There are critical steps that all businesses should take before doing a contest on Facebook. First and foremost, if you are considering running a contest on Facebook read the Facebook Contest Guidelines. Here is an excerpt directly from Facebook:
Most commonly violated Facebook promotion guidelines:
All promotions must be managed through a third-party app.
You must not use Facebook features or functionality (likes, comments, videos, photos, cover photos, etc.) as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant. Similarly, requiring someone to share a post or photo in order to enter a promotion is not allowed.
Facebook features and functionality, such as the Like button, can’t be used as a voting mechanism in a promotion.
As of December 18, 2013 the Facebook promotion and contest rules are:
SMART Facebook Contest Goals
Once you have an understanding of the promotion guidelines, you can begin developing your contest. The first step in building an effective Facebook contest is to set SMART goals. SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and have a Time constraint.
The three most common goals for Facebook contests are Likes, Loyalty, and Data Collection.
Like Building Facebook Contests
Give your social media sites a bigger audience by expanding your fans base. Entitle all fans of your Facebook page to free entry. A SMART goal for building Likes on your Facebook business page may be,
“Our goal for the product giveaway contest is to increase our fans by 10% from 1000 to 1100 by August 31st.”
Here is a formula for creating your SMART Like Building Facebook goal: “Our goal for the [specific contest name] is to increase our fans by [attainable percentage increase] from [current # of page Likes] to [current # of page Like + percentage increase] by [contest end date].”
Loyalty Focused Facebook Contests
Quality fans over quantity of fans means more relevant and effective use of your Facebook business page. You will be targeting existing customers and encouraging them to engage with your page. By strengthening bonds with existing customers you may see a boost in referrals and repeat purchases. An example of a SMART loyalty building Facebook goal is,
“Our goal for the Summer Fun Photo Contest is to have 5% of our 1000 fans provide a photo featuring our product in a summer scene on our from August 21st to August 31st.”
Here is a formula for creating your SMART Loyalty Building Facebook goal: “Our goal for the [specific contest name] is to have [attainable percentage of current fans you want to engage] of our [current number of fans] fans provide [type of engagement: likes, comment, photo, testimonial] from [contest start date] to [contest end date].
Data Collection Facebook Contests
Learn about your customer. This is a great exercise in listening and developing a customer archetype. Collect information such as age, family structure, daily habits, personality, or common interests. Linking this information with an email will allow you to tailor your newsletters to your customers. An example of a SMART data collection goal is,
“Our goal for the Share Your Experience Contest is to have 5% of our 1000 fans share how they use our favorite product in their daily life and complete our contest entry form by August 31st.”
Here is a formula for creating your SMART data collection Facebook contest goal: “Our goal for the [specific contest name] is to have [attainable percentage of current fans you want to engage] of our [current number of fans] fans share [type of data to be collected: testimonials, reviews, photos] and complete our contest entry form by [contest end date].”