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What To Consider When Running a Competition On Facebook

Although there are many ways for brands to build an audience on Facebook, sometimes using organic tactics to generate interactions isn’t enough. In this case, one of the ways to compliment a social media campaign is to launch a competition, which can help to increase brand visibility and fan acquisition.

Compared to Twitter, running a competition on Facebook requires a third party app, such as Wildfire. Using this app comes with a small cost; usually about £30 for a basic week-long package. With this comes the option to customise the app, so brands can design their own images, content, choice of question and even track the entry analytics when the competition launches. Picking an easy question is likely to result in higher entry numbers, as is choosing a prize fans will want to win – for example a new gadget.

To accompany the competition, creating a content calendar which includes calls to action such as “Hit Like if you want to win”, as well as customized shortened links is sure to enhance it. Customized links can be tracked for measurement purposes, as well as used for cross-platform promotion on other networks. Brands should ensure all competition posts are short and snappy, include eye-catching imagery of the prize in question and a link to the app. Paid support will boost the reach, such as Promoted Posts, which can reach up to thousands if not millions of users, and advertising, which can be tailored to users News Feeds depending on age, gender, location and interests.

Brands can also use Facebook’s recently introduced hashtag feature to their advantage by creating a unique hashtag for the competition. Including #competition, #win or a customized hashtag about the prize in various posts will help to increase visibility and could result in a higher entry rate and increased fan acquisition. These hashtags can then be used on other platforms such as Google+ and Twitter to generate a larger conversation around the competition.

Although it is important to include various keywords within social posts for a competition, it’s also worth noting that repeatedly posting the same content may affect the brands visibility due to Edgerank. In order to avoid being penalized by Edgerank, brands should ensure they vary the words and links included in their social posts as often as possible and keep posting frequency to a maximum of three times a day. This can be increased when using cross-platform integration; for example, posts can be tweeted up to five or six times a day. However, on Facebook it should be kept down to avoid penalisation.

George Guildford is a senior account director at integrated PR, social media and SEO agency Punch Communications. He has more than 10 years’ experience working alongside global brands and influencers on a wide range of digital PR and marketing campaigns, covering the tech, retail, music, gaming and fashion industries. Follow George on Twitter.

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