Want to run a Facebook giveaway that attracts leads, not prize-hunters? Looking for a good plan?
In this article, you’ll learn how to craft a contest that serves your business goals. You’ll also find advice to develop Facebook ads for your campaign and how to nurture prospects through the customer journey after the contest ends.
To learn how to plan a Facebook contest that delivers qualified leads and new customers, read the article below for an easy-to-follow walkthrough or watch this video:
#1: Decide What Your Offer Will Be
Before you get started with a Facebook giveaway or contest, you need to understand your goals (which could simply be to grow your email list) and decide what your offer will be.
The offer is an important factor in getting someone to act now, opt in, register, sign up for a call or appointment, or simply buy what you’re presenting to them after they register. Once you have a clear picture of the offer you’ll be promoting, you can begin planning your contest.
#2: Choose a Relevant Prize for Your Facebook Contest
Start by choosing the prize you’ll give away. The prize should tie directly to your offer. You want the people who register to actually need what you’re selling so when they’re presented with the offer, it makes sense for them to buy.
To visualize this, if you give away AirPods but your business sells horse equipment, that prize may attract people to enter who aren’t a good fit for what you’re selling. It’s possible you’ll get a few participants who own horses and need horse equipment but most likely they’re not going to be your ideal audience.
You want the prize to identify the need for your product or service. For the horse equipment business, you might give away a saddle—if people enter the contest, it means they need your product. If they need a saddle, they’re your ideal customer because they almost certainly own a horse.
Of course, it’s fine to give away special bonuses to clients (such as AirPods) as a thank-you but not as a contest prize.
#3: Set a Facebook Contest Timeline
Next, decide how long your Facebook contest will run. This is another critical element of your contest.
If you give away something that you sell but your contest is too long people might wait to buy until they see whether they win the contest. You don’t want that to happen. Instead, you want to plant the seed of desire by getting them excited about the contest and the prospect of winning. And while they’re in that state of mind, you’ll still be able to promote that ultimate product or service if they don’t end up winning.
One option to consider is running a monthly Facebook contest, which is what I did recently for a housecleaning business. They wanted people to sign up over and over again.
By structuring the giveaway as a monthly Facebook contest, the shorter time frame offers several benefits.
When someone enters a contest for a free month of housecleaning, you know that person needs someone to clean their house. If they don’t win, that thought is fresh in their mind.
Another benefit is that you can pick 12 winners (one per month) making more people happy. Hopefully, they’ll become clients for life because they just got a free month of housecleaning from you.
Holding monthly contests also gives email subscribers a reason to stay on your list. When people sign up for a contest, they’ll often unsubscribe if they don’t win. To help prevent that from happening, let your subscribers know that you’ll be hosting a Facebook contest each month, and if they stay on your list, they’ll get direct access to it—becoming the winner next month.
#4: Decide How People Will Sign Up for Your Facebook Contest
Once you’ve selected a prize and a timeline for your Facebook contest, you need to decide where people will sign up for your contest. Will it be a funnel, form, or Facebook Messenger flow? Those are your options.
Many businesses run contests where they ask participants to comment or like the page, and some even ask entrants to share the contest or tag three friends. The first is something I’ve never found to be valuable, and the second is a violation of Facebook’s Page, Group, and Events Terms.
It’s great to get additional exposure when people share your contest with their interested friends but ultimately the most valuable asset your business owns is your list. That list can go with you wherever you go. If you leave or get kicked off Facebook in the future, you can market to your list through email and upload the list to another platform as a custom audience. So you don’t need that engagement; your ads (which we’ll talk about next) are going to get engagement.
You also need to think about what information to collect from contest participants and how you’ll follow up with them. Some businesses actually call people who enter their contest.
The cool thing about Facebook contests is that you can ask for quite a bit of personal information if your prize is valuable. It’s not like a traditional lead magnet where you only ask participants for their email and maybe their phone number. If people want the prize you’re offering, you can get their name, email, phone number, address, and the reason they want to enter. If your business is looking for a high volume of leads for your team to call, this can be a great way to do it.
You also want to give participants the option to sign up for your core offer as soon as they register. You don’t want to just say, “Thank you, we’ll let you know if you win” after they enter.
For instance, for the cleaning service contest, you could say something like this:
Social Media Marketing Workshops (Online Training)
Want to improve your paid and organic marketing on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or LinkedIn—and secure your future? Get ready to be coached by 14 of the world’s best social marketing pros in the most comprehensive social marketing training we've ever offered. You’ll receive step-by-step live instruction so you can increase your reach, create amazing engagement, and sell more with social media. Become the marketing hero for your company and clients as you implement strategies that get proven results. This is a live online training event from your friends at Social Media Examiner.
“Thanks so much for signing up for a free month of housecleaning. If you just signed up, that probably means you’re tired of cleaning your house, don’t have enough time, or simply don’t want to do it anymore. We hope that you win the contest, but if you sign up for our initial client offer right now, you’ll get 50% off your first deep clean. If you end up winning the contest, you’ll still get that prize.”
You’re letting participants know that entering the contest is a sign they need your business’s help. Give them a reason to go further and pay you right then and there. If the product or service is something you sell directly online, allow them to purchase. If it’s something for which they need to schedule a call or an appointment, let them schedule. If you’re using something like a Facebook lead form, reference that offer on the last page.
Read this article to learn more about how to optimize Facebook lead forms.
#5: Promote Your Facebook Contest
Once you’ve mapped out your Facebook contest and how people will enter, you need to encourage people to sign up. Contests are easy to promote because if you have a good prize and an audience of people who actually want that prize, you don’t need to create complex Facebook ads.
You could simply create a set of graphics clearly showing this is a contest or giveaway. I encourage you to make the images bright and fun. It’s also helpful to brand the name of the contest so people see it over and over and will remember it.
The ad copy for promoting a Facebook contest should be short and sweet. If your contest is complex, you might need to provide some additional details. You don’t have to go through your detailed terms of service for the contest as long as you have a link to that information on your website, landing page, form, or Messenger registration flow.
Avoid including specific contest dates in your ads if possible. It’s better to add the date on your landing page or in your follow-up messages. If it’s a monthly contest, you could just say you’ll choose a winner at the end of the month. You don’t have to give a specific date.
Pro Tip: If you want to take your promotion up a notch, promote your Facebook contest to your existing email list. Why would you want to do that if the goal is to grow your list? If you’re like most businesses, your email list may not be leveraged to its full capacity. Your Facebook contest is another reason to reach out and re-engage subscribers and tell them about your new offer.
#6: Follow Up With Facebook Contest Participants
After people sign up for your contest, you’ll send out emails and text messages—first to confirm their entry and second to promote the new offer again. Don’t do this too much leading up to when the winner is announced but you can have content or value-focused emails where you talk about the new offer. It just shouldn’t be the sole focus of those messages.
When you announce the Facebook contest winner, you have another reason to reach out to participants. Obviously, the winner will be excited. Those who don’t win can get a consolation prize which could be your new offer. This offer doesn’t have to be different from the earlier one; it just needs to be phrased differently.
From here, you want to continue to market to these people. If you have a monthly Facebook contest, you’ll have these same opportunities every month. Even if you don’t do a monthly contest, continue to provide value to these prospects and promote your offers and you’ll get more sales along the way.
Long-term follow-up is key. People often need time to make decisions on purchases. It doesn’t necessarily matter if the product or service is pricey or inexpensive. Timing is a major factor for a lot of people. So be consistent in your follow-up and don’t do one Facebook contest that succeeds and never do another. There is no limit to how many you can do.
Partner With Other Businesses for a Facebook Contest
To reach a wider audience with your Facebook contest, consider partnering with other businesses—local or online. The businesses you reach out to don’t have to do the same thing that your business does—just serve the right type of customer.
Start by creating a list of the businesses you’d like to work with. Then decide how many (if you have a limit) you’d like to include in this campaign. You could partner with a few businesses this month and a few next month. You don’t have to stick with the same partners forever.
If you partner with businesses that serve the same type of audience, ask those businesses to contribute a prize to the contest. They don’t have to contribute much time because you’re setting up the ads and the entire campaign. They’re just giving away a prize and sending some emails.
I recommend providing them with the emails they should send to their list. When they send those emails, you’re reaching their audience for free. Their audience will now sign up for your contest and get on your email list and hopefully you’ll make some sales because they’re the right type of people.
Make sure you tag the businesses you partner with in every Facebook post and ad about the contest. They’ll likely share the contest with their own audience because they want to get the benefits. This will expand your reach at no cost and make your contest prize that much more exciting.
Facebook contests and giveaways can be one of the best offers to your audience, but to attract the right leads you need to design a contest to serve your business goals. One crucial decision is the prize you’ll give away. It should identify the need for your product so when you present your offer, it makes sense for them to buy. And after the contest ends, make sure you follow up with prospects through the customer journey.
What do you think? Will you try running a Facebook contest for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.