How to Make a Great Contest on Facebook

fb-competition_1Engagement is key when you want to run a successful Facebook page. Updates with questions, eye-catching photos, and share worthy stories that go viral are all important elements to make your fans more devoted to your Facebook page and brand.

Contests can increase engagement and improve your image but it’s important to have an understanding of what you’re up against before entering the big competition.

Get more fans, likes & engagement

Most marketers believe that matters, as for instance customer service is what the consumers desire on social media. This infographic however underlines that what the consumers really want is exclusive content and promotions which happens to be the box that contests fit into. It could thus be a great idea to make a contest if you want to improve your fan base. You should in this case always make it mandatory to like your page before participating.

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Serious relationship

Contests can create a stronger relation between fans and your brand. The participants are actually putting an effort in the favour of your brand by joining the contest. Hopefully, the contestants will be so passionate about the competition that it will benefit your edgerank with threads of conversations revolving your brand or the competition. You should keep in mind that with your contest you do not only have a serious but also an open relationship. Therefore it’s important to include a viral element, like ‘share’ or ‘invite a friend’ that can increase the amount of competitors and spread the knowledge about the contest.

 

Get the permission!

Remember to get your permission text straight. In this text you describe more explicit what the rules are, what the prize involves, and maybe you can also get the approval to send out newsletters to your fans.

 

User generated content

Contests have many sizes and shapes. They can for example end up generating testimonials, essays, videos, and photos from the contestants. People are participating because it’s entertaining, and perhaps they are eager to win. When the competition is over they have a stronger relation with your brand but they might have forgotten about their contribution. In this case I use the motto ‘One man’s trash another man’s treasure’. Once you remembered to state it in the rules, you are free to create all the user-generated content you like. Don’t be afraid of annoying your fans. Most people love when they get their stuff exposed, especially on an official site. Also consider making a fan section on your Facebook page, which will function as a showcase of the finest examples of your fans’ contributions and express your appreciation of your fans.

 

What’s in it for me?

When your potential contestants are exposed for your contest, they make a quick decision, should I do this or not? Don’t play hard to get! If you want a lot of contestants, don’t ask for a homemade one-hour video. Make a light level call-to-action that doesn’t demand too much of the contestants.

Another good advice is using photos. This is well-fitted content for Facebook since it’s all about the images, and this type of content is simple to produce for the contestants and easy to understand for everyone.

Secondly, the prize is also an important motivation for the contestant. It should always be in the right context regarding to the brand and it’s strategy.

A vacation to Hawaii seems to attract a lot of people but this also can also sound like an overwhelming prize that is unreachable. Concert tickets, Ray-Bans, or a tablet are on the other hand more realistic prizes and attractive to win.

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Goals

When you start planning your contest the first question you should ask yourself is what is your goal? Do you want to expand your likes? Do you want to launch a new product? Do you wish for stronger engagement? Afterwards you can plan the contest following this main goal, let it revolve the same social values as your brands’ and maybe include subscriptions. The contest should always go hand in hand with the same goal your brand aims for.

 

And remember, a contest is not about winning but about participating!

 

 

 

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.