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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Facebook has become a phenomenon and an invaluable marketing tool.  It is becoming increasingly popular as a space to host competitions and there are some key points to understand in order to run a successful Facebook promotion.

Understand the Rules of Facebook
The key point to understand is that all promotions must be run through a 3rd party app.  This is true in all cases even if the competition simply involves submitting a name.  Even though there are numerous competitions on Facebook which ignore this rule, they do so at the risk of having their Facebook presence shut down completely.  If the cost of using a 3rd party app would be prohibitive, it is possible to use Facebook to promote a contest which is being hosted elsewhere such as on a blog or a 3rd party website.

The 2nd most important rule is that all promotions on Facebook must be clear in their terms and conditions and these must be visible on the front page of the promotion.

Understand the Goal of the Competition
Is the aim of the competition to collect e-mail addresses for a mailing list, to drive traffic to a Facebook page or to guide users to an external website?  What is the current state of the platform and what changes will need to be seen for the competition to be judged a success?
Assessing the current state of the platform could be a good opportunity to see if anything can be done to make it more appealing before the competition starts.  Once the competition is in progress, it is important that no significant changes are made (unless they are connected with the competition). Otherwise, it will become difficult to impossible to judge whether the increase in traffic is due to the competition or due to the improvements to the platform.

Understand that Technology is a Delivery Method - Not a Goal
In many ways, running a successful Facebook competition is essentially identical to running any other sort of competition.

Make the effort needed to enter the competition commensurate with the prize on offer.  Users may leave their e-mail address for a small prize, but are unlikely to go to any great degree of effort unless the prize is very desirable.  A great way to find out what people find desirable is simply to ask current users what they would like to see as a competition prize.

Encourage users to make their friends aware.  Since the number of entrants in a competition reduces each individual's chances of winning, giving free entries in return for referring other people is a common strategy for encouraging people to spread the word.

Make sure that everything works as it should.  This is possibly the most fundamental rule of all; however it is surprising how often it is ignored.  Any questions must be checked and double-checked (both for accuracy and for spelling) and if the answers to them should be found on a website make sure they are there.  Likewise, check that the method for entering the competition works as it should and is regularly monitored for glitches, technical or otherwise.

Special guest post by Amy Harris who is a writer for Expert Market which offers a free service to businesses, providing a sourcing tool for finding office equipment and business services. She enjoys helping businesses discover the best marketing strategy.


online competitions said...

Facebook is one of those sites where you can not compete the competitions of others.I really observe many things about this on facebook and other social media as well

Karry said...

It makes sense. Writing about third party applications & their reputation on Facebook is largely a free advertising medium.

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