There is little people love more than the chance to win something. The great thing about social media is you can run contests directly from your business’s Facebook page and can sit back and watch your followers grow. Before you get started it’s important to figure out your goals and ambitions, what are you hoping to gain? An email list, new follows or likes, or a stronger web presence. Contests are a great way to generate interest. Here are some tips to get started!

What do want to accomplish?

Just like any business initiative, it’s important to sit down and think about what you want to achieve with your contest. If analytics are important to you, focus on that as a goal to see where you end up when the contest ends. If seeking more traffic either on your Facebook page itself or your site is valuable to you chose that. Try to hone in on one or more goals instead of a laundry list of lofty goals.

Pick an Ideal Time

If you own a restaurant the times you want to post are obviously going to meet the needs of your consumers right? You want to drive traffic and interest around meal times right? The same thought process should be used when it comes to posting a contest. Take a look at your analytics to find out when your consumers are most likely to be online and post at that time. Time is important but so is defining your audience or may sure you are reaching who you want by defining your audience. Other than times of day to post you must also think about the length of the contest itself. You don’t want a long-drawn-out contest that people have to wait for, oppositely if the contest does not run long enough you might be missing out on a potential influx of new and organic post likes.

Give Away Something Appealing!

You know your audience better than anyone so try picking a giveaway that will appeal to the masses. They have liked your page for a reason, whether it’s a product you sell, a restaurant they frequent, or a favorite hangout, make the contest fun and interesting. If you are really stuck and can’t think of a creative way to announce winners, randomly pick a winner each day of the week as a “facebook friend of the week.” Display the names each day on a sandwich board and watch your followers grow,  the appeal of possibly seeing their name on the sandwich board as a winner will be reason enough for them to follow you.

Contests can be a great fan engagement strategy along with polls, ads, and community service posts. It’s just another way to pull in your audience, get people talking, and commenting while growing your fan base. While people love contests you don’t have to do them every week, in fact, too much can weaken your audience. Instead, start off slow, maybe one contest a month and go from there! If you don’t have the time to dedicate to a social marketing strategy consider hiring the experts at the Digital Media Lab or invest in one-on-one digital coaching! Through digital coaching, you or your team will work with our experts to establish goals, demonstrate best practices, and answer all your questions when it comes to your digital strategy efforts. Contact us today to get started!