The Ultimate Prize: Better Leads from your Facebook Sweepstakes [Guest Post]

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To design and structure a Facebook sweepstakes that actually captures high quality leads, while generating positive sentiment and customer goodwill, you’ll need to advertise to the right audience, collect sufficient data on your entry form and give away a relevant prize. There are two main things to keep in mind:

1. Be Strategic About the Prize

If you want to qualify leads, you can pretty much forget prizes such as iPads and big screen televisions. In fact, if you think the prize you’ve chosen could make the sweepstakes go viral to a mass audience, avoid it!

What’s the matter with those prizes? It’s truly the fact that everyone wants them.

Even when you diligently target your sweepstakes ads to your ideal customer, people may share the sweepstakes with their friends which can introduce a lot of random entries in the sweepstakes. Then, when the sweepstakes is over, you have names, email addresses and other data but you still don’t know who wants your specific products and services. At that point, the audience you started advertising to may be more relevant than the audience you finish with. Who doesn’t want a free iPad or television?

For example, consider a spa that hires SalesBlend to run a sweepstakes and give away an iPad. We establish with the owner that we’ll advertise exclusively on Facebook to women 18+ in the interest category “Beauty” who live within 50 miles of San Diego where the spa is located. We use a fan-gated ShortStack app to get Likes and collect all the necessary data. When the sweepstakes is over, we tally 3,000 Likes and 500 email addresses in 30 days. The spa owner says “Wow!”

The numbers look good. But what should we name the new email list of sweepstakes entrants? Perhaps, “Anyone who wants to win an iPad enough to Like the spa’s Page and give up their email address.”

Is there really any reason to prefer marketing to the entrants than the women who didn’t enter the sweepstakes?

What if this list includes some of the women who didn’t enter?

• Women who spend $500 per month on spa treatment who already have an iPad

• Women who have some type of tablet already

• Women who can easily afford an iPad but are satisfied with their iPhone and laptop

• Women with lots of money but not a lot of time for sweepstakes

• Women who were reached but didn’t really see the ads or pay enough attention to them

• Women who were possibly biased against entering sweepstakes

• Women who didn’t properly estimate the chance of winning

• Women who didn’t recognize how attractive the prize was or the impact it could make in their lives

• Women who saw the ad but got distracted before entering the sweepstakes

Now let’s say that the prize is a sea salt exfoliating spa package which includes 30 guaranteed minutes of peace where a foot massage combines with cucumber slices on each eye and rainforest music. It’s a high margin offer that people already love and recommend consistently on Facebook and Yelp. It gives the winner a chance to experience the best the spa has to offer. In general, the spa has found that people who try the sea salt exfoliating spa package return to the spa 38 percent of the time within the following month.

I’m not saying everyone valuable will enter, but can you see how the act of someone entering a sweepstakes with this prize allows for the creation of a valuable business segment? Let’s title this segment “People who want the sea salt exfoliating spa package, have the means to get to the spa and the time to enjoy it.”

2. Collect Sufficient Data with Your Sweepstakes Entry Form

What can the specific behavior–entry into the sweepstakes—tell you about the sweepstakes entrant?

When people enter a sweepstakes, they know they will need to provide accurate contact information so they can be contacted if they win the prize. Adding one or more additional fields on your entry form can provide you with information that would otherwise be expensive to collect through traditional market research. Want to send all entrants a 20 percent off coupon for the exact same spa package on their next birthday? Ask for their date of birth on the entry form now.

Entering a sweepstakes is like clicking a “WANT” button

With careful prize selection, ad targeting and form structure, after the sweepstakes is over, you’ll know who in your target market wants your product. But remember, so far they’ve only said they wanted it when you were offering it for free to a lucky winner. Now you need to figure out what everyone’s actually willing to pay for it. It’s time to get strategic with your Facebook ads, email marketing and other promotions.

Sweepstakes help qualify leads because they can let you know who wants the specific product being offered as the prize. Therefore, entry in a sweepstakes can be a buying signal. It can also suggest there may be interest in purchasing similar products or each component in the prize.

In the case of the spa, we could try offering the past sweepstakes entrants other spa packages, stand-alone foot massages and stand-alone cucumber eye treatments. Possibly, they could even see a surge of rainforest music CD sales at the counter.

Every time SalesBlend has used ShortStack’s fan-gated apps, our clients have seen significant increases in Likes, engagement, email addresses and—they’ve received the ultimate prize: behavioral information that improves lead quality.

When you host Facebook contests how do you collect leads? Anything you’d add to this list?

How to Increase Your Facebook Engagement by 275%

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Have I ever told you how much I like the peeps at Socially Stacked? No, well I LOVE the peeps at Socially Stacked, and you will too!

Are you wracking your brain over why some of your Facebook posts are highly engaged with while others are total duds? Consider yourself in luck. Today’s featured infographic provides some much needed information medicine for your head.

The infographic,“How to Increase Your Facebook Engagement by 275%” is created by the folks at QuickSprout. Their goal: To show you how to maximize user engagement and increase your Facebook traffic.

We think they did great job at hitting their goal! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

2fbengagment275

 

- See more at: http://www.sociallystacked.com/2014/03/how-to-increase-your-facebook-engagement-by-275-infographic/#sthash.bFdm852J.dpuf

Have you ever wondered how your Facebook page stacks up?

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How to Evaluate Your Facebook Page

 

Facebook Page Checklist: 

  1. “About” section: is your website URL the first thing listed?
  2. Additional “About” section: Are you providing links to your company’s other social channels, like your Twitter account and blog?
  3. Cover photo: is it well-designed and does it meet Facebook’s Guidelines?
  4. Cover photo description: when someone clicks on your cover photo, do you have a photo description with information, a call to action, or links?
  5. Profile photo: does it clearly reflect your brand?
  6. App thumbnails: are the three most important apps featured as “favorite” apps, and do the app thumbnails include a call to action or have a promising label?
  7. “Talking about this number”: Divide your “Talking about this number” by your Page’s total number of Likes. This will calculate your Page’s engagement from the past seven days. Average Page engagement is two percent. If you’re below two percent, your content strategy needs to be adjusted.
  8. Content strategy:
    1. What type of content is your business sharing?
    2. Are you using a photo or another type of media to accompany each status update?
    3. Are you sharing valuable, relevant information with your fans?
    4. Are you implementing the 70/20/10 rule?
    5. Does your content speak directly to your target audience?
  9. Exclusive content: What are you offering your Facebook fans that they can’t get anywhere else? A free eBook? Exclusive industry advice and tips? Frequently updated entertaining content?
  10. Branding: What does your brand say about the users who like your Page? Remember: people Like a Facebook Page not because they like a particular product or service, they do it because what they Like says something about their own identity.
  11. Commenting: Are you engaging back with your Facebook fans? You should be Liking their comments and responding to all their questions.
  12. Industry opportunities: What opportunities does your industry present; meaning, what type of industry-relevant content should you share on your Facebook Page? For an example of what we mean, we evaluated Kevin Bhookun’s Photography Page to see what opportunities he has as a photographer on Facebook.

How to Determine Your Industry’s Opportunities:
There are four questions to answer to determine what type of content opportunites your industry presents.

  1. Who is your target market? Try to segment your market based on interests.
  2. What does your target market like, want or need? The content you share should address these things.
  3. What can your brand or company offer?
  4. What do you want your Facebook Page to do for you?

Kevin Bhookun is in the photography industry. His industry allows him to showcase his photography portfolio and other creative works. His target market is segmented into the following:

  1. People who appreciate photography
  2. Potential clients
  3. Models looking for job opportunities

After answering the four above questions that relate to his industry, he will be able to determine the type of content to share on his Facebook Page that will yield the best engagement.

For Kevin, some great content to share would be things like tips on best makeup for flash photography, advice on what to wear for headshots, and tips on how to prepare for a photoshoot.

To further engage his current fans– and earn more new fans– he could also run a Facebook contest that integrates photography. For instance, an Instagram contest that asks users to submit their photos for a chance to win a photo package from Kevin would be a great way to engage users and encourage more Page Likes.

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- See more at: http://www.sociallystacked.com/2012/12/how-to-evaluate-your-facebook-page-checklist/#sthash.SLNXHutL.dpuf

5 Facebook Promotion Guidelines that No Longer Exist

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Love the wonderful peeps at Socially Stecked!

Facebook is continually changing their Facebook Page Guidelines. They change so often it can be hard to keep up. We still receive a frequent questions about what is legal — or not — when it comes to running a promotion through Facebook. In recent months, Facebook dropped a majority of their guidelines.

Here is a look at five Facebook Page guidelines that no longer exist.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.

In August 2013, Facebook announced that businesses could administer Facebook Promotions on their Timeline or using a third-party application.  If you decide to host a promotion on your Timeline, but still want to collect some user data, it’s worth looking into a Comment/Like importer tool so you can collect your entries into a database for easy winner selection.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.  

Seeing as businesses are now allowed to run promotions on their Timeline, Facebook was forced to remove this guideline that said Page admins could not use Facebook features as a means to enter. With Timeline promotions, fans are able to Like or Comment as a means of entering. However, you are still not able to require fans to “Share” a post on their personal Timeline or with their friends as a means of entering a contest.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion. 

Along with the previous point, once Facebook allowed promotions to be run on the Timeline, they also had to allow Facebook features, such as Liking a comment or post, to be a means of voting on a promotion. For example, you could host a Timeline promotion asking people to comment on the post and then “Like” the comments to vote for their favorite entry.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant. 

As of today you are allowed to use “Liking” a Page as a means to enter a promotion. The only thing we get hung up on is how you know if someone has Liked your Page to enter your promotion or has Liked it for another reason. We find this very hard to track, therefore we don’t recommend businesses using the “Like” feature as a sole means of entry. However, if you wanted to use the “check-in” feature as a means of entry, that could lead to an interesting and new contest for fans.

PREVIOUS GUIDELINE: You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages. 

Facebook recently decided they were okay with business Page’s notifying contest winners via status updates, private messages, chat, etc. Here are 5 legal ways you can contact winners today.

Now that we’ve gone over the Facebook promotion guidelines that no longer exist, lets take a quick look at the most recent guidelines you need to be aware of as a business Page on Facebook.

TODAY’S FACEBOOK PROMOTION GUIDELINES

Date of Last Revision: December 18, 2013

E.    Promotions
1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a.   The official rules;
b.   Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c.   Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a.   A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b.   Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries” is not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.If you have never run a Facebook Contest before I  high recommend you take the time and read through this document. Well worth your time.

Screenshot 2014-01-13 15.25.50

*To see the complete list of Facebook’s Page Guidelines, click here.

- See more at: http://www.sociallystacked.com/2014/01/5-facebook-promotion-guidelines-that-no-longer-exist/#sthash.zm4kKYnO.dpuf

How to Use Facebook Fan-Gate to Increase Page Likes

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Besides the dramatic profile design change, the release of Timeline instigated two other significant modifications regarding Facebook’s terminology and platform capabilities.

First, the term “tab” was forced into extinction and replaced by the term “application.” Second, and also the most prominent change of the two, was the demise of the landing page, aka the welcome page. Frustration from the latter has since encouraged marketers and page administrators to rethink how they’re using tools such as fan-gating.

Just because landing pages no longer exist, it doesn’t mean fan-gating is something to be dismissed. Fan-gating is still an extremely effective tool that can be used to increase Facebook Page Likes. However, the ways in which businesses are now using fan-gating to attract new fans has changed as a result of Timeline. Because Pages can no longer use custom applications as their default landing tabs, alternative methods for increasing Page Likes have been developed.

Here are three examples of strategies to use with fan-gating to increase your Page’s Likes:

 1. “Like” to Participate Contests

Hosting a contest on your Facebook page through a custom built application is one of the best ways not only to engage current fans, but attract new fans as well.

To get your contest seen by users other than your current fans, add a Share option or a voting component to your contest rules. This will encourage your fans to share your contest with their Facebook friends who have yet to Like your Page. Once these new users have been prompted by their friends to check out your Page’s contest, having a fan-gate will restrict participation until your Page has been Liked by the user.

To get the most new Likes, make sure your contest is user-friendly; meaning, make the contest rules extremely clear and don’t go overboard requiring the user to disclose a lot of personal information to enter. Users who have not yet built a relationship with your brand will likely be turned off and ultimately decide not to participate.

In the example below, ShortStack is giving away company swag through their refer-a-friend contest. To participate in the contest, users must first Like ShortStack’s Facebook Page, then fill out a short entry form and invite their friends to Like ShortStack’s Page to earn points to win.

 2. Exclusive Content

Service-based companies often feel more limited in what they can offer to users — at least when compared to product-based businesses. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Using their industry knowledge, service-based businesses have the opportunity to create extremely valuable content that they can pass along to their fans.

Content is king. Branded content, in particular, is the most powerful of all. For example, promoting an exclusive eBook with valuable industry-related tips and best practices via a fan-gated application is a great way to earn more Page Likes, and to also position your company as an expert in your field.

Alternatives to doing an eBook include fan-gating exclusive white papers, infographics with interesting findings from your company’s case studies, or simply releasing short reports with industry success advice. Keep in mind: the more share-worthy the content is, the better. Think about catchy headlines that show the material will teach the user something valuable.

Below, Jon Loomer is using his eBook “The Secrets to Facebook Marketing Success” as an incentive to get new users to Like his Page. Once users become fans, full access to Loomer’s book is given.

 

3. Fans Only Promo Code

Creating a feeling of exclusivity is very important when trying to incentivize users to Like your Facebook Page. Things like fan-gating the access to a PDF of a printable coupon or revealing a special promotion code upon Liking a Page are two really effective methods for attracting new customer prospects and driving new Page Likes.

AltSmoke’s Facebook application (seen below) represents a great example of how to use a promotion code to drive more Page Likes. When a user Likes AltSmoke’s Page, a Facebook-exclusive coupon code is then revealed.

After creating a fan-gated Facebook application, another component to driving more Page Likes is to get your application noticed by users other than your current fans.

Use Facebook advertisements to link directly to your fan-gated application, try promoting your application on the other social platforms your business is on, and even link to the application in your company’s email newsletter. All these efforts will ultimately help make your business’ social media strategy successful. 

Shared via the socially savvy end ever so talented Socially Stacked!

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