about online marketing

Facebook Contest – An Offline and Online Integration

with one comment

We’ve all heard that the best way to get interaction from Facebook fans are through surveys, promotions and contents. So last month we decided to create some kind of contest in our Facebook page in order to get more fans and interaction. The prize was two free tickets to the Social CRM conference in London. The contest should be around the choice of the topic for our next’s month event. The attendes are normally social media professionals, which means they would all be very interested to win the free ticket (£145 worth).

We could say we had some of the most important things covered:

Goals ✓
Audience ✓
Prize ✓
Theme ✓

But what about the contest itself?

Funny, but when you seat down to think about it, Facebook contests aren’t as simple as they sound. I did a quick brainstorm online and found some cool ideas here, here and here. Some are really fun, and sound exciting. But they aren’t as simple as we would expect, which means more work to create and more work to participate in the contest. Remember, if the goal is to reach a broad audience, you don’t want to make it hard. Keep it as simple as you can.

Narrow it down to different ideas

After reading some blog posts and articles, I found some ideas that were pretty doable. I decided to narrow them down, and look at the pros and cons of each.

Quizz about social media. Whoever got more answers right would be the winner.
⇡ Pros Fun.
⇣ Cons Need to use an App. A lot of time to create questions and answers. Time consuming for fans. It doesn’t necessarily shows up in the fan’s news feed.

Ask fans to suggest a blog in our page. From all those who suggested we would draw a winner.
⇡ Pros A lot of interaction in our Page. Friends of fans would see it on the news feeds. Easy to do.
⇣ Cons More effort from fans. Hard to keep track of names.

We think of a specific subject/blogger/social network and asked fans to guess what it was.
⇡ Pros  Easy to join. Easy to do. Friends of fans would see it on the news feeds.
⇣ Cons If a fan guesses it too early, contest can not be extended.

The contest

When thinking about the whole dynamic, all the ideas changed. So keep that in mind, first think about when and where you are going to announce the contest. That does make a difference.

Since we announced the contest in our offline event, we decided we had to take advantage of that, and get some offline interaction as well. So before the event we emailed all the participants to bring at least one business card to our event if they wanted to have the chance to win a free ticket to the Social CRM event. When they started to arrive one of us was at the door asking each participant to give their business card and write at the back of the card a topic they would like us to cover at our next event (don’t forget to have pens available). After our guest speaker finished his talk, we took one of the business cards from a bowl and gave the winner a free ticket for the event. Very simple. But remember, we had two tickets. And yes, the whole goal was to get more fans/interaction at our Facebook page. So at the event we announced that all the topics written at the back of the cards would be up at our Facebook page, and everyone who voted online in their favorite topic would have a chance to win a free ticket.

We decided to use Facebook Questions, which worked perfectly. First thing we checked was if when a fan answered the question, it was going to show up at his news feeds. And it does, so no worries there. It’s easy, for us and for the fans. It doesn’t get much better than.
⇡ Pros Easy to create. Quick and easy to participate. Appears in the news feed.
⇣ Cons Not a whole lot of interaction. Questions doesn’t allow ‘likes’ and comments before you open the page.

Promote the contest and the winner

That’s essential. Use all the channels you’ve got. We mainly used our two Twitter accounts and our Facebook page. Tweets were scheduled at least once in two days during the 10 days the contest was running. We also sent a Facebook update to remind all the fans to vote. One day before the contest ended we scheduled about four tweets. The morning the draw was made we immediately announced the winner on Twitter and Facebook. Ideally you should contact the winner individually as well, by a Facebook message or email. In case you are friends with the winner, don’t forget to use the @___ feature on Facebook.

The results

A group of 25 people attended our April’s event and we got 20 business cards with different topic ideas. 80% participation, which is great. On Facebook, more than 36 fans answered our question, which is more than the total of participants in our event. 25% of all our Facebook fans answered the question. We increase our Facebook fans by 12.5% in less than two weeks. So I guess what everyone says about contests, is indeed true. Great way to get more fans and interaction in your brand page.


As we all know, offline still matters. We started the contest by asking people to collaborate offline, giving one of the participants a tangible prize at the same night. We just moved the group online afterwards, when the relationship was already built. This proves being effective, since people are already engaged the results are probably going to be much higher.

UPDATE:  You cannot forget that when you create a Facebook contest you need to meet Facebook’s guidelines. Here’ s an article that clarifies some doubts about it.


Written by Cristina Dresch

May 1, 2011 at 10:27 PM

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] amount of interaction? Not enough! You need more fans, that is a fact! Check my blog post about Facebook Contests for some ideas about getting more fans and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: