment, send messages, and more in order to enter your contest. You can also use likes as a voting mechanism for a contest.
The biggest rules still in place for running Facebook contests are:
- You can’t ask people to tag themselves in a photo as an entry to win. (Makes sense, since Facebook doesn’t want people tagging themselves in pictures where they aren’t actually found.)
- You can’t ask people to share on their personal profile as a contest entry. (Contests are still not allowed on personal pages, only business pages.)
Facebook contest rules were so strict in the past that many bloggers just didn’t bother, other than perhaps running the occasional Rafflecopter-based contest. Now that the rules are a lot less strict, are Facebook contests something you should consider?
- Think about what has the most benefit to you. Asking someone to like your page as an entry means that you’ll gain more followers. However, those followers might never see your updates again. Asking someone to like or comment on a status means they are engaging with your page, so they’ll be more likely to see your updates in the future.
- Determine if an app still makes more sense. The benefit to an app like Rafflecopter, Shortstack, Heyo, etc. is that administering the promotion and choosing a winner is easier. You can also often more easily customize the look and feel of a tab for running your contest by using a third party app.
- Check out other contest options. Facebook just might not be the best place for your specific contest. It really depends on your goals and where your community hangs out. It might make more sense to run your contest on your blog itself instead and just use Facebook to promote it.
If Facebook is a good contest option for you, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Facebook isn’t completely pay to play…but…you’re going to get a LOT more entries if you pay to promote the contest on Facebook. If you have a small fan page (less than 1000 people), it’s going to be pretty hard to gain traction for your contest unless you pay for promotion. The good news is that you can see pretty good results, even for just $50, especially if you’re giving away a good prize.
- A compelling image will entice people to enter. Check out your own timeline. It is FILLED with updates from your friends. If you want to stand out, create a compelling image that includes text like “Win It!” to grab people’s attention. Of course, if you plan to promote, make sure that the image you use don’t have so much text that Facebook refuses the ad.
- Bigger prizes don’t always mean more engagement. You’d think that the bigger the prize, the more people you’ll have excited about your contest, right? Wrong. What people want and need means more than the value of the product. For example, you might give away an hour of consulting with yourself, which you’d normally charge $300 to do. But if your Facebook fans aren’t super interested in having consulting with you, they might be more inclined to take action on a $50 Amazon gift card.
So now that Facebook has made it easier to run a contest on Facebook, will you take advantage of these changes and use this platform for a giveaway in conjunction with your blog?