This is a tough blog for me to write since I’m actually a big proponent of contests, sweepstakes, and anything that adds fun value to your community online. However, sometimes I see these contests and programs that are just so off-brand that I want to call up their social strategy team that very second. You might think you have a killer contest idea with an amazing prize, but then you don’t see the traction you expected and wonder: but why? It’s because your contest probably falls into one of these three mortal sins committed by brands when running big Facebook promotions:
1. I’m interested in your brand — but what does that have to do with winning a year’s subscription to Men’s Golf?!? You cultivated your online community for a reason. They’re interested in your product or service and want to learn more. That doesn’t mean they’re interested in the strange partnership opportunity that you happened across. Whenever creating a contest, always think about what kind of value the prize will add to your current community and if they will get excited about it.
2. I would absolutely LOVE to win a trip to Hawaii, but I’m not about to go through a ten step process to just be entered in a drawing. Don’t make your barrier to entry so high that you dissuade your loyal fans! Restrictions are great — they keep the contest maniacs from entering just for the sake of it, and they increase the validity of your brand. However, you can’t expect your community to jump through hoops…and fire…and take a photo while doing it…which they turn into a collage…which they caption with why they love your brand.
3. I totally would have entered, but I didn’t see it until I came back to your Facebook page even though I follow you guys on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Don’t keep your contests in a Facebook silo. Give yourself the opportunity to expand your reach and gain the optimal number of entries by cross-promoting via several networks.