5 Most Common Mistakes when Running Facebook Contests

5 Most Common Mistakes when Running Facebook Contests

This is a guest post by Aaron Lee from Binkd.

Running a Facebook contest is beneficial in many ways. It’s a great way to help increase engagement, re-energize your audience, build your email database, grow your customer base, and help increase awareness around the product.

Facebook contests are very popular and I can quite easily find new contests popping up every day. But just about every other day I’ll find contests on Facebook that are either not following the promotion guidelines or simply not making the most out of their contests. Even some of my friends tend to make these mistakes when they are running a contest for their businesses.

The biggest mistake that most businesses make is not reading Facebook’s promotions guidelines. I believe not many business owners are aware that such guidelines even exist.

Here are some of the most common Facebook contest mistakes.

1. Using a Facebook feature as a contest

Probably the most common mistake is using the Facebook feature as part of the contest elements. Quite often will I find contest such as:

  • Click like to win
  • Share this photo and win
  • Comment to win

Although contests such as these are easy to organize, the rules say:

“You must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.”

Going against this basically means that Facebook has the power to make your contest invalid or even to the extent of blocking your account – although it is entirely up to Facebook’s discretion.

The best way to go around this is to use a third party contest application and I will go into the details below.

2. Not using an application

Small businesses tend to ignore the fact that third-party applications are required to run a contest on Facebook.

Facebook Contests - Use a third-party app

The best way for business owners to organize a contest on Facebook is by using a third party application. This helps you to comply with the promotional guidelines which states that:

“Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.”

There are a few ways or going around it. If you have an in-house programmer, you can have them to code the contest. Alternatively if you don’t, you can simplify the job by using the services of other professionally-built third-party apps out there.

Some of the popular Contest Applications are:

3. Announcing winners on wall

Another mistake is announcing winners on the Facebook wall. This is a tough one as fans want to know who won the contest. Although I believe this should be changed, Facebook clearly states that users must not notify through any of Facebook’s communication platforms such as messages, chats or post on profiles or pages.

Despite having an application, many businesses still make the mistake of announcing the winners on the wall.

4. Giving away unrelated prizes

The best prizes are those that are relevant to your business. It’s common to see businesses giving highly sought-after products like an iPad away, but as enticing as the prize may sound, giving away an iPad (or any other unrelated products) might attract those who wants the iPad but will not associate themselves with your business in the future.

Binkd Facebook Contest

Business owners should give away some of their products as prizes. Why not? Prizes should be related or relevant to your business because then the winners will get to try your product. It helps to increase awareness and it is a chance for you to roll out that kick-ass promotional campaign to show-off your product.

More often than not, the winners themselves will share their achievements on other social networks such as Twitter and Instagram and that too will help spread the news about your product.

5. Not promoting enough

Don’t expect your contest to get popular without any promoting it.

Unless you already have an existing fanbase to participate in your contests, chances are your contest will not gain any momentum and will lack in engagement. If you are lacking that fanbase and are looking for more fans on your page, then you will definitely need to promote your contest and give it a little push to get the best out of it.

Facebook adverts are a great way to give that edge to your contest and to get more fans of your page. It does require a little more investment so if that is not what you prefer then try promoting your contest through your blog or any other networks that you already have. Blogs or your business website are two great platforms to promote your contest as it allows you to give more details as well as outlining the terms and conditions to your contest.

What are other mistakes do you think should be added into the list? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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  • Christine Maya

    We at http://www.Runwayrepublic.com are running a competition, would you recommend using instagram as platform to market and and showcase winners?

  • Drew

    Would love to see this article updated. Facebook’s rules have changed in regard to promotions. An app is no longer required to run a contest. The rules are here: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

  • http://www.llt-group.com/seo.html JeremySeoChicago

    Any suggestions for managing contests directly in FB? Or should third-party apps be the way to go?