Facebook allows businesses to hold Contests, Sweepstakes, and Quizzes on their Facebook Business Page. Facebook calls these events “Promotions”. Anytime Facebook makes reference to a Promotion in their terms of service, guidelines, or rules and regulations it is concerning a Contest, Sweepstakes, or Quiz.
Limited Marketing Opportunity
While there is marketing potential from running a Facebook Contest the ROI is very small. When you look at the time and effort to set up and administer the contest and the cost involved in the software to run it and the prize or prizes you offer, there are better ways to spend your marketing dollars and effort that will bring you a better return.
Limited Lead Generation
Certain types of Facebook Contests will provide you names and e-mail addresses of those that participate. However, the time and money spent to generate the few leads is hardly worth the effort if this is your main reason to hold a Facebook Contest. There are far better means to generate leads!
So Why Hold a Facebook Contest?
You Do So Because They Are FUN!
Facebook Contests are a fun way to interact with your customers, and fun for your customers to participate in.
Types of Facebook Promotions
Contests – A contest winner is determined by the judging of specific criteria and is awarded a prize. There are three types of contests: Photos, Videos, or Essays. To enter a contest the person must submit their photo, video, or essay based on the criteria of the contest. Often these are tied into a holiday theme such as Cutest Couple for Valentine’s Day, or Best Mom for Mother’s Day.
Judging is conducted either by the general public voting on the entries, by a panel of judges, or a combination of the two. For example a jewelry store could have a contest where customers submit their design for a piece of jewelry. A prize is awarded for the entry with the most votes and a grand prize winner is selected by a panel of judges made up of store employees.
Contests are the most popular type of Facebook Promotion as the entrants willingly share information about your contest trying to get their friends and family to vote for them. As a result your contest goes viral spreading news about your store to the most people.
Sweepstakes – In a sweepstakes, a winner is selected by chance and is awarded a prize. It is the same thing as a drawing or raffle. This is the easiest type of Facebook Promotion to administer and for people to enter. You will generate the most leads from a Sweepstakes, however, most people will not share the news about it as they don’t want to reduce their chance of winning.
Quizzes – In a Quiz one or more questions are asked and prizes are awarded to all who answer correctly or a winner is chosen from among the correct respondents. Quizzes have become popular ever since Facebook allowed Timeline Promotions as they are easy to set-up and administer. You simply ask a jewelry related question and to participate they write their response in the comments on the post. You can award a prize to the first person with the correct answer or allow a set amount of time (such as 24 hours) and select a winner randomly from those with the correct answer. More complex quizzes featuring multiple questions providing multiple choice, true/false, or short response answers can be set up with 3rd party apps.
Facebook has greatly reduced the requirements for conducting Facebook Promotions. Facebook now allows contests, sweepstakes, and quizzes to be conducted in the Newsfeed, and Facebook features (Likes, Shares, and Comments) can be used as voting mechanisms.
Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
- Disclosure that the participant is providing information to you and not to Facebook.
- Disclose complete list of your Rules and Terms. Your rules must comply with national, state, and local laws.
With Timeline contests, a page owner simply posts a status update containing the contest information, and then participants have to Like or Comment (or both) to enter the contest.
- Quick to launch & no cost to setup.
- No software to learn.
- Delivers quick engagement on your page.
- Easy entry for fans – no need to share personal info.
- Simple voting method – a Like or comment is a vote.
- Notifying the winner can be difficult as you do not have contact information.
- No leads gathered – no potential for future follow-up.
- Because entries (likes/comments) must be on the original post, re-sharing that post can cause confusion about how to enter.
- Difficult to display full contest rules & terms.
3rd-Party App Contests
3rd-Party App Contests are run through the “App Tab” on your Facebook Page. The contest’s content (rules, entry form, etc.) are displayed on the tab and can be accessed directly from your page or customers can click on a link to access it. A duplicate of the Tab is created on a mobile friendly webpage outside of Facebook for mobile users.
- Gathers e-mail addresses for further follow-up and to add to your database.
- Clean & professional look – easy to brand your company.
- Easy for fans to share the contest.
- Contest rules are easily displayed inside app.
- Easy to notify winners privately by e-mail.
- Integration with other social websites such as Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.
- Not free – app prices will vary.
- Larger barrier to enter for fans – must enter e-mail address, for example.
- Takes longer to setup & learn software.
- Must set-up a smart URL to divert mobile users to a webpage outside of Facebook.
- Separate promotion of your contest is needed as the contest is not conducted in the newsfeed.
Many companies provide apps for you to choose from and each have their advantages & disadvantages and different price range. You will need to do your own research to decide which one is right for you. As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive the monthly fee the easier the app is to use. The less expensive apps generally require some knowledge of coding webpages.
A few of the more popular Facebook Contest App providers are: Shortstack, Tabsite, Antavo, Heyo, North Social, AgoraPulse, Binkd, Wishpond & Woobox.
A single prize can be awarded to the winner or multiple prizes can be given. You can also award a small prize to everyone who enters (such as $10 off their next repair) and a large prize for the winning entry.
When selecting a prize the total value of the prize is unimportant. I’ve seen very successful contests where the Grand Prize is less than $100 retail value, and contests with prizes worth thousands of dollars that failed miserably.
The important thing is that the prize is something that clients want. This is not the time to unload that piece of jewelry that has been in the back of the safe for the past 20 years. If people don’t desire the prize they will not be motivated to enter the contest. A piece from a new line of jewelry or a hot selling item is always a good choice.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, EVER offer a prize that is not related to your store, unless like compensation is received. While the marketing value of contest and sweepstakes is low, it is still marketing!
I have never understood why a jewelry store is willing to spend their marketing dollars advertising for Starbucks! Instead of offering a $5 Starbucks gift card for entering, offer $5 or $10 off jewelry repairs, or a free watch battery. And when one of your customers decides to go on a Caribbean Cruise instead of buying jewelry with their tax return money, offering a cruise for a Grand Prize doesn’t sound like a great idea anymore.
The one exception to this is cross promotions with another local business. You can offer a prize for a dinner for two at a fine dining restaurant. In return the restaurant holds a contest on their Facebook page offering a piece of jewelry from your store as their prize.
Brad Simon is co-owner of Internet 4 Jewelers and specializes in Social Media Marketing exclusively for retail jewelry stores. They are dedicated to making Social Media simple and affordable for every jeweler, and provide services to set-up and administer all types of Facebook Promotions for your jewelry store. For more information you can contact Brad at 864-680-4416 or Brad@Internet4Jewelers.com or visit their website at www.Internet4Jewelers.com.