Facebook Contest Strategy:
Before you start a Facebook contest, figure out what you hope to accomplish.
- Will your Facebook contest create more engagement? Will the Facebook contest encourage fans to share your message (amplify it) in their own social networks. Have you made it easy for them to share your Facebook contest? Are their tools to share your Facebook contest on other social networks to cross-pollinate?
- Do you want to create content with your Facebook contest? This not only gives you content to share, but visitors may engage more with content created by peers. Crowdsourcing works great for engagement.
- Who is your target market and will the Facebook contest attract them without a lot of waste — reaching folks who aren’t in your target market? Facebook contests work best when you have a large, diverse target market. But, Facebook contests can work if you can tap into a niche market effectively.
- How will folks respond to your Facebook contest? If visitors enter a sweepstakes, for example, they have a vested interest in NOT sharing your Facebook contest because it reduces their chance of winning. If the Facebook contest rewards entries that get the most votes, they have an incentive TO share your content. Think about this.
Develop a Budget for the Facebook Contest
Next, you’ll need to develop a budget and estimate your ROI (return on investment). Don’t forget that a Facebook contest might not generate a high ROI immediately. The value of your Facebook contest might lie in building a more engaged network that pays off over a long time.
Here are some budget items to think about:
- Prizes – and I’m often surprised at how users respond to prize offers. Something of little value to me sometimes draws in lots of entries because users find it valuable. You might test a few ideas with your target market before you start the contest.
- Odds – what are the chances of winning the prize. Some target markets respond well when the odds are low, but prize value high. Others prefer higher chances of winning and a smaller prize. Test!
- Ensure # of prizes – this may sound obvious, but it’s not. During the 1980 Olympics, McDonald’s gave out prize pieces based on Olympic sports. If the US won a gold medal, the customer got a free Big Mac, a silver got them a medium fry, and a bronze was worth a drink. Unfortunately, for McDonald’s and fortunately for the poor college student I was, the Russians backed out of the games shortly before they began. Thus, the US won gold in many more sports than predicted and McDonald’s had to pay out on all of them. I ate a lot of Big Mac’s that summer and so did a lot of other people. At one point, McDonald’s ran out of buns — they were giving away so many burgers. Pepsi ran into a similar situation when 2 prize-winning tickets were accidentally produced. While Pepsi fought it, they were required to pay out on both tickets. Check and double check!
- You’ll need publicity to promote your Facebook contest in social media, email marketing, and probably traditional marketing, as well. Add that to your budget.
- Now, add incidentals such as printing, website design, graphic design, etc to support your contest. Don’t forget staff — do you need some extra hands to handle the contest.
- Now, take your estimates of benefits from the Facebook contest and subtract the costs. Still worthwhile, go to the next step.
Plan, plan, plan
Contests, whether on Facebook or another platform, have thousands of little details. Create an action plan detailing each element of the Facebook contest and who’s doing it, how long it takes, and how much it costs. Then, create a PERT chart (or Critical Path Diagram) containing every little detail. Track the critical path to ensure everything comes together without a hitch.
Measure and evaluate
Once the contest is underway, start evaluating your results using tools like Facebook Insights for Business or proprietary tools to track reach, engagement, and conversion.
If you’ve set up A/B testing you’ll get some great insights allowing you to tweak your Facebook contest while it’s still going on — one of the great benefits on online marketing is you can change things on the fly. And, assess the project at the end to glean insights for future engagement activities.
Wanna learn more about measuring, A/B testing, and analytics?
Grab the first chapter of our new ebook. It’s FREE. And, if you provide insights or edits to the manuscript (it’s a word document so you can make changes as you read), I’ll send you the finished ebook — hopefully ready by late summer.