Facebook contests and promotions… they seem to be everywhere. This can be anything from a sweepstakes, referral promotion, a fan page event or even a landing page in itself — no matter what type of social contest or promotion you are seeing, it’s just further proof that this kind of marketing works.
I love Facebook advertising. It’s never been easier to target my demographic audience and I don’t need to worry about annoying issues such as quality scores, keywords, landing page content. Instead I can simply create my landing pages or contest promotions and get them out there. Another huge benefit is that when people start sharing your social contests, they start doing the work for you!
In this post I break down some of the best Facebook contest apps and services that you should be considering right now. Best of all, they each offer their own free trial that allows you to sign up and test each of the tools, features and services they offer.
The Foundation of a Successful Facebook Contest
Before we start to look at the different solutions out there for creating, managing and tracking Facebook contests, let’s first get the basics out of the way. It’s much easier to create a successful contest promotion when you know the key points of what works, and some things you should stay away from.
Before going live with your first Facebook contest.
- Give Away a Prize that Relates with Your Target Audience
Who wants to win a free Apple iPad? Everyone does! The problem with this is that it will gain a lot of attention, but only a small fraction will be interested in your real backend offer. If you were selling candles online, the best way to target your audience would be to give away a candle gift set. Apply this same principle to your business and next promotion.
- Promote Your Contest Before Going Live
No one wants to go to a party that no one is at. The same applies for activity on the internet. Liven up your social contests and promotions by first sending them to any internal lists you might already have for your blog, brand or business. This will increase your engagement and sign ups.
- Collecting an Email Address is Your Best ROI
Some sites are running Facebook contests and promotions that only ask for shares and likes. While this is a good method, it won’t provide you with a long term business model. Instead you should be collecting email addresses with every entry. This way you can follow up not only during the contest… but for months and years after!
- More People are Using Mobile, So Should You
Running a contest that isn’t mobile optimized is a big mistake. We are all using our mobile devices more than ever and there is a good chance that people are going to be using them when they see your Facebook promotions as well. Don’t miss out on this huge audience by not having a mobile ready site.
- Email All of Your Participants After the Contest
Many people are going to enter your contest and soon forget about your brand, the prize and even entering in the first place. When your contest ends it’s up to you to keep the conversation going. Since you are going to collect emails through your promotion,
Now that we got the basic foundation for a successful Facebook contest out of the way, let’s move on to the best sites to help you setup your promotion.
Recommended Facebook Contest Apps
Wishpond has quickly established themselves as the leader in not only Facebook contests, but many different social media and lead generation based tools. From landing pages, newsletter popups and split testing, WishPond is an all-in-one solution for thousands of online marketers and brands.
In terms of pricing, Wishpond is quite competitive in this space as well. Their plans start out at $45 per month and go up depending on your volume and needed features — if you sign up for a year in advance you will also save up to 35% off. Wishpond also offers a free 14 day trial for you to have full access to all features and tools available on their site.
Heyo has made the concept of creating Facebook contests and promotions much easier through their drag and drop system. In the past it was a big paid to setup Facebook promotions as you would sometimes need to get messy with coding, have to install applications and then format them to match the look and feel of your fan page. These problems are all put to rest thanks to solutions like Heyo.
Plans start at $30 per month, but you can join for a free 7 day trial (no credit card required) to put their system to the test!
ShortStack has become a favorite tool for many successful and well known online marketers. Through their platform you can easily create campaigns that focus on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also create campaigns to promote outside of social networks as well. The end goal for ShortStack is to allow their users to easily create campaigns that can be measured on a lead generation and ROI basis. As they say on their site… “You dream it up, and we’ll help you build it“.
ShortStack plans start at $29 per month. Once you create your free account, you will be setup for their initial free trial period to test and tweak your first campaigns.
AgoraPulse allows their users to create contests and promotions, but their service actually does much more. Through their site you can manage both Facebook and Twitter, while also focusing on applications, analytics and CRM. You can also do feed management, monitoring and user qualification of your Twitter promotions as well. There are also a few useful tools on their site that a free to use and pull stats on your current social campaigns without the need to signup.
AgoraPulse plans start at $29 per month, which includes full access to unlimited apps. Accounts that are billed annually also save up to 35%. Before joining, you can sign up for a free 15 day trial at no cost.
The Business of Facebook Contest Apps
Now that you have an idea of the different Facebook contest apps and services out there right now, it’s time for you to visit each of them and see which caters best to your budget, marketing efforts and end goal. The good thing is that each comes with a free trial, so you can sign up and view all of their features without needing to start with an upfront payment.
So here is your action plan to get started:
- Sign up for the free trial of the services mentioned above
(I recommend starting with Wishpond)
- Think of a great prize for your target audience
- Create your first Facebook contest
- Build a mailing list and test your results
Keep me updated on which of the recommended services above you like best.