Are Facebook competitions a good idea? If so, how should I structure them?

One of the major challenges for businesses on Facebook is building the amount of followers (likes) they have and generating engaging conversation and interaction with these followers.


Hosting competitions is a great way of generating interest and works extremely well for large companies who have a huge following.


There’s certainly more of a challenge when it comes to smaller businesses. If you’re an SME owner and have a Facebook page with few followers, you may easily feel like you’re talking to yourself.


But it’s important to not let this stop you – hosting the correct offer, targeted at your ideal customer, will attract new followers and business.


The first competition is the hardest but it will definitely get easier.


The structure of the perfect competition depends heavily on the structure of your marketing goals.


You must identify these before you even begin to think about hosting an offer online.


Do you want to raise the awareness of a specific product? Your company in general? Build loyalty?


Or do you want to simply make sales wherever you can? These factors matter and will ultimately shape your competition.


The best part about hosting a competition on Facebook is that you can be as creative as you like – and it usually helps to be as creative as possible.


Competitions are best when they are designed to be shared by your users.


Rather than saying “like us and win XXX” (which may get a lot of early adopters but they will ultimately have little ongoing interest in your company) try and generate some creativity within your readers.


The idea is that they promote your business to their friends as a fun company to follow, so try and show as much personality as you can when hosting a competition.


It’s usually best when you have something that will get people looking at your page and at other people’s entries.


It could be posting video clips on your wall or sharing photos.


The risk here is that the more you ask of people, the less likely they are to initially take it up – no-one likes stepping out into the road first, so to speak.


However, once people start contributing, it’s a wonderful way to get people engaging with each other and will add a lot of value to your page.


If you opt for this kind of structure then prompt people to enter by getting a couple of close friends to kick things off.


All you need is say five people to do it and the snowball effect will kick in.


Structurally I would identify these as being the two main ways to host a competition (although each can definitely be drilled down):

  1. ‘Like us’ to win
  2. Engage with us to win

The first is the easiest and will get a lot of early adopters with little interest in your company long-term.


The second is more difficult to launch but once working effectively will give you more dedicated customers and make your business profile much more engaging.


Technically, Facebook feels that the first is a violation of what a business page stands for (which is another blog in itself) so definitely go for the latter structure, as not only is it a more legitimate way to host a competition, it will have more long-term benefits.


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