If you actively follow brand Pages on Facebook, chances are you’ve already come across a contest or two. You may have also noticed that these contests garner a lot of attention, effectively engage fans, and even help to attract new customers. That’s why companies love hosting Facebook contests just as much as fans love entering them.
With the right app—and a few precautions—you too can host your very own Facebook contest and give your fans a little something for their support. In this post, I've put together a brief list of the best apps for creating a contest, along with a few tips for running things as smoothly as possible.
Before anything, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Facebook’s guidelines. Hosting a contest is not as simple as posting a message saying “click Like for a chance to win.” In fact, that kind of message can quickly get your contest shut down if Facebook’s automated system detects it. Instead, you must use a third-party app—like the ones listed below—to run your contest, and it’s nearly impossible to meet all guidelines requirements without one.
Whether you’re looking to host a video contest, photo contest, sweepstakes, or instant win, Woobox has you covered. Features include easy embedding on your website, requiring Liking to enter, custom form fields, and rewards for fans who share the contest with friends. And, best of all, pricing starts at just $1/month for Pages with 100 likes or fewer.
Google’s WildFire app sports plenty of big-name users, including Sony, Amazon, and Verizon Wireless. That’s because it’s one of the most feature-packed apps on the market and has powerful monitoring services that integrate seamlessly with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Pricing can run for as little as $5 plus $0.99/day for the length of your promotion.
Besides running one of the most active pages on Facebook, North Social offers a comprehensive suite of apps that can help you with just about anything—especially contests. And, with the app’s powerful mobile features, you don’t have to worry about which device your fans are using to enter your giveaway. For Pages with 1,000 fans or fewer, pricing starts at $1.99/day for the length of your promotion.
Tips for Smooth Sailing
Now that you’re ready to start your own contest, keep these tips in mind to avoid any hiccups throughout your promotion:
- Make your prize relevant: If you’re a bakery, giving away an iPad will only gain you temporary fans. Instead, give away free cupcakes to make sure only interested customers apply.
- Don’t break any laws: Become familiar with the dos and don’ts outlined by state and national laws. For example, you can’t run a contest that asks fans to pay for submissions. You’ll risk being classified as a “lottery” and your contest will be shut down.
- Properly notify the winner: Before notifying the winner in a status update, Facebook requires that you first use outside means to reach your winner (email, phone, mail, etc).