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Tips for running your Facebook holiday contest

Posted on: December 6 2013 | Posted in: Client Help

As Christmas approaches, many businesses are beginning to launch holiday related Facebook contests. Contests around the holiday season can work really well if done correctly; they can drive traffic to your website, raise brand awareness, engage fans and attract new followers.

Here are few tips to keep in mind when promoting your contest:

Follow the rules.

Facebook does have a strict policy and what you can and can’t ask your fans to do. The social media giant makes it clear that it’s NOT okay to do any of the following:

1 – Ask fans to tag themselves in pictures of a product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
2 – Ask fans to share pictures of a product, posts or your page in exchange for a chance to win a prize
3 – Ask fans to post something on their personal Timeline in exchange for a chance to win a prize

If Facebook sees that you are doing any of these things, it can shut down your page. The reasoning behind these rules is that Facebook doesn't want businesses asking people to spam their friends’ timelines with promotional material.

Ask your fans to engage.

You can ask fans to like a status update or photo to be entered to win something, but we think you can do better. If you run a restaurant, then get fans to send in a family recipe. Clothing boutiques can ask fans to send in a photo wearing one of their products. Or if you're a hotel, then ask people to send in pictures of them at the hotel, or their favorite memories from the stay.

They key is to get your fans actually engaged with your brand and in the contest.

Tie it to your business without pushing too much.

Ideally, your business will benefit from this contest, whether it’s through brand awareness, more engagement with fans, or more sales. However, if you post about your contest three times a day and use language that sounds like it came straight from a press release, then chances are you’ll lose more than you’ll gain.  You don't want anyone to unlike your page. Don't pester them or come across like you're selling something at their front door and you'll be fine.

Promote it on your website and other social media accounts.

While we don’t recommend tying your Facebook account directly into other social media sites, like Twitter, it is okay to let followers on other sites know what you’re up to on Facebook.

If you are running a photo or recipe contest, consider making them pins on your Pinterest account with a link to the contest. You could also post entries on Instagram with a short description.

You should always have a post on your website about any contest you are holding on any social media accounts.

If you need help launching a social media contest this holiday season, let us know! We have plenty of experience in the area, and we're always glad to help.

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