How to Get Your Fans to Engage in Contests

Engage fans in contestsOn social media platforms, especially Facebook, we are beginning to see a lot of different contests. Video, photo and essay contests are the most inherently social promotion apps to run for fans, but not all of these perform equally well.

However, the technology company Wildfire has analyzed the entry rates of thousands of contests run on the Wildfire social media management platform. From this, they have extracted some of the most successful practices for optimizing entry and share rates.

Some of these I would like to present to you here, since I think they have reached some very useful conclusions on how to get more fans to engage in contests. Thus, according to Wildfire, there are some important steps to take into consideration:

Inform about how easy it is

When running a contest, it can be very effective to tell users that it’s easy to participate. It can convince them to do this, when it does not take much time and effort. Use pictures to show what to do. It’s always good to describe visually what you want your fans to do at the same time as pictures create more awareness. It draws attention instead of having to read a heavy text.

Keep it simple and help users on their way

When you ask your fans to come up with a written entry, it’s crucial that you keep it simple in order for them spending time on actually engaging in the contest. If you ask them to write a 500 word statement, there’s a great chance that you’ll end up with a very low number of participants. Instead, you can for example let users finish a sentence or provide a short sentence or slogan they think suits your brand. Remember, the less time and effort it takes to enter your contest, the more entries you’ll get.

How to Get Your Fans to Engage in Contests

Make use of aspirational questions

When posting questions on a Facebook page, it’s always a bit difficult to figure out what questions that actually make people answer and engage in dialogue. However, Wildfire states that they have found that aspirational questions tend to inspire users to submit their entries. This could e.g. be. “What would you do if you were debt-free?” or “If you had a million dollars, what would you do?” These questions are easy to take in and fast to give a response to, and naturally this leads to higher entry rates compared to having to write long statements.

Not all photos are equally popular to share online

When holding a contest about uploading some kind of photo, it’s a fact that not all types of photo requests will result in the same entry rates. However, there are some clear trends towards photos involving pets and kids result in a significantly better outcome. This is therefore worth thinking about if it’s something that can be connected to the contest that you have in mind. And it actually makes good sense, since this is what a lot of people love to share. It’s something they care about – and something they’re proud of.

What do you think? Do you have some good tips to add on how to get the most people to engage in contest?

> Read the full article by Wildfire here


Get Ready for the Bots – on Facebook Messenger

2Facebook Messenger was released 5 years ago and now has over 900 million users. Originally receiving a flood of negativity towards a standalone messaging app, compared to one simple Facebook app, users seem to be warming to it. The decision to make it standalone does make a lot of sense, since messaging is a big part of people’s lives nowadays and Facebook even bought the domain messenger.com to launch a version for web browsers last year. Their 900 million users will more than likely be merged with Whatsapp’s 1 billion users, which means that Facebook will have the personal phone number of every single user – sounds like $19 billion well spent.

 

Open for Business

So that’s humans covered. Where to go next? Facebook is now venturing into their next Messenger-based project: bots. If you haven’t been keeping up, Facebook launched Messenger Platform last month, which holds within it, chatterbots. Luckily, these bots are not machine learning bots, such as the disaster that was Microsoft’s Tay. They do have some humorous replies if provoked but they ultimately steer the conversation back to the subject they’re designed to cater for. Thanks to their highly advanced Send/Receive API, these bots are able to reply with actual structured messages, including links, images, hotel reservations, the weather etc. You may immediately compare this to Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now and Amazon Echo, but what sets bots on Messenger apart is the fact that businesses can develop them, which in turn gives them another way to develop customer service. Simply put, bots could end up changing the world by replacing humans in such job sectors. Without the bespoke customer service integration that Messenger bots provide, the above voice-activated services will most likely not be able to solve business-related queries themselves. Having said that, the way bots behave is very reminiscent of the way Siri does. Maybe they’ll talk to each other one day and we’ll get the best of both.

 

Customer Service and Added Value

So how can these bots work for brands? Well, eventually, every major company in the world will have an account, which will be a first port of call when contacting their company. The reason this is almost definite is due to Facebook’s already-mammoth-sized network of users. It doesn’t get any bigger than Facebook when advertising to individual people, so connecting Messenger bots (as customer sales reps, for example) is extremely attractive. Messenger codes, one of many things taken from Snapchat, will also make it easier for businesses to connect with their customers. One industry example is how bots will almost certainly change how banking works for the consumer, replacing an app or web-based system with a dialogue with a machine that is able to understand your every need. The option to send money within Messenger itself is highly likely too, like Snapchat allows. This could also eliminate the hassle of speaking to a bank’s voice recognition system when calling by telephone – no more time (and money) wasted by the dreaded “I didn’t catch that. Please try again.” These voice recognition systems are essentially bots done badly, but they’re based on voice, which is a lot more difficult to translate into zeros and ones. Plus, you cannot autocorrect your voice (yet). I can see this whole system being replaced by bots – it could even connect you to a human advisor with ease, as you’re most likely already using your phone. Even if you’re using the desktop version or Facebook Chat, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. Besides banks, what other markets will benefit from this? Restaurants, travel and possibly supermarkets with online shopping services are big industries for it to thrive. The healthcare industry could also be a large portion – Healthtap have already created their bot, which isn’t surprising considering one of the first ever chatterbots was called DOCTOR and simulated a psychotherapist. In fact, the potential amount of markets are endless for this stream of interaction – just like it is with human customer service.

 

At the end of the day, customers are moving towards messaging as their preferred choice of customer service. And as generations progress, it will no doubt become the standard – a phone call will most likely be reserved for long, meaningful conversations with friends and family, which in turn will add even more meaning to them. The phone call will no longer be taken for granted, but talking to robots will be.