The power of Facebook as a marketing tool is undeniable. Facebook is after all the biggest social media site out there. Its members are close to approaching the 2 Billion mark. One of the ways that thousands of online entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large companies are monetizing Facebook is through contests.
It is not uncommon to see businesses pushing products, services, or causes through contests hosted in the social networking site.
If you own digital space of any kind, you need to be doing the same.
If this doesn’t make you rush out and use Facebook like crazy, nothing will. The great thing about the social network is that you don’t have to be an online entrepreneur to be able to make use of it.
Even if your business only operates offline, you can still make a huge online presence for it on Facebook.
Holding a Facebook contest is nothing new. Ever since the site’s beginnings, people have been using it to conduct contests.
Now that the site has grown into a whole new level, it’s not surprising to see hundreds of contests being held on it in a daily basis.
Marketers have seen the potential of Facebook contests and they are taking full advantage of it.
Get on board now if you want to leverage Facebook’s huge traffic and member levels.
Of course, the process is not as simple as offering prizes and stuff. You have to plan everything just like any marketing campaign. You can’t just go in there without any directions or goals. If you do, you will likely fail.
Everybody knows that besides Facebook’s advertising program, everything on the site is free to use.
You don’t have to pay a cent to make use of the services, resources and tools that it offers.
Facebook Contest Rules
Shortstack is the perfect tool for running engaging giveaways, sweepstakes and competitions.
In fact, according to Shortstack they recommend not running your contest on Facebook!
Instead, run your contest on your website and promote it on Facebook.
That way you can write your own rules and get more traffic to the place you want it most: your website.
Rule #1: Know what’s considered a “promotion” on Facebook
Promotions on Facebook typically include:
- Element of chance
- Giveaway or prize
Rule #2: Know the Difference between Sweepstakes/Giveaways, Contests and Lotteries
- Sweepstakes/Giveaway: A campaign in which a person can win a prize based on chance. No purchase, payment or other consideration* is permitted.
- Contest: A campaign in which effort, skill or merit is required to enter to win a prize. For example, participants must post a photo, video or other content in exchange for a chance to win. The winner can be chosen at random, by voting or by judges.
- Lottery: A lottery requires purchase, payment or other consideration, chance and a prize. Lotteries are illegal in the United States. Do not run a lottery.
Rule #3: Make it Clear that Your Contest is Completely Independent of Facebook
Recommended verbiage on your post or contest form includes:
• “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.”
Rule #4: Post Detailed Contest Rules on a Landing Page
Official rules could include the following verbiage:
- No purchase necessary.
Why this is important to include: Requiring a purchase would make your contest a lottery; lotteries are illegal in the U.S.
- Purchase does not enhance the chance of winning.
- Void where prohibited.
Why this is important to include: This clause allows you to avoid awarding your prize to someone who cannot win based on restrictions imposed where they live.
- Details regarding non-monetary consideration.
- The identity of the host/promotion.
- Entry procedures and beginning/ending times, including time of day and time zone.
- Eligibility requirements
Why this is important to include: If you have restrictions, such as age or residency, include specifics in your rules to prevent a 16-year-old from entering to win a prize he or she could not use, such as an airline ticket or hotel stay.
- An explanation of all methods of entry.
- A clear description of the prize(s).
Why this is important to include: In the U.S., some states have strict regulations regarding prize description. Be sure you’re familiar with them.
- Date winner(s) will be chosen.
- Judging criteria should be clear and the sponsor should be able to show how the winner was determined based on objective criteria. If you spell out, in advance, how the winner will be chosen, people are less likely to accuse you of giving preferential consideration.
- Method of selecting a winner.
Why this is important to include: To avoid any appearance of impropriety, it is recommend that sponsors avoid conducting their own drawings or determining the winners of their contests.
- Publicity rights regarding use of participant’s information and content. Sponsor should obtain written consent from Entrant to ensure compliance with state laws.
- Explicit permission from users regarding use of any user-generated content (UGC) they create in order to enter your contest.
Why this is important to include: If you plan to use UGC on your website or in other marketing materials secure rights and keep record of users’ permission.
- Liability limitations.
- Odds of winning.
- Your physical address.
Rule #5: Know the actions Facebook forbids
To avoid repercussions from Facebook, we recommend you never ask for a Like or Follow (even as an optional step to participation) in conjunction with a contest or giveaway. While there is some grey area to that rule, here are some actions that Facebook absolutely forbids:
• Never force anyone to share your contest on a personal Timeline. People may choose to share your contest on their own Timelines, but you cannot require them to do so.
• “Share on your Timeline to enter.” Instead, use contest software with “refer-a-friend” features to award extra entries to those who can get more people to enter the contest.
• “Share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries.” Instead, use contest software with “refer-a-friend” features to award extra entries to those who can get more people to enter the contest.
• “Tag your friends in this post to enter.” Instead, create an engaging contest that people want to share with their friends.
* Note that “consideration” is anything of value a person must give up in order to participate. Some states have determined that providing contact information, which could be used for marketing purposes, is consideration.
– Resource Shortstack
This is where the magic happens. If your Facebook contest is interesting enough, it could go viral.
If the contest is geared towards promoting a product or service of yours, expect a spike in your sales.
That’s how powerful Facebook contests can be.
One obvious drawback of using Facebook for a contest is the fact that people nowadays are more aware about security issues.
They won’t just give up their Facebook login details. Although Facebook Connect is pretty secure, you cannot discount the fact that people sometimes get freaked out when asked to connect their Facebook profiles to websites external of the Facebook banner.
However, if the offers or prizes in your contest are hard to refuse, Facebook users have proven time and time again that they take risks when confronted with great free offers.
With that said, if you play your cards well, people will be more than willing to connect their Facebook accounts to your website or application.
That’s why using software like Shortstack makes even more sense.
How to Monetize Through FACEBOOK Contests
Now, let’s go to the monetization part. The goal is monetizing Facebook through contests right?
That basically translates to making money off Facebook.
The goal is to drive as many people as possible to your website or web application through the Facebook Connect feature then introduce them to your offers and services.
It’s as simple as that. In other words, the contest is merely a bait. This may sound a bit unethical but most of the time this is what Facebook contests are all about – just a small part in a huge marketing puzzle.
It’s a very effective marketing strategy as long as you have high quality products and services that will draw customers towards you.
Here are a few tips on how to effectively conduct a contest using Shortstack for Facebook.
Offer great prizes.
If you are offering prizes of $5, why would anyone even bother connecting to you?
So offer prizes that will blow people away that they will have no choice but to join.
Create a Facebook Page specifically for your contest. Keep in mind that a Facebook Page is different from a Facebook Profile or a Facebook Group Page.
A Page differs because it can be viewed by anyone on the web whether he/she is logged into Facebook or not.
This makes it a very great tool in promoting your contest.
Encourage those who joined your contest to share the contest with their Facebook friends.
This will ensure that your contest is exposed to as many people as possible.
Imagine someone sharing your contest to a thousand of his friends then these thousand friends do the same.
The numbers can easily grow as people start sharing your contest.
These are everything you need to know about monetizing Facebook through contests.
Keep them in mind and most importantly, follow them.
A Facebook contest isn’t too hard to pull off. If you have great offers, Facebook users will do all the marketing for you.
For instance, if you’re going to offer a free Go Pro or a complete website or blog set up worth thousands of dollars, tons of people will likely share your contest right after you announce it! And so on and so forth…you get the idea:)
Install the Facebook Pixel Tool
Here’s an example of what it looks like:
The Facebook Pixel helper tool is a troubleshooting tool that helps you validate your pixel implementation.
The FB Pixel helper works in the background of your site to look for conversion or FB pixels and provide real time feedback on the implementation.
A small number will appear on the FB pixel helper icon to indicate the number of pixel events that have occurred.
Resource – Facebook Business Help Center.