Don’t you just love winning prizes, free gifts or huge discounts? Don’t you get attracted to such contests in a mall or a marketplace?
Hence, as a marketer, you should know the power of a Facebook contest too. It not only engages relevant customers, but also their friends! Because yes, consumers love contests!
Recently, Facebook changed its rules and regulations on running such contests on your own timeline/from your own company page. For more information on Promotions on Facebook -
If executed efficiently, a contest on Facebook will give wider reach in a quick span of time that could be very valuable to ecommerce businesses.
One recent example that comes to mind is the #WhosThatGirl campaign for Caprese, a range of fashionable ladies bags by VIP. There is a lot to learn from this campaign and its usage of Facebook contest techniques to drive in thousands of consumers
Decide an objective for the contest - An objective drives the contest. Maybe you want to:
If you are clear about this first step then rest of the journey is easy.
Caprese wanted to launch the new brand of bags by VIP to ultra-modern and fashion savvy urban women. Since a majority of the target audience was surely on the internet and that too on Facebook, a contest would make absolute logic. Their primary aim was to increase their following on Facebook.
Decide upon the prize that your customers will want - A contest cannot exist without giveaways. These have to hold some value for the potential customers. Obviously, greater the benefits, larger the reach of the contest. For example, Samsung usually runs a contest that gives its participants a chance to win a latest mobile phone! Caprese obviously had a lot of fashionable accessories and bags to giveaway to its participants. That also enticed friends of friends to join the contest.
Create the contest title, content and graphics -
An attention grabbing short title that entices the user is the best way to coin a contest title. The content should tell the user about the brand, what the prize is and how they can participate.And then the magic of graphics should bring it all together. Graphics that resonate with the users, also attracts them to participate and share. It’s a good idea to share a picture of the prize(s) that are being given away in the contest. Also, make sure all your content is mobile friendly.
The main theme for the #WhosThatGirl contest was to correctly identify the celebrity behind ‘’the Caprese girl’’. For this purpose, the hashtag title was created that was easy to connect, search for and share further. These graphics with the hashtag, the brand logo, a headline and a hidden shot of the celebrity was then regularly shared on Facebook.
Create contest pages - A contest page should ideally be based on your primary website as that is where you need all the traffic to land, esp., if you are an ecommerce brand. The contest page should have:
Your Facebook company page should also be updated with all the relevant graphics and content related to the contest.
A good example of how you can re-imagine your website to run a contest is the Macy’s ‘’Get Fit with Frank Sepe’’ campaign. Once a user is on the website, they have a good reason to register their email for a prize. They would also want to come back for valuable information. Notice the Social share buttons? - consumers can easily share the information with their online network!
Facebook also requires you to openly publish all the terms and conditions for participation. This includes the contest time frame, method of results drawn and method of result announcements.
Caprese used Facebook notes to write the terms and conditions. The link for this page was shared in the contest posts and also on the contest pages. See image below -
Launch the Contest - Once you are set with all of the above, it’s now time to launch your contest posts from your Facebook company page. Just like Caprese, some of the brands start putting teasers before the actual launch of the contest to get initial traction. You are now ready to share your first contest post:
There are many ways you can ask your users to participate in the contest (Facebook does not allow simply ‘’sharing’’ the post as a criteria to participate in the contest):
Like to Win: A user needs to like your contest post OR company page to participate.
Comment to Win: A user has to comment on the post OR on the company page to participate.
Like and Comment to Win: Make your users work a bit extra. They have to like and comment the post to participate. These like and comment contest are easiest to run.
Captions: A user needs to add in a caption related to the image you shared. The best or the funniest ones win. They may also ask their friends to like the caption and the caption with maximum likes will win.
Fill-in-the-blanks: A user needs to complete the sentence that you mentioned in the post.
Photo Contest: Ask users to either post photos on your company page where you decide the best photo OR they ask their friends to like the photos and the photo with maximum likes wins. This is one of the most common contests held on Facebook.
Q&A Contest: You may ask the users to give answers to certain questions (these questions can be multiple choice too with A, B, C, D as the answers). This way you can keep the contest going with many posts in a day. The user with quick and maximum correct answers will win.
Samsung usually runs these contests where users are asked questions about the new phone about to be launched.
Crowdsource Contest: Here you will ask the users to submit suggestions, creative ideas or opinions that will help you in your business. The most promising comments stand a chance to win.
Starbucks launched such a contest asking consumers to give them ideas for new flavors of coffee toppings. The selected entries were actually featured in the menu.
Caprese’s main aim was to increase their Facebook following. So they asked the users to ‘’like’’ the Caprese Facebook page along with commenting on who is ‘’The Caprese Girl’’. If the users tagged 5 and more friends on the image then their friends too stood a chance to win goodies!
Promote your contest You may also choose to simultaneously launch a Facebook Ad campaign about the contest. This will get you a wider reach outside your community and connect you with various demographics to maximize results.
Sending regular email campaigns to your database is also a good idea to promote your contest. These contests should also be shared on all the other social media channels:
Caprese also launched the contest on Twitter where similar posts were shared regularly. The users were asked to ‘’follow’’ the company’s Twitter profile and guess the celebrity. The hashtag in this case became more important as users added #WhosThatGirl to their Tweets.
Announce the results regularly Use your website and the Facebook company page to share winners on a regular basis. Some brands announce winners every hour! You may ask these winners to message you their contact details so that you can courier their prizes to them. You should also encourage the regular winners to share the results with their friends. Caprese revealed the celebrity with the launch of a TVC on traditional and online channels. This reveal that Alia Bhatt is ‘’The Caprese Girl’’ was also massively shared and commented upon by the Facebook community. Caprese went on and also shared a lot of ‘’behind the scenes’’ action of the TVC as a follow up to the contest.
Measure the contest performance Since the contest is running from your company page, Facebook Insight tool is the best option to measure the success of your contest. It shows relevant metric such as number of ‘’likes’’, ‘’comments’’, ‘’share’’ of the contest posts. It also shows the new ‘’likes’’ your company page got while running the contest. Compare the results with the objectives you had set, and then plan your next contest based on what you learnt. With time, you will find a theme, content and execution strategy that works best for you.
From a few thousands, the Caprese Facebook page has now moved up to approx. 1.5 lacs fashion conscious women followers! Obviously then, this contest was such a huge hit that they followed up with a new #CapreseStylist contest!
Another good example that you can follow is Skybags, a range of adventure bag packs from VIP. They are also known for conducting regular contests on Facebook. The winners are announced very regularly through their website (http://www.skybags.co.in/) and their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Skybags).
There are some third party apps that can also help you plan and launch these contests on Facebook. These are:
Hrishikesh Jobanputra is an author and marketing advisor to forward thinking entrepreneurs. He has 16+ years of experience in marketing, strategy and consulting. Hrishikesh helps businesses of all sizes gain an unfair competitive advantage using the power of inbound marketing.
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