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Which Platforms Work Best for Facebook Contest Marketing?

So you want to run a Facebook Contest… That’s great! Facebook Contests are one of the best ways to build engagement on your Facebook Page and grow your email list. One of the toughest things about running a Facebook Contest, though, is knowing where, when, and how to market it.

I’ve been building, managing, and consulting on Facebook Contests since 2009. At first, I didn’t know the answer to these questions either. It took a lot of trial and error, but eventually I learned a system for maximizing my contest results every single time. In fact, I created a worksheet that will help you figure out which marketing platforms will work best for you.

Download the Free Facebook Contest Marketing Worksheet

How do I Know Where to Market my Facebook Contest?

It starts with listing out all of your current marketing platforms or opportunities. This list may be long, but don’t worry. We’re going to pare it down together.

Below is a screenshot from the first page of the worksheet where I listed all my marketing platforms. It’s important to make sure that you include everything in this list. You don’t want to miss out on a marketing opportunity you may have overlooked.

Note

Marketing platforms refer to the places and ways you can market. For instance “print advertising” is not a place, but it is a way that you can promote your contest. So, think about all the ways or places where you could market your contest and add them to your worksheet.

Which Marketing Platforms are the Best for You?

The last step on the first page of this document is to figure out which marketing platforms will work the best for you. This will mostly depend on audience size, but there are a few other factors to consider here.

Be a Ninja!

I remember reading something years ago about editing. The advice was this: when you edit a story  or a blog post, you must take on the mindset of a ninja and slash anything that doesn’t belong. The same is true in this case. Cross out any platforms you don’t think will work to market this contest. Here’s a few examples of things you might cross out:

Note

The list below shows a lot of marketing platforms I didn’t include on my list. That’s because I don’t usually use these forms of advertisement. You, however might. These are really just “hypothetical” platforms you might initially include and then cross off of your own list.

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Print Advertising
  • Banner ads on other websites
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Employee Message Board

The first three you might cross out because they will take too long to get ready or they are too expensive.

Banner ads on websites might not be practical, because their audience may not be interested in what you’re giving away.

I included Instagram because you can’t share clickable links directly with an image. This makes it hard to get people  from Instagram to your Facebook Contest, which is the point.

Tumblr is one of those social media platforms that tend to have unique audiences. If you maintain a Tumblr and your audience regularly engages with content that is similar to what you’re giving away in your contest, then it’s okay to keep on the list. Otherwise, chop it.

I included employee message board as a place that you might post information about your contest because I’ve actually used this before. However, it is not appropriate for all types of contest, or even for every prize you giveaway. Unless you’re sure that your employees will want to help you promote it, I wouldn’t even bother with this one.

Here’s what I crossed out on my list:

Superstars!

The next step is to identify your superstars, or those marketing platforms which you think will help you the most in your promotion.

Note

I say “think” or “might” a lot for two reasons.

  1. I don’t know your audience.
  2. All marketing is an experiment until you know something works.

In the screenshot below, I’ve marked which platforms I want to use to promote my contest with a star. I’m going to walk through why I decided to mark each of these with a star so you understand why I chose them. You may choose your own platforms for different reasons.

The Obvious

  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook Personal Account

I marked my Facebook Page and personal account with stars because we are talking about promoting a Facebook Contest. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the obvious places to market them.

Biggest/Best Audiences

  • Website
  • Twitter
  • Email List
  • Linked In

Other Platforms Which I Think Will Work

  • Instagram (I regularly share social media stuff on that channel and I know how to utilize the link in the bio to get people to my contest page).
  • Friends (I have a few friends who might be interested in helping me promote it)

Do the same on your worksheet.

Want to Know More?

Figuring out which marketing platforms will work best for your contest is just the tip the iceberg to running a successful Facebook Contest. There’s also:

  • Planning out your contest details
  • Deciding what type of contest to run
  • Writing your contest rules
  • Building your contest page
  • Working out the details of your marketing
  • How to build your marketing calendar
  • Choosing the right prize
  • What to do when something goes wrong
  • And so much more!

I cover all of these topics in my course: Build Email Lists Fast with Facebook Contests. It’s a course designed for those who are just getting their feet wet, or who want to get more out of their next Facebook Contest. The course specifically focuses on the “Giveaway” contest type, which is the easiest to manage and the most effective type for building an email list. However, almost everything in the course can be applied to other types of contests including photo submission contests.

If you want to know more, here’s a link to the course detail page. It is currently only $23, since I’m in the middle of a major overhaul, though. The price will go soon, so hurry and get the course at the lower price! If you download this worksheet, you are in my email list and will get a notice when the new course material has been loaded.

Get the Course at the Discounted Price

Don’t Miss the free Facebook Contest Marketing Sheet (download it below)

Download the Free Facebook Contest Marketing Worksheet

Tutorial: Get More Facebook Likes by Adding a Facebook Like Button to Your Website

One of the easiest ways to get more Facebook Likes for your Facebook Page, is to add the Facebook Like button (targeted at your Facebook Page) to your website.

This is a simple and often overlooked tactic which could result in more Likes for your Page. Why does it work?

Consider these two scenarios.

In the first one, a visitor to your website sees the Facebook icon and is enticed to click it. Once they click it, though, they have to actually go to your Facebook Page in order to “Like” it.

In the second one, a visitor to your website sees the Like button and is, also, enticed to click it. Once they do, that Like is immediately translated to your Facebook Page.

It’s so much easier for a person if they only have to click once. Anytime you can make a conversion easier on the consumer, the more likely they are to do it.

How Do You Get the “Magic” Facebook Like Button?

First of all, how does it work like magic? The Facebook Like button works auto-magically with one click as long as that person is logged into Facebook. These days, who isn’t? Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I logged out of Facebook. And I would bet my right arm that you can’t either.

Facebook makes it easy for you to get this code to install on your website. To get started go to: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-button

As you can see from the screenshot below, there are some options that you can choose to enhance the Like button. But they need to be weighed against how much space the button takes up. For example the first set of options makes the button (and all its attributes) really big. The space you want to put it in may not be big enough to hold everything, and it will cut part of it off. All of the attributes are optional, except for your Facebook Page URL.

Facebook Like Button

A Quick Note: The “Width” option will not increase the size of the Facebook Like button (which is quite small). Instead the width controls the overall width of the Like button element. For instance, in the example above, the Like button element area covers the Facebook Like Button, the Facebook Share button, and the words describing the number of likes. So, increasing the width would only increase the space around the entire button set.

The screenshot below shows my Facebook Page address (or URL) in the text box below “URL to Like”. To find your Facebook Page URL, go to your Facebook Page and copy and paste what’s in the address bar into the top-left box (as shown below). That’s step one.

Facebook Like Button Address

The next step is to decide what you want the overall button to look like. I’ve already talked about how the default set of options gives users a lot more information, but makes the button much bigger in size. I’ll explain that extra information, and go through the rest of the options, with screenshots below.

The first set shows the like button in the “Standard Layout” which adds the additional information of the person’s friends (the name here has been covered up for privacy reasons) who Like the Page. This is great for showing “social proof”, which can help your Page seem more Likeable, especially if you have a lot of Likes already. If you have a smaller number of likes though, I’d suggest going with one of the other options. You can also see below that there is an extra button (the share button) and that there are faces shown in the screenshot below. Most of these have been covered up to protect the privacy of people, but I left my own mugshot there, so you can see an example of what they will look like.

Facebok Like Button Standard Layout With Share Button and Faces

If you uncheck the “Show Friends’ Faces” option, it makes the button are look cleaner. This option works well for those who don’t want the added space the “faces” take up and for those who don’t necessarily care about social proof.

Facebook Like Button Standard Layout With Share And Without Faces

You can, of course, disable the share button. Since you’re trying to get people to Like your Facebook Page, adding a Share button only confuses the issue.

Facebook Like Button Standard Layout Without Share Or Faces

The next layout type is the “box_count”. This displays the Like button with a Like count over it, and everything is stacked on top of each other in a, you guessed it, “box” configuration. This layout, and in fact, the rest of the layouts do not show faces. So, if social proof is important to you, go with the standard layout or the Like Box (which I’ll cover later). This option works for those site designs where a more square or vertical section is available to place the button in. It’s also good for those who want to still show off the number of likes they have.

Facebook Like Button BoxCount Layout Share and Without Faces

Since the box count does not come with the option to show faces (even if you check it), the only other option here is to take away the Share button. This makes the button into a nice compact design that could fit almost anywhere.

Facebook Like Button Box Count Layout Without Share

The next layout type is the Button Count. This layout is much like the box count layout, except that the number of likes is on the side instead of on top. This makes this button much more suited to a horizontal space.

Facebook Like Button Button Count Layout With Share

Of course, once you take the Share button away it will fit into an even smaller space. Again, this type of layout with the number of Likes showing appeals to those who want to use social proof to encourage more Likes.

Facebook Like Button Button Count Layout Without Share

The last layout type is the simplest. That’s probably why it’s called the Simple Button layout. It is not only the smallest, but it’s also a great option for those Pages which have a smaller number of Likes, and don’t want to advertise that fact. This button, too, can be combined with the Share button, if you like.

Facebook Like Button Simple Layout With Share

 

The version without the Share button is tiny, minuscule even. This means you don’t have to worry about where the button will fit.

Facebook Like Button Simple Layout Without Share

Warning: Code Ahead!

A quick warning: this next section involves some html no-how. If you don’t know what you’re doing, forward this article on to your web developer or admin and have that person complete these steps.

Now that you know which button types are available, take a moment to choose which is right for your site.  Then, click on “Get Code”. You should see a box like the one below pop up. As you can see, there are 4 options for the code. I bet you thought you were done with options! We are almost done, I promise. 😉

The first three options require a little bit more work to install them and give you some more options for how much information you get when someone presses the Facebook Like button from your website. However, they are not necessary, in most cases.

Facebook Like Button Code Page

The easiest code type to use, and the one that will not bog down your site is the “URL” type. Which is just as it sounds, it installs a URL, which points directly to your Facebook Page, but has the added benefit of allowing someone to Like your Page with one click! Woot! Your next step here is to copy and paste the code into the html of your website where you want the button to appear. Again, if you don’t know what you’re doing get someone knowledgeable to handle it for you.

Facebok Like Button URL Code

Alternatives to the Facebook Code

There are some alternatives to just grabbing the code off Facebook. If your website is on WordPress, then there’s several options in the form of “plugins” you can install with no programming knowledge. I won’t detail all the options here. Just make sure to check out the number of stars each of these plugins has, check out some of the reviews, and make sure it’s compatible with your version of wordpress before you install.

There are also plugins for drupal, joomla, wixia, and other website builders or (content management systems). Just use Google to search for them.

Whether you choose to grab the code from Facebook, or use a plugin, installing the Facebook Like button is just one way that you can increase your Facebook Page Likes.

Likes Are Just the Beginning

Remember, though, that Facebook Likes are only the first step in the journey. It’s great to say that you have 1,000, 10,000, or whatever number of Likes, but it’s not your end game. Those Likes represent real people who (hopefully) want to buy from you. Even if they don’t want to buy from you, they have indicated that they’re interested in your business in some way. Now it’s your turn to give something back to them. Give them a reason to read your posts, and keep them coming back for more. This is the way that you start cultivating relationships online that lead to sales.

1 Quick Tip to Boost Your Facebook Page Visiblity

There are a few things you need to do: start promoting your Facebook Page and posting to your Facebook Page. But before you do that, you need to make sure it’s setup correctly. One of the areas that I see a lot of businesses missing in the Facebook Page setup process is setting up their vanity url (or Facebook Page Username).

The Problem

First, let’s look at the problem. Here’s an example of a Facebook Page address before you claim your username.

Facebook.com/pages/Your-Business-Name/181041651064

Looks pretty terrible, doesn’t it?

Now, let’s look at a Facebook Vanity Url.

Facebook.com/YourBusinessName

As you can see, this is much easier to read.

Why is this so important?

Well, first of all, it will help with your Search Engine Optimization. Not only will Google be able to read it better, but also Facebook’s search. It’s also easier for your customers to type. And finally, it looks much better on print.

The Solution

This is actually one of the easiest and quick fixes you can do to boost the visibility of your Facebook Page. Check out the tutorial below to find out how you can claim your Facebook Vanity Url.