Facebook can be a noisy, busy place, and business professionals are finding it harder and harder to get noticed. One tried-and-true strategy in gaining visibility, subscribers, likes, or creating new “buzz” is contests (a.k.a. “sweepstakes).
It’s not a difficult thing to do, but creating and hosting a contest via social media is more than simply dangling a tantalizing prize in front of everyone’s face. Facebook has rigorous rules governing what campaigns you can and can’t create, promote, and administer on their platform.
To take the guesswork out of Facebook contests, and to avoid breaking Facebook’s promotion rules, it’s best to conduct your contests via third party sites. Here are a few of the top contest apps for Facebook:
ShortStack: This is a great app for creating all kinds of custom tabs. They even have a sweepstakes entry widget you can add. The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create an entry form. Shortstack has a reputation for being incredibly easy to use; and you can choose between four packages, including All You Can Eat, Full Stack, Short Stack and Surprisingly Free.
Wildfire App: Wildfire, a division of Google, is one of the world’s largest social media marketing software providers. Wildfire App has become popular thanks to its flexible pricing plans that allow users to pay as little as $5 “per promotion,” or as much as $250 for something fully customized. Wildfire App takes the guesswork out by providing customized entry forms, customized banners, and email support for your contest depending on which pricing package you buy.
North Social: North Social provides an array of user-friendly, business-savvy apps to personalize and post to your Facebook page. Uploading content on North Social is reported to be very easy. They even provide tutorial videos with each of its apps that explain what each app does. The downside is they don’t have a photo contest option, which is a popular choice for Pages these days. North Social also uses a “flat fee” pricing plan based on fan count, and has an affordable monthly fee to use all of their apps.
The bottom line is that every day huge numbers of Facebook Page admins (from companies of all shapes and sizes) create promotions that violate Facebook’s rules. By doing this they run the risk of having their pages suspended by Facebook and losing months and months of hard work. It’s better to be informed and conducting your contests and sweepstakes within the guidelines of Facebook than have to deal with the frustration and embarrassment of having your page disabled. Take the time to become very familiar with the dos-and-don’ts of running contests and sweepstakes within Facebook’s rules. When done properly, this option can reap huge rewards for your business’ Fan Page.