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Tips to Running a Killer Facebook Contest


Want to run a killer Facebook Contest? First you have to get people to enter.

I’m running a Facebook promotion and writing a post about Facebook contests for American Express OPEN Forum. As part of that I got  some great from Wildfire Interactive CEO Victoria Ransom, CEO. They develop social media campaigns on platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

Here are some of their current campaigns.

Wildfire: 5 Tips to Get More Contest Entries on Facebook

1. DON’T MAKE YOUR USERS SCROLL It’s extremely important to put the most critical elements (e.g. the ‘Enter Now’ button, the prize details, eye catching images, the brand name) above the fold. Requiring users to use their scroll bar to access the “enter” button or to find out the contest prize will result in dramatic reduction of entry rates.

2. DON’T MAKE USERS THINK The contest should be as intuitive as possible. Within a glance users should be able to understand the contest/campaign details and why they should enter.

3. EMPHASIZE THE PRIZE People enter promotions for exclusive access to deals, discounts, content, news and prizes. The most successful promotions include prize details and pictures front and center.

4. CALL OUT THE ‘CALL TO ACTION’ The greatest click through rates happen when campaigns have just one main call to action (one button) and when they are not cluttered with a lot of text or images that make it hard to find the main ‘call to action’.

5. A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS Use bright, attention-grabbing images to clearly highlight the theme and prize of your contest. However, don’t forget to consider the whitespace in your contest promotion.

Promoting your Contest
One problem with trying to showcase successful campaigns is that they end and are deleted, so I can’t link to them. Shopping.com does a lot of sweepstakes on Facebook.  I noted that they posted their sweepstakes on About.com – here’s About.com’s list of sweepstakes.

There are many places that will publicize your contests free or for low cost. If you have suggestions for places, please list in the comments and I’ll blog about them in a future post.

National Contest with Local Interest
Probably the most successful Facebook contest at getting free publicity was WalMart’s Fighting Hunger Contest. The local news here covered their contest nonstop and Utah won a million dollars for the cause.  Why?

  • It raised money for a good cause – hunger.
  • It had a competition element – they pitted states against each other.
  • There was a local element – they named local charities that would benefit if your state won. So local news could easily find an angle to cover. I do love how it gave nonprofits a chance to get on the news and highlight what they do for our communities (some free advertising).
  • There was also a large cash prize – even for the runner’s up.

Stay tuned for my next post – ideas for killer Facebook contests.



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