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18 Ways to Successfully Promote Your Facebook Sweepstakes or Contest


Many companies today think that slapping up a sweepstakes or contest on their Facebook fan page is all they have to do to ensure a successful promotion. This may be because many third-party applications have made it ultra-easy and super-enticing to host a sweepstakes on your Facebook page.

However, a successful promotion doesn’t start with a sweepstakes or contest. Rather, the sweepstakes or contest is the enabler to promote your company and gain more relevant and targeted fans that you can spark conversations and relationships with.

The Red Jeweled Media team has brainstormed 18 ideas for promoting your sweepstakes or contest on Facebook so that you can attract quality fans to your Facebook fan page. Enjoy!

1. Place Facebook ads: Facebook ads are highly targeted and can help you attract new quality and targeted fans to your page. Give yourself a decent budget each month (maybe $100 or more) to really lead quality fans to your page.

2. Use your mailing list: If you have a list of customers you regularly communicate with via email, send out a special mailing promoting your exciting sweepstakes or contest. Not everyone is on Facebook as regularly as others, so this will lead them to your fan site and perhaps get them involved with it from here on out.

3. Post on Craigslist: You have to be careful here not to violate Craigslist rules, but if you’re giving away free stuff, perhaps there is a section on Craigslist you can post an ad on to get people to your page. If you’re giving away a free baby stroller, maybe you can post it in the “Baby and Kids” section of key cities you’re targeting, for example.

4. Do some PR: PR can be a key way to promote your contest or sweepstakes. Some bloggers with influential social media presences may be willing to mention your sweepstakes on their Facebook fan page or re-tweet mentions about your sweepstakes. The goal here is to ask the bloggers and social media folks that you know and who you believe with truly help bring quality, like-minded fans to your page. Also, if you’re a manufacturer, ask your retailers to tease it too – perhaps you have a retailer-only email system set up you can use? Retailers can provide some of the best PR yet!

5. Share and Tag: Facebook allows you to Share information from other Facebook pages on your page – and they enable you to Tag other pages in posts too. Is there a site you want to inform about your sweepstakes? Perhaps Tag them in a post or Share their information with your fans and drop hints you want them to Share back.

6. Blog about it: If you have a blog, be sure to write a post about your sweepstakes or contest. Perhaps a Q&A with the CEO or Social Media Manager would provide good, readable content and your sweepstakes, and then also be an opportunity to promote your sweepstakes or contest.

7. Add a button: Create a well-designed button or banner ad that you can place on your website or blog homepage to promote the sweepstakes. This way you lead people to your Facebook fan page to enter.

8. Create a video: Create a short video to explain the contest and get people pumped to enter it! Share the video on YouTube and other social media sites.

9. Make sure it’s viral: Many Facebook applications allow you to make your promotion viral. Users can Share the contest on their own Walls, as well as invite their friends to enter. Give them incentive too – offer additional entries for getting friends to enter too. The more viral, the better.

10. Tease it regularly: It is up to you to tease the sweepstakes or contest regularly on your Facebook and Twitter sites. Keep momentum going and people excited about it.

11. Create a Twitter auto-DM: Have your auto-DM message lead people to your amazing giveaway on Facebook. Just be sure to be active on Twitter and seek out new followers, especially during the sweepstakes period.

12. Write a press release: Depending on how impressive your contest is, consider writing a key-word optimized press release and posting it on PR Newswire, eReleases or PR Web for a fee – usually $200-$500.

13. Change your email signature: Use your email signature to lead people to your sweepstakes page on Facebook. Ask your customer service representatives to do the same as they are often dealing directly with consumers.

14. Make your sweepstakes the default page: Make sure your sweepstakes is your default landing page for people new to your Facebook fan page. You can do this by clicking on “Edit Page” button on your Facebook page and then changing the default page to "Sweepstakes." This way new visitors to your page first see your sweepstakes and are tempted to enter it (and “like” your page) right away.

15. Fan-gate your sweepstakes: Fan-gating is where you only allow people who “like” your page to access the page and/or sweepstakes. People must “like” your page to enter the sweepstakes, which keeps non-quality entrants at bay and only those that truly want to interact with your page as fans.

16. Partner: A great way to boost the visibility of your sweepstakes or contest is to partner with another like-minded brand, blogger or website… you can then “share” fans. If you partner with a blogger, then you, in a sense, have a promotional partner who can do these same promotional tactics to promote the sweepstakes or contest with their mailing lists and social media sites.

17. Chat rooms: Enter into chat rooms where your fans (or future fans) may be talking. Start threads to tease your amazing giveaway and use enticing headlines so people click on your thread.

18. Brochures: If you have a bricks and mortar store (or can partner with one), create postcard-sized brochures to hand out at the checkout register or stuff a brochure in every bag. It’s a great way to get in-store shoppers to find you and connect with you online too. Also, post those brochures in your store’s window and ask local coffee shops to post ‘em too. You never know how willing people are to help you until you ask!

Remember, promoting a sweepstakes or contest on Facebook should be done with the intention of attracting quality fans to your page. To get the right fans, you need to do a little work to promote the sweepstakes or contest in the right places and in front of the right people.

Do you have other ideas for promoting a sweepstakes or contest and ensuring you attract high-quality fans all the while? If so, sound off on our Facebook page and let us know!

Download our guide to "15 Best Practices in Facebook Marketing."

Tailor Made Public Relations & Marketing