Are you already hosting Facebook contests to help strengthen your brand presence and following on social media? Yes? Good.
Here’s the bigger question: are you making sure your branding is a consistent centerpiece of these contests?
Yes? No? Either way, let’s talk about making sure your brand is at the center of your Facebook contests, a hugely important part of leveraging your contest/social media budget to make sure you’re also strengthening your brand at the same time.
1. Know your goals and plan accordingly.
You’ll be able to gain a lot of direction by knowing from the beginning why you’re running the contests you’re running.
What’s your main goal? It’s best if:
- You focus on ONE goal per contest (more than one is okay, but there should be one main goal to stand above the rest);
- Your goal is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely); and
- Your goal is a motivating one and can act as your “true north” to help guide you through decision making.
Hot Wheels’ Take The Challenge contest has a clear goal: encourage user-generated, branded content. (Entrants must upload a video or photo of themselves and their children creating Hot Wheel product-based challenges.)
While choosing what your #1 top goal will be, be sure to also ask yourself if working towards this goal will also help you strengthen your brand. With the goal you’ve chosen, ask yourself:
- Is there room for my brand’s image/messaging to be involved at every step of achieving this goal?
- How will this goal help my brand visibility/outreach? (ex. If the goal is to earn more newsletter signups, you can rest assured that your brand will have opportunities to make an impression through the newsletter emails you send your customers.)
- Does this contest’s goal match my brand messaging? (ex. If you’re all about sustainable farming, your contest shouldn’t involve having participants do anything that creates pollution.)
Still not sure of what your contest’s goal should be or how to build a contest around this goal? Check out our thoughts on contest ideas here.
2. Create a custom, branded hashtag.
McDonald’s Black Your Story contest collected stories from entrants and used the #BlackYourStory hashtag for Black History Month and later encouraged entrants to share on social media using the #McDonaldsBlackYourStory and #BlackYourStory hashtags.
Now that you know what your contest goal is—and the basic bones of what your contest will look like—let’s talk about hashtags.
Hashtags are a perfect opportunity for branding and catapult the shareability/visibility of your contest on Facebook. You can even use more than one hashtag, but it’s probably best to stick to 2 or 3.
Good hashtag game when it comes to Facebook contests consists of 1) your brand name and 2) a contest-specific catchphrase. If you’re feeling really hashtaggy, you might also want to add a hot hashtag from your industry.
Let’s take an example. If you’re a garden supplies company called Bloom running a contest called Flower Power—in which customers compete by sharing their best tips and tricks for potting flowers—you might pioneer the hashtags #BloomFlowers and #PottingGameStrong. You also might want to tack on #sweepstakes or #contest.
3. Keep prizes brand-related.
If you’re our beloved imaginary gardening company, Bloom, you’re missing a huge opportunity by handing out free pizzas to your contest winners. Pizza? I mean, what?! Don’t get me wrong, we all love pizza, but you’re missing a prime opportunity to further brand your contest.
Instead, what if the winner gets a gardening gift basket filled with Bloom-made gardening supplies? What if that basket includes seed packets made by Bloom, a hand trowel with Bloom’s logo on the handle, and pruners by Bloom? What if the gift “basket” is actually a big gardening pot from Bloom itself? See, we can have fun with these prizes and make sure they’re on brand, too!
No matter how big or small, you’d be wise to include your brand and its messaging at the core of your contest prize.
4. Encourage user-generated, brand-related content.
Here’s an idea for a contest: have users upload their entries—whether they’re images, videos, or essays/status updates—that focus on something about your brand.
A great example of this is the #AskAnyHondaDriver contest, in which users entered the sweepstakes to win a spot in their commercials by uploading a video explaining why they love Honda. Honda takes the center stage in allllll this video content uploaded by users, videos that’ll be seen by all of their friends when they enter the contest on Facebook.
If you’re a clothing company, you could ask users to upload their favorite outfits featuring a clothing item they got from you. If you sell matcha and teas, you can ask users to show off their favorite recipes made using your products.
It’s that easy to make sure that your users are spreading content that involves you and what they think of (or how they use) your product. You’ll likely get some constructive feedback and new ideas for marketing your product, too!
5. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
If “location, location, location” is the geomarketing mantra, then “consistency, consistency, consistency” is ours when we’re talking about brand visibility through Facebook contests.
It’s as simple as this: the more users see your logo—hopefully attached to positive engagement through contests and user-generated content—the more you’ll stick out in their minds. So keep on running contests; you’ll get better at it every time as you learn more with each one.
How Will YOU Highlight Your Brand?
How will you make sure your brand’s image and message are at the heart of your Facebook contest campaigns? Will you use these 5 tips, or try something else?
If you’re still intimidated by the thought of running a brand-focused Facebook contest, have no fear! We at Woobox can do much of the footwork for you. With our contest running tools, we’ll help you build a brand-focused Facebook contest, give you the tools you need to run it, and measure your progress for you using detailed reports.
You can sign up for free to build any promotion you like, and if you subscribe, you’ll be able to publish and embed it online. Happy contesting!