Why No One’s Entering Your Facebook Contest

By Carrie Tylawsky 

This is a tough blog for me to write since I’m actually a big proponent of contests, sweepstakes, and anything that adds fun value to your community online. However, sometimes I see these contests and programs that are just so off-brand that I want to call up their social strategy team that very second. You might think you have a killer contest idea with an amazing prize, but then you don’t see the traction you expected and wonder: but why? It’s because your contest probably falls into one of these three mortal sins committed by brands when running big Facebook promotions:

1. I’m interested in your brand — but what does that have to do with winning a year’s subscription to Men’s Golf?!? You cultivated your online community for a reason. They’re interested in your product or service and want to learn more. That doesn’t mean they’re interested in the strange partnership opportunity that you happened across. Whenever creating a contest, always think about what kind of value the prize will add to your current community and if they will get excited about it.

2. I would absolutely LOVE to win a trip to Hawaii, but I’m not about to go through a ten step process to just be entered in a drawing. Don’t make your barrier to entry so high that you dissuade your loyal fans! Restrictions are great — they keep the contest maniacs from entering just for the sake of it, and they increase the validity of your brand. However, you can’t expect your community to jump through hoops…and fire…and take a photo while doing it…which they turn into a collage…which they caption with why they love your brand.

3. I totally would have entered, but I didn’t see it until I came back to your Facebook page even though I follow you guys on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Don’t keep your contests in a Facebook silo. Give yourself the opportunity to expand your reach and gain the optimal number of entries by cross-promoting via several networks.

What other mortal sins would you add to this list? Share in the comments below! 

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  • http://twitter.com/JimiKunkel Jimi Kunkel

    Grab their Attention to Ensure Retention:

    “WOW an iPad Mini giveaway! I think I’ll enter and then Unlike when the contest is over.” Go beyond Likes. Plan out an engaging content calendar to coincide with your contest so that entrants can find value in Liking your page beyond a chance to win a cool prize.

  • http://www.thesocialcraft.com/ Cindy Meltzer

    Don’t make me solicit votes from my Facebook friends. So obnoxious!

  • http://twitter.com/bellybeyond Lou @Belly Beyond

    1) Pay. Promotion is the fastest way to get your competitions seen by both your current likers and their friends and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to get started. 2) Use Like gates. If the prize is worth it people should have to like your page. Thats the buy in to entry. Use one of the many apps that will run a promo for you and Like Gate the entry.
    Point to note about any FB competition (or indeed a competition in any medium) will attract competition scabs – people that want something for nothing – and potentially have no interest in your brand. As a result your page interaction may DROP so always obey the golden rule – BE LIKEABLE and you’ll attract Likers.

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