How to Market a Facebook Contest - dummies

By Jamie Crager, Scott Ayres, Melanie Nelson, Daniel Herndon, Jesse Stay

Initially, you might think that posting status updates telling people about your Facebook contest is enough. It isn’t. The primary reason to conduct a Facebook contest is to increase the interaction that you get from your friends and followers, as well as increase your audience by attracting new followers. A Facebook marketing campaign in most cases involves more than just Facebook to make it happen.

Facebook works well with other forms of digital marketing. Sure, sometimes if you have a strongly engaged and interested audience, you might be able to post one status update and see it turn into a major success. Most times, however, you have to use other resources as well.

The following list provides advice on how to market your campaign and make it a success:

  • Announce your campaign to your e-mail list. Suppose that you send out a monthly newsletter. The content of that newsletter should highlight your Facebook contest and drive people directly to it. The cross-promotion of e-mail to Facebook and Facebook to e-mail makes your connection to your audience much stronger and more effective.

    Some best practices include putting a graphic right at the top of the e-mail and linking it to the desired landing page. Note that you can link directly to the page with its unique URL. Find this in your browser address bar when you view the tab on which your contest is hosted. You may have made it your default landing page, but that applies only for followers.

  • Pass out cards at the counter. If your business is in retail or any other business in which you see customers’ faces, give them a small card that promotes the contest. Include a hook that gets them interested in checking out the contest. They have to be interested enough to remember to check out the contest later.

    Alternatively, you can place a QR code by the register so customers can scan it with their smartphones.

  • Post your campaign on your website. Make sure an invitation to join the contest obviously stands out on the home page of your site, and remember to link directly to the contest page on Facebook. When people visit your website, the first thing they see should be a contest announcement. This way, you can convert some of your web traffic into engaged Facebook followers.

  • Find a partner. Finding a partner (also called comarketing) is perhaps the most powerful method in promoting a Facebook contest. If you sell custom wheels and another company sells customized car parts, you can be pretty certain that you have nearly the same type of people in your target audience — people who take pride in their cars and may want to make their cars ready for show.

    You’re lucky, because this audience is already interested in sharing with friends. The winner of the contest might get his or her car fully outfitted with the two companies’ products. By doing this, you promote the contest on both business pages, both e-mail lists, and so on. You’ll likely expand each company’s following just by cross-promoting.