Working in public relations, we’ve all faced this challenge. You stare at your Facebook fan page and ask yourself, “How do we get more fans?” Referring to my colleague Candace McCaffery’s post Making Sense of Measurement: Social Media ROI, sometimes quantity is okay depending on the program and the reach you are trying to accomplish but it should always be backed with quality and fan engagement.
Your company has seen organic growth, engaged its audience and seen a steady incline in its fan base over the years, but you’ve finally secured that budget and you’re ready to inject that into your social campaigns.
Sitting back and expecting people to discover you via a contest is just like sitting back and expecting people to discover you without the contest, so let’s ask a few questions.
- Have you reached out to partnerships or charities? Cross-promoting a contest is a great way to get the word out there, and partnering with an organization that closely aligns to your brand or audience is even better. This is making the people you are trying to reach want to come over and check out your business.
- Will users have to like your page to enter your contest? This is a no-brainer. This is your contest, and you obviously want to retain those users that enter your contest on Facebook.
- Not only can users like the page, but they can opt-in to communications. The ability to have entrants opt-in to your company newsletter is social gold. It’s another way to market to your consumers since, many times, they aren’t tethered to Facebook during the day.
- What is the barrier to entry? Let’s face it, more people will enter your contest if you make it easy. Don’t expect too many entries if users have to create a video, format it a certain way, jump through fiery rings, tame lions and upload it to Facebook. If you’re looking for content to promote your brand, just make it easy for your fans. Simplicity is the key word here.
- Have you announced your contests across your marketing platforms? Maybe you have 528 Facebook fans, but 100,528 people in your email database? Sending an email to those already opting in to your communications channels is an incredible way to increase awareness. For example, in one of our latest promotions, here is the spike in contest visits with an email push:
You’ve done your research, found the contest that’s right for you, researched 3rd party vendors to build your application, secured partnerships, set your timeline and covered all of your bases. You’ve finalized your prizes, creatives have been…well, created and launch day is here.
Now what? Be prepared.
- Keep a close eye on your fan page. Things can spiral out of control very quickly, so make sure you or someone on your team is there to monitor activity. Respond to users who are having difficulty with the promotion and guide them through the necessary steps. Remember, you’re dealing with a WIDE audience here – including Facebook novices.
- Know your contest well. How can people enter? Can they enter on a mobile phone? Likely not. Facebook doesn’t allow many apps on their mobile site, so be sure to test this out in the beginning.
- Read the fine print. Where can users enter? Due to trade and commerce laws, there are many locations (including overseas) from which people cannot enter. How are entrant and sponsor defined? What’s the estimated value of all of your prizes? These should all be included in your rules, published in your contest and kept handy.
- People will come from left field to enter your contest. It’s highly likely that many people entering your contest will not be entering for…you. They are entering for a prize. This is common; you’ll have to deal with them and likely deal with the fact that they may unlike you after the contest. Remember, it’s no love lost since this isn’t your target market.
Coming out of your contest, ensure that you integrate your opt-ins into your email database and send off those prizes (with the necessary tax forms) quickly. You’ve been looking at the numbers the entire time. Would you do it again? How would you do it differently?
Now back to quality engagement. That’s what social media is all about.