Contests have been a part of marketing campaigns since the dawn of advertising. So how do you make it work for you and your small business?
1 - Giveaway something everybody wants
For restaurants this is pretty easy – food! If you provide a service like pest control, home repairs, or consulting this can be tricky. Not everybody needs your service right when you want to sell your product and services . We have found that even something as practical as Amazon gift cards or other types of gift cards to local businesses can help spread goodwill among those in your business community.
Expert tip (1 tag the local business in your Facebook contest post then send over a screenshot of the contest post with their business featured on your page<<<extra points).
2- Make the process easy
Don’t make it too difficult or nobody will enter. Keep it simple by just asking a question and those who reply (right or wrong) are entered into the drawing. Nobody wants to go through 15 steps to try and win something. Our best contests just require a one-word answer. Super easy and you’re getting interaction on your posts which feeds the Facebook algorithm.
3 - Don’t give away the farm
You want to give something of value (see #1) but it shouldn’t be the whole enchilada (unless of course you’re a Mexican restaurant). We recommend restaurants give away an entrée in hopes that they’ll purchase a second entrée or at the very least a drink or dessert. We’ve found that free appetizers usually don’t do as well as entrees or desserts. Fans really don’t like to get a percent off their services via a contest prize or prizes with a lot of terms and conditions. One benefit is for the winner to fall in love with you and return – don’t turn them off before they get to know you.
4 - Set contest terms
Be clear on the terms of the contest and make a deadline for entries. Pick the winner at random and in a timely manner. Don’t give your fans a reason to dislike you – and trust me they will pick you apart if you don’t follow through. Also, don’t ask your friends and family to enter to get your interaction numbers up. It’s just shady.
5 - Follow through
Remember, besides Facebook interactions, contests are the bait to get someone to give you their business. Make a good impression by following through with them. Encourage them to post a review or photo of their experience - even better if you can get an email or address to follow up. Don’t let a retargeting opportunity pass by.