Every day we see many competitions on Facebook and they are all done differently. So if you are planning on running a competition, then why wouldn’t you have a look at how the pages you like are doing it and follow suit?
Well, because often they aren’t doing it properly and, without realising, may find themselves getting removed from Facebook for a number of different violations.
Here are 10 of the most common mistakes to avoid when running a Facebook competition.
Mistake #1 – Not reading Facebook’s guidelines
A common mistake we are all guilty of from when we first set up an account all the way through to setting up our first page. Unfortunately, “I didn’t know that” doesn’t cut it! If you look, they aren’t actually all that long so there’s no excuse on this one.
Here is the link – take a look when you get 5 minutes. Part E is relevant to promotions or competitions.
Mistake #2 – Promoting a status or photo
Again, we have all done it or seen one of these: “Like and share this to win…”. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t like this either so what should you be doing? That leads me to point 3.
Mistake #3 – Not using an application
Facebook states “Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.” Now, to many this might seem pretty daunting, as surely it costs a small fortune and you need to find a developer to do it? Well, there are many companies out there that make this easy and affordable. Here are a couple of popular choices:
- Wildfire (www.wildfireapp.com) – This is actually run by Google but is easy and simple.
- North Social (www.northsocial.com) – Again very easy and offers a range of products with tiered price plans.
- SnapApp (www.snapapp.com) – Feels more corporate but again multiple products to suit.
Mistake #4 – Unrelated prizes
So often I see this as I am sure you do. For example, you are a cleaning company offering a free i-pad! Great, your competition winner gets a free i-pad but what have you gained? Probably only an increased credit card bill. Why not offer something that you control or even your services, the share value may not seem as grand but the user interest will be much higher and could result in winning new business.
Mistake #5 – “nth like will win….”
This one particularly annoys me. So, you are about to reach your first milestone of 1000 likes to your page. The competition run here is so often “our 1000th like will win…..” so what about the other 999 that helped you get there and helped build your community? For me, this is the digital equivalent of giving the concert tickets to the person at the back of the queue. It also often leads to people un-liking and re-liking a page to be in with a chance of winning.
Mistake #6 – Announcing the winner by status update
Another no-no as far as Facebook is concerned – this also includes Facebook messages, chat and posts on profiles. Essentially, you need to be running a proper app that can collect relevant user information with their permission, of course, such as email addresses and phone numbers.
Mistake #7 – Not promoting it properly
Simply having a competition is not enough, you need to plan for how you are going to get people to enter. Posting links on all the pages you like is not only annoying but also very spammy. Just think how you would feel if someone was doing it on your page. Facebook advertising is a great way of reaching a targeted demographic with timely visual ads. It also gives you an excellent boost in brand awareness.
Mistake #8 – No built in share options
A great piece of functionality that can be easily built into any app is for entrants to share the competition. The slightly competitive will be thinking “why would I share? I am less likely to win then!” The easiest way to overcome this is to offer an incentive like an extra chance to win.
Mistake #9 – Not testing the app
So easily done! The developer says it works but just take 5 minutes to go through the process yourself and be confident it does what you expect it to. Don’t be afraid to be belt and braces about it and ask another colleague or friend to try it too.
Mistake #10 – Not doing a follow up
Many pages just run their competition and then do nothing but why not use all this data you now have to send out a thank you email or thank you status. A great way to boost this is to offer a reward such as:
“Thank you to everyone that took part but only 1 person could win. So as a consolation, we would like to give you all 10% off our products with this code.”
Again this will be liked, shared, forwarded etc.
In summary, by actually following Facebook’s guidelines, not only will you avoid having your page closed down, you will actually get a far greater return from your initiative.