Dave August 28, 2012 | 12:07:05

How To Create A Successful Facebook Contest

by guest blogger Sodelba Alfaro

It’s been fashionable of late to bash Facebook, but here are the facts. Nearly half of 18-34 year olds check Facebook as soon as they wake up.  Those are huge numbers, and brands are taking advantage of this by launching promotional campaigns on the social network.  With a Facebook contest, a brand can easily increase its number of fans, create brand awareness, and engage their consumers.

The following tips will ensure that you get your next Facebook contest right:

Define your audience – There are several types of contests that can be run on Facebook, and each speaks to different audiences.  Video, photo, and essay contests can be a great way to gather content for your page, although they are generally created for highly engaged users.  If this is the audience you are trying to reach, go for it.  However, If you’re trying to reach a new audience by gaining fans, try a promotion with a simpler method of entry.

Know the rules – Don’t get shut down before you get started!  Be sure to follow the Facebook Promotion Guidelines whenever you run a contest.  Facebook bans users from running contests that use any Facebook functionality and therefore, requesting entries be posted on your wall, announcing winners on your page, and asking users to upload pictures into Facebook are prohibited.  Save yourself the trouble and run your contest through a third party application like Wildfire or Shortstack.   Make sure to follow the rules as violating Facebook guidelines can get your page removed.

Cross promote your contest on other social media channels – Spread the word about your campaign by cross-promoting it on your other social sites such as Twitter or Pinterest.  This will help create buzz and awareness while carrying over those fans that may not yet follow you on Facebook.

Give away an awesome prize – If you want users to participate in your contest, the prize needs to be special.  When considering a prize, make sure it is something that will attract your ideal customer.  Say you’re running a contest for a fancy restaurant.  Why not give away a three-course meal?  A great prize will attract, and engage ideal users to your page.

What’s your favorite Facebook contest success story?

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