Facebook Contest

Now that Facebook has lifted their enforcement of using Third Party Apps for contests and promotions, many organizations and brands may be breathing a sigh of relief.  If you joined us for Part 1 of this content series, hopefully I was able to clearly explain the following:

  • The advantages of using Third Party Apps for contests on Facebook weigh out the disadvantages.
  • There is a time and place to avoid Third Party Apps.
  • I believe that 95% of the time Third Party Apps should be utilized.

If any of those bullet points are giving you the goose pimples, you should absolutely read Part 1.  In this blog post, we’ll be going through and explaining all of the contest scenarios that work best for using a Third Party App and also releasing some contest ideas that will do just fine without one.

When to Use a Third Party App for Facebook Contests

As I mentioned previously, I really do believe that a Third Party App for Facebook Contests should be used almost always.  The attention to branding, customization options, information capture, and Fan Gating capability makes me happier than Chris Columbus in a speed boat (sorry, Geico).  With that said, they can be expensive and a bit tedious to build if you’re not an expert.  If you’re looking to pick and choose your placement of Third Party Apps, here are a couple scenarios and contest ideas that should always be paired with a Third Party App.

Sweepstakes & Giveaways:  An awesome and simple contest to host on Facebook is a Sweepstakes or Giveaway.  These work well for a couple reasons.  The first is that people love winning.  The second is people like doing minimal work for a chance to win.  That is essentially what you’re creating when you develop a Sweepstakes or Giveaway.  

Whether your prize is an iPad, a MacBook, a new car, a Visa Gift Card, or anything under the sun, you need to be prepared to capture as much information as possible from your audience to ensure the ROI is worth it.  A Third Party App will allow custom graphics that further enhance the brand.  Apps will also allow Fan Gating, which ensures that each contest entrant must “like” your page to enter.  The big thing here is the Information Capture Form, which can be enforced in the app.  If you’re going to give away a sweet prize, you might as well gain as many e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc. as possible.

Photo, Video, or Essay Contest:  I absolutely love Facebook contests that require voting to gain a winner.  While there may be more strategy and brand focus involved in creating a voting contest, the return can be humungous.

Let’s pretend that you’re a Travel Agency and you want to give away a trip to Hawaii.  You could set up a Photo Contest live on your Facebook page using a Third Party App.  You could ask your Facebook fans to submit a photo of them in their best Hawaiian outfit.  The application will take those photos, organize them for you, and then when you’re ready, open them up for voting.  Since the prize is amazing, you’ll have tons of entrants submitting photos and then they’ll ask friends and family to vote for their photo to win.  The kicker here is that the Fan Gating capability will force all who enter or vote to “like” your page and then fill out an information form if you also choose to include that into the app.

A contest like this calls for extreme organization and the ability to capitalize on every opportunity to increase “likes” and gain potential leads.  A Third Party App is perfect for this.

When a Third Party App Can Be Avoided if Needed

While there are also Third Party Apps that accomplish the following contest ideas, you can get away without them if you don’t have the technical ability or the budget to set an app in motion.

Caption Contest:  A quick and fun contest idea for your business could be posting a silly picture and then letting your community come up with a caption for it.  If you own a Sporting Goods store, you could post a funny picture of two baseball players, and then allow your community to write the caption.

You can deliver the caption contest right from the timeline and you’ll need to be very clear on how a winner will be determined.  Your best bet is to ask the community to add their caption in the comments and then the winner will be decided by whoever has the most votes on their caption.  Easy enough, right?  Make sure to pick a solid prize, but don’t break the bank.  Without a Fan Gating option, you won’t be able to increase the “likes” or gather any information from outside community members.

Weekly/Monthly Quiz Contest:  A fun way to get your audience engaged is by quizzing them on brand-related topics.  With the sneakiness Google brings to the table, try using brand secrets or quirky things about your company as the topics/questions.

You can deliver the quiz contest weekly or monthly and right from the timeline.  Instead of 1 winner, pick a prize that allows for 3, 5, or more winners.  If you’re a cupcake baker, you can give away 3 Free Cup Cakes to the first 4 people who get the answer right.  This will lead to awesome customer loyalty and you can even request that the winners take pictures of their free cupcakes and post them online for their community to see, which of course leads to brand awareness.