800 New, Engaged Fans In 11 days: How You Can Run A Successful FB Contest.

Seconds & Surplus nets over $30,000 in 30 Days. SpeechGear gains 300 new trialers in 3 weeks. Zoetis gains 107, 000 Fans in 30 Days

Impressive numbers, right? I think so too. Achievable for your small business? YES.

You see, even if you are totally new to online marketing you will have heard of the power of Facebook and I don’t mean those embarrassing pictures from last years Christmas party. Everyone seems to have a Facebook page; from big brands shelling out millions with millions of followers (many of which are probably bots) to the mom and pop store with their 400 dedicated fans.

As a small business, you may be wondering how to get your slice of the Facebook magic. Look no further, we have used an awesome client case study as a guide to helping you achieve your own Facebook success.

Still sceptical? This client ended the campaign with 862 subscribers and 1262 REAL likes. All in 11 days.

Grab your favourite beverage and let’s dive right into it.

The following steps are the essential planning you must carry out:

Shares, Subs or Sales?

Start the campaign with a strategy session. Identify the results that would mean success to you. From the examples above, you see how varied success can be. What does your business need now? More sales for your bottom line? Engaged fans? Set specific goals.

Play Nice.

Know the rules of the game, Facebooks’ game. Check your strategy and make sure it doesn’t go against them. Trust me, you don’t want to get banned from advertising on this awesome platform.

Right Place, Right Time?

For an effective campaign, you need to be sure your target market is on Facebook, in the first place. You wouldn’t go advertising your proprietary thermal systems engineering manual to teens, would you? Know your audience and where they hang out. Use past sales data and email sign ups to help figure this.

You can also use this information to decide on the prize to offer. Pick a prize relevant to your audience or industry (Don’t hand out iPads simply because everyone else is). We are not all be able to give out our entire product line (Thanks, GoPro). However, as our client is in the medium to high end kitchen appliance market, we offered a top-of-the-line Stand Mixer as our prize.

To Sweep(s) or Not to Sweep.

Facebook gives you multiple ways to run your contest; using sweepstakes, essay, photo and video competitions. The type of contest you use depends on your audience. Sweeps are generally easy and straight forward to run, but the material you can get from running photo, caption, video and essay contests leaves you with a TON of user generated content that can be re-puprosed.

We chose to run a sweepstakes contest. This client wanted to attract interested fans and create a vibrant fan page, so we ran the contest in a unique competition tab. This meant that we prioritized email collection over simply getting likes.

Knowing exactly what your goal is will help you create a very efficient campaign. Some marketers use the newsfeed/Timeline option and collect data. Sure, this will generate traffic, likes and shares, but that wasn’t all that this client wanted.

Useful Apps – The use of platforms like Heyo and Shortstack remove the hassle of micro-managing your campaign. Their features include a simple drag and drop interface, the ability to run your contest on multiple platforms, ‘force’ people to like your page before they can see your content, generate leads and download the email data base. Sounds like Greek to you? Contact Jason at SearchandMore, he’ll sort you out.

How Long is Too Long?

Keep your contest running for between 5 and 7 days only. Most people online have a short attention span. Dragging out contests will cause a drop in engagement levels. Nobody is going to wait three weeks for a result.

Before we kick off the campaign, let’s optimise it a wee bit.

Think about this: How can we use this contest to generate multi-dimensional results? Don’t zone out, hear me out. This one campaign can lead to multiple results if done right. Watch how we did it:-

1. Grab attention with your Ad.

Kick things off with attention grabbing yet detailed information about the competition post.. Your ad must make people interested enough to enter the funnel.

Pro Tip 1 – Don’t be vague with your ad. There is a difference between these two ads. Spot it and learn from it.

“Download this iOS application and dramatically change your life! Don’t miss it!”


“Free iOS app for sending anonymous text messages to all mobile devices. Download now!”

Got it? Good.

Pro Tip 2 – You must always, always include a Call To Action. As savvy as many people on the web are, you still need to tell them the action you want them to take.

Conversion tips sorted, these are the steps that led to our clients win.

2. Gettin’ the word Out.

We don’t want bots, fake likes, non-engaged people. To kick off the campaign –

  • We mined the clients’ existing mailing list and sent out newsletters to all subscribers.
  • We bought highly targeted Facebook ads.
  • On the existing FB page, we created a teaser video. In it, we announced the contest, its rules, where we would ship to (a unique way of laser-targeting your ideal demographic), the date and time it would start.
  • We went on Twitter and spread the message.
  • If your business has an offline presence, don’t rule out printing on the bottom of receipts, using in-store signs, even TV and radio placements.

3. It’s Go Time.

On launch day, at the appointed time, we also released an infographic showing the exact steps they need to take to get signed up for the contest. A successful campaign can only be run if you keep it simple for your visitors. Follow along as we show you how to do this.

When they arrive on the contest tab of your Facebook page, ask for one like.

This generates a lightbox with a question in it. The answer to this question could only be found on the clients site. Ensure this opens in a new window, so they still have your Facebook page open.

By coming this far, people have shown their level of engagement.

Pro Tip 3 – When they go back to the Facebook page to put in the answer, include two more fields for Name and Email. You have just increased your email subscriber list, gotten likes and boosted traffic to your site AND time on site. Pretty awesome, right?

One more thing.

Using apps like Shortstack or EasyPromos, will also allow you to ‘ask’ for a share to complete the application. That, my friend, is how your content can start to go viral.

While this may seem like A LOT to ask for, if you incentivize them EVERY STEP of the way. For example, for each action they take, make it count as an extra entry for the contest. Therefore completing all steps here would have entered one person 6 times

Pro Tip 4 – Ensure the link you are marketing is a shortened URL. You can shorten links and set them up to be tracked so you know where your sales & customers come from, as well as what they do. This data is simply priceless. A successful campaign, goes beyond bringing sales; having data that can be replicated and used for more sales is priceless in any business.

4. Keep Pedallin’!

Create and post relevant, shareable and engaging content; pictures, videos. Do a Google Hangout if you can. Interact with people and show there is a face behind the prize. All through the contest period, keep up with all your traffic generating methods. Funnel them to that fan page, using your shortened link.

Pro Tip 5 – On day three, you can double the number of previous sign-ups by releasing a post and video stating that new prizes have been added. We chose two less expensive but desirable blenders as prizes. For our client, this led to a surge in sign-ups, as the contest was ending soon.

5. Day Six.

Our client ran a six day campaign, and on the final day, we released a video thanking everyone for participating. We also announce we would be releasing the video of us picking the winners in exactly six hours.

We sent out notifications to all the emails we had amassed throughout the campaign. We picked three winners, thanked everyone and and promised another give away in the next ten days. We received even more likes and shares for that.

6. Analyse your Data.

At the end of this campaign, download your data, and analyse it. Where did your sign-ups come from/ what times of the day were they most engaged? What pieces of content got the most likes? This information will be helpful in planning your next campaign.

Now this may seem like a long process (it is), but think about it. What will 1000 new subscribers do for your business? 1000 real people; that are interested in your product.

Sales lagging? Brand losing initial buzz? Let us help you spark it back to life with a successful Facebook contest and promo campaign.

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