Like any business with a Facebook page, you are probably looking for the following:

  • New customers
  • Returning customers
  • More ‘Likes’

The way we see it, there are 4 overarching ways for businesses to actively grow a Facebook page:

  1. Run targeted Facebook Ads
  2. Post with a goal of engagement
  3. Incorporate social media in all of your in-store and marketing efforts
  4. Run Facebook contests and sweepstakes

The goal of all of these is to attract quality and brand-loyal customers.

Facebook Contest Guidelines

Facebook contests, sweepstakes and prize giveaways are a great way to reward your current fan base, increase awareness for your brand online, and bring in new fans (or ‘Likes’) — more importantly potential customers! At 435 Digital, we work with many different businesses on successfully executing legitimate contests and sweepstakes through Facebook brand pages. Something many businesses may not be too familiar with is the fact that Facebook has strict promotion guidelines which are mandatory for running any kind of giveaway or promotion. The main guideline to remember is that all promotions must be administered within a third party application, this means brands cannot run any kind of contest or promotion from their Facebook wall.

Facebook Contest Quick Tips

Here are some quick tips for running a promotion on Facebook — the right way.

  • Set a goal for your Facebook promotion. Yes, these promotions are a great way to get more likes from the community and ‘non-fans’, but what else is important to you? Remember, this is also a great way to gather information about your audience including valuable email addresses for your database. All the while, you are keeping your current followers engaged and rewarded, reminding them that they are appreciated. Keeps them loyal.
  • Set your Facebook contest up right. Create an engaging contest landing page with a 3rd party application tool (we prefer ShortStack). There is still going to be some design and development work with any of these applications, but the software gives you some really cool tools to make unique contests, including the always-important mandatory ‘Like us to enter’ feature.
  • Keep the contest easy. We like to keep the barrier of entry as simple and straightforward as possible. The more complex you make things, the less people will take the time to enter. It’s also important to make your sweepstakes or contest easy to find. Rearrange the top tabs on your Facebook timeline so it is easily accessible when someone gets to your page. Post regularly about it with links to the landing page so people can access it directly from their news feed when they see your post. Finally, run Facebook Ads to support your contest. Ads are a great way to extend your reach and drive non-fans straight into your page for a reason.
  • Keep your Facebook contest relevant. Make the contest a worthwhile and fitting prize for your business or brand. You want people to like your page for a reason, and stay. You don’t want them to like your page, win an iPad and unlike it 2 days later. If you run a restaurant, reward your customers with what they love about you — the food or a party package! If you own an online cowboy boot company, give away a new pair of boots each week!
  • Protect yourself. Make sure you have someone on your legal team write up some Terms and Conditions that clearly lay out the Facebook promotion rules and guidelines while also waiving Facebook from any form of sponsorship, endorsement, association, etc. Keep in mind there are different rules based on if you are running a sweepstakes or contest. Templates for these can easily be found online, but it is recommended to have someone at your company edit or develop terms that are specific to your Facebook promotions.
  • Contact your contest winners off Facebook. This is one of the reasons you gather information like an email address in the contest or sweepstakes form. One of Facebook’s rules is that any winners must be contacted off of the Facebook platform. Reach out via email and congratulate your winner and get the information you will need to reward them with their prize. Speaking of email addresses: if you are planning on keeping email addresses for future use (a company email newsletter, for example), make sure your terms and conditions make clear that you will not pass on their information, but do plan to use it in future promotional outreach.

Facebook contests are no fun if they wind up getting your brand banned from Facebook, so make sure you know what you can and can’t do before you set your contest up. You can read up on the official rules on Facebook’s page here.

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