Small business owners have to be master jugglers. When you are busy ordering stock, making schedules, and dealing with payroll, building a successful social media strategy might be low on your priority list. Plus, it is easy to get discouraged when you are up against big brands with much larger marketing budgets.
If you are struggling to get the word out about your small or local business, Facebook may be the ideal platform to reach your target audience. With 1.66 billion daily active users, you have the opportunity to reach thousands of local customers. Even more importantly, 74% of American consumers say they’ve made purchasing decisions based on content they have seen on Facebook.
Contests can be one of the most effective ways to build followers, get the word out about your business, and even grow your email list. Here are four creative ideas for Facebook contests to grow your small business on one of the largest social media platforms today.
Increase Your Facebook Likes
Average organic reach (that is, the number of folks who will see a regular post on your business Facebook page) is way down. In fact, only 6% of people who like your page will see the average Facebook post. Does that mean that Facebook likes are now useless?
Not quite, likes still have some value — you can still reach some users with regular posts, after all. A broader reach can also make it easier to retarget Facebook users.
Likes also serve as a point of contact, and it takes six to eight contacts for the average customer to convert. Facebook likes should serve as a starting point of a relationship, not just a vanity number. Contests can help grow the number of likes, making other marketing efforts more effective.
For example, Kellytoy recently ran this Facebook contest aimed at increasing likes on their Facebook page. Users were asked to upload a picture of their SquishMallows collection (a quirky stuffed animal toy) and prompted to like the business’s Facebook page.
Note: You cannot require users to like your Facebook page to enter a contest; it has to be optional. Requiring a like goes against Facebook’s contest and promotion rules.
Why this contest works:
The Kellytoy contest encourages creativity, which makes the competition a lot more fun. It isn’t just about who has the most Squishmallows, but who has the best photo, the best set up, and the most creative ‘squad name.’ By encouraging user-generated content, the brand has the opportunity to share unique user content that is likely to gain a lot of traction.
Use a Giveaway to Grow Your Email List
One of the main drawbacks of Facebook marketing is that you don’t own the traffic or followers there. If Facebook alters its terms and conditions or changes its algorithm (which happens several times a year!), you could lose access to all those folks you’ve worked so hard to reach. That is why it is so essential to connect to Facebook followers outside the platform on a channel you can control, like email.
In fact, email marketing is more than 40 times more effective than social media marketing.
Belvita, a breakfast bar company, recently ran this instant win contest on Facebook to increase email subscribers. Users entered their email address for a chance to win a variety of prizes — including a trip for two to Fiji.
Note: Make sure you are compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act and get explicit permission to send commercial email messages during sign up.
Why this contest works:
The wide range of prizes makes the contest especially intriguing. Not everyone expects to win a trip, of course, but the giveaway is also offering biscuits, fitness trackers, alarm clocks, and coffee. This makes the contest appealing to a broader audience. And encouraging users to sign up with their email gives Belvita the option to send email messages, which are often far more effective than social media.
Encourage User-Generated Content on Facebook
As I mentioned above, organic reach on Facebook is incredibly limited these days, unless you are willing to pay for Facebook ads. While Facebook ads can be incredibly effective at reaching your local audience, so is getting real people to post photos as social proof.
Berricle, for example, hosts a user-generated content Facebook contest where customers are encouraged to share photos of themselves wearing their favorite Berricle pieces for a chance to win a $500 gift card to their store.
Why this contest works:
User-generated content is incredibly useful for establishing social proof. By encouraging users to share pictures of themselves enjoying Berricle jewelry, Berricle is building social proof for their brand and increasing visibility on Facebook. People who see that other people have purchased and enjoyed Berricle products are more likely to buy themselves. In addition, Berricle leverages an already popular behavior — taking and sharing selfies to social media!
Increase Your Reach With 2X (or 3X) the Chances to Win
Choosing the right Facebook contest prize can be one of the most crucial steps in building a successful Facebook contest. Choose a cheap prize, and no one will enter your contest; choose an expensive prize, and you might end up attracting a wide range of folks from outside your target audience or geographical area.
For example, Home and Away teamed up with America’s Test Kitchen to offer a grand prize worth more than $10,000, including a trip, tour, and a year’s supply of eggs. But they also offered three runner-up prizes worth more than $300.
Why it works:
Offering multiple prizes makes everyone feel like they have a chance to win. The grand prize is enticing, but the runner up prizes are also quite valuable, which encourages more entries. Be wary of offering generic prizes like iPads or electronics, which can attract applicants who aren’t in your local area or have no interest in your brand.
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.9 percent of all companies in the U.S. — and employ more than 58 million employees. Small businesses are quite literally the backbone of the U.S. economy, but the competition can be fierce.
Using Facebook contests can help your business compete on social media by:
- Enticing local users to interact with your business
- Encouraging users to share unique content to build social proof
- Increasing likes on your business page
- Growing your email list
Ready to create your own Facebook contests? Woobox makes it easy with their easy to use social promotion tool. Need help? Call or email Woobox support at 1-360-450-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org from 8 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday.