How B2B Marketers Can Win with Facebook Contests and Sweepstakes

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By its very nature, Facebook is a more natural channel for business-to-consumer communications than it is for business-to-business communications. And while data suggests that B2B marketers don’t use Facebook as much B2Cs do, I think B2Bs are missing out. Connecting with customers on Facebook might be easier for B2C companies, but B2Bs can still use Facebook effectively.

I know this firsthand because, at ShortStack, we’re in a position where we function as both a B2B and B2C. We use all sorts of campaigns, especially contests, to engage with our existing users and to convert new ones. And we help our users build campaigns to use with their clients.

If you’ve ever wondered if a Facebook contest might work for your B2B company, I’ve got some tips that will help:

#1: Be friendly, not sales-y

Any business that has a presence on Facebook has an opportunity to engage with their audience in the same place that the audience engages with their friends and families. For example, a status update that is an invitation to enter a contest could potentially show up in your followers’ News Feeds wedged between pictures of their children or grandchildren. On Facebook you have an opportunity to communicate with your customers in a way that might not have anything to do with sales so it’s important to be casual and inviting and avoid using hard-sell tactics.

#2: Make your existing customers want to share news about your contest

One of the reasons to host a contest is to get the word out about your company to people who aren’t already followers or customers. So when you set up your contest, make sure you build a campaign that offers entrants the chance to double their odds for winning by sharing the entry form. Why? The people who enter your contest are more likely to share news about the contest if there is something in it for them — in this case, the motivation is an increased chance of winning your awesome prize.

#3: Share details about your contest everywhere 

When you get your campaign up and running, don’t be shy about promoting it and even hosting it outside of Facebook. Embed the entry form on your website, add a link to the bottom of your company’s email newsletter, tweet a link and even add a link to your email signature. Don’t neglect a single opportunity to get the word out!

#4: Make sure your campaign is mobile friendly

One of the things Facebook Page admins complain most frequently about is Facebook’s lackluster support of mobile. Since the majority of Facebook users access their accounts via mobile devices, make sure your contest is easy to enter from a smartphone or tablet and that you’ve tested it on a variety of devices.

#5: Make sure your followers know that one of your contest goals is to be able to serve them better

A contest gives you an opportunity to learn more about your customers/clients but they should know that your ultimate goal is to give them more of what they love about your company. For example, before they’re given access to the entry form you might ask them if there are any products or services they wish you offered. Or you might ask if there’s a certain feature that they’d like to see you add to existing products and services. You might want to know what their budget is for the upcoming year, or their timeframe for a major purchase. Collecting this kind of information will help you meet the future needs of your customers and clients.

These are just a few ways a B2B can use a Facebook contest to boost engagement with existing customers and find new ones. If you’ve had luck using Facebook contests for your, or if you have any tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.

About the Author:

Jim Belosic

This monthly Facebook column is contributed by Jim Belosic. Jim is co-founder of ShortStack, a software company that powers apps for Facebook, mobile and websites. He also contributes a monthly column to Social Media Examiner and has written for Forbes, Killer Startups, Fast Company, Venture Beat, The Next Web and Mashable. He is an exotic car enthusiast and when he’s not holding down the fort at the ShortStack offices, he can be found wrenching on a car.

Jim Belosic

This monthly Facebook column is contributed by Jim Belosic. Jim is co-founder of ShortStack, a software company that powers apps for Facebook, mobile and websites. He also contributes a monthly column to Social Media Examiner and has written for Forbes, Killer Startups, Fast Company, Venture Beat, The Next Web and Mashable. He is an exotic car enthusiast and when he’s not holding down the fort at the ShortStack offices, he can be found wrenching on a car.

Jim Belosic
Jim Belosic
Jim Belosic

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