November 27, 2013
One of the most common and surefire ways to build a Facebook following, besides running ads, is by hosting a giveaway. Happily, Facebook has made this easier than ever. The social media behemoth recently lifted its page rules that required companies to run contests or giveaways with an app.
Per Facebook you may:
Collect entries by having users post on the page or comment/like a page post.
Collect entries by having users message the page.
Utilize likes as a voting mechanism.
What you cannot do is ask users to tag themselves in pictures to win a prize, because Facebook wants to prohibit tagging of photos in which users are not actually depicted.
This is great news for your natural store because you don’t have to spend time and energy using an app. You can simply post to your wall and encourage likes and comments (but not shares) to easily reward—and attract—customers. Get started right away in five steps.
1. Choose your subject. Here are some ideas: Partner with brands to give away product, offer coupons for your store or free registration to one of your cooking classes, or team with local healthy restaurants. Prepare catchy, short copy and a beautiful image of the prize or contest. Settle on a promotion time frame. Try two days to create urgency among existing customers or two weeks to gain more followers.
2. Decide how you will collect entries, whether it’ll be with comments or likes or by encouraging customers to share something privately with you via Facebook message. Your best bet for the majority of contests will be comments and likes. These interactions with your page help ensure customers will see your future posts, according to Facebook’s algorithm.
3. Run the contest. Promote everywhere: your website, via partners, e-newsletters, other social media and in-store signs.
4. Use Contest Capture (contestcapture.com) to keep track of entries. This free service connects to your Facebook page and allows you to export comments and likes for any post of your choosing.
5. Choose a winner with random.org/sequences. Identify the numbers on your spreadsheet that correspond to the entries. Put these numbers into the smallest value and largest value on random.org. Click Get Sequence and you have your winner or winners.
Caren Baginski is the social media coordinator for Denver-based LiveWell Colorado and former social media and digital editor of newhope360.com.
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