I read a statistic recently that said the number one reason people “Like” a Facebook page is to be notified about special offers or promotions. So running a contest on a Facebook page seems like a great idea to get engagement, right?
The problem is, Facebook has a pretty strict set of rules about running contests. And they have.
I’ve had a number of friends and clients who started running a contest on their Facebook business page and I’ve had to email them to suggest changes. Why? Because their contest violated Facebook terms of service. The punishment? Facebook can shut down your page.
The quick rules:
1) You can’t enter a contest by simply taking action on Facebook. Liking, posting or commenting to enter a contest is a no no.
2) You can’t announce prize winners on Facebook.
So how do you run a contest on Facebook?
1) You can TELL them about a great contest via Facebook. For example “Click this link to go to my website to enter the contest.”
2) You can use one of their third party apps. Prices vary depending on what you want. Contact Facebook. I’m sure they’d be happy to talk to you.
A few more contest tips:
What kind of prize should you offer?
It has to be one that your target audience wants. I recommend that it passes the “Oooooh” test. Does it make you say “Oooooh”? While a free car wash or $5 off might be good for you, does it create any kind of excitement for your audience? If it doesn’t make me daydream for 5 seconds about winning it, I’m not going to enter.
Trade prizes with another business
Can you offer something from your company to a neighbouring business who might want it? Do they have something you want? There are plenty of cost effective ways to create a partnership that benefits both of you. For example, a local restaurant could offer a “Dinner for 8” prize to a florist for a “Flowers once a month for a year” prize. It’s a great way to generate new clients for both businesses.
Have a full set of rules and regulations for your contest. *
Most small businesses don’t seem to have this but you are required by law to have a copy. If you have a good prize, you don’t want the legal hassle later if someone reports you. Rules vary by state and province.
And finally….why are you running a contest in the first place?
They are fun but can be expensive and time consuming. What results do want to have happen from your contest? New clients? More likes on your Facebook page? Is a contest really the best way to market to your audience? Have a quick think before you start.
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