Top Tips for running Facebook competitions

21 February 2011

A colleague approached me this week with a great travel prize to give away and wanted to know the best way to launch it on Facebook. Competitions and prize draws can be a good way to build engagement with your fans however there are a few bear traps that you need to be aware of.
Make sure that you follow the Facebook promotional guidelines[1].
There are pretty strict guidelines on what you can and cannot say and how you use the Facebook name. They are starting to insist on prior approval of competitions and promotions from an Account Manager which means you have to have a minimum $10,000 spend in order to have such a Manager.  You cannot require fans to send to other fans to take part in a competition or promotion.
Check the Legal Guidelines on Prize draws for each market you serve
Given that the Advertising Standards Authority will be monitoring internet advertising from March 1st 2011[2] you need to be sure that your competition follows the regulations regarding prize draws and that you are also following the internet child guidelines aswell if you want your fans to share information about themselves. The DMA also do a good guide on running prize draws[3] and the ASA also has a guide.[4]

Clear Terms and Conditions
Make it very clear in your terms and conditions if the competition is only open to residents from certain countries and whether there are any age limits and provide a tab to them so they are easy to find in your copy.
Competition Ideas
If you have a prize sponsor you could give them some value back by getting fans to complete a task which involves going to their site or to their product on your site to find the answers and it provides a bit of education aswell.
Or you could ask fans to list out what would be their ideal holiday or product experience with your sponsor and why - you'll probably get some real insight and great for product development and this provides an instant research base. See example below from Kuoni
Center Parcs have done poetry competitions which were fun or you can do a video and photo competition but make it as inclusive as possible so not just for those who have already been on a trip or are existing customers.
Have a look at some examples below of Facebook competitions: - Virgin Atlantic Facebook competition
Ask your fans to make a short video as to why they should be chosen for the prize. You would learn a lot about your fans that way but ensure you make it 18+ and abide by latest internet child guidelines on this.

Beware of asking fans to vote for winners
Be careful about asking the fans to choose the winning entry. One tour operator did this and it backfired . The fans felt that those who had the most friends to vote for their entry would win and that was not fair. That does not mean that you cannot get them to “like” or comment on each prize entry whether that be a photo, poem, video, drawing or anything else. See example below from United Airlines
Create a special tab for your competition
 Your announcement will soon disappear down the wall and you need to keep mentioning it to keep visibility of it and encouraging fans to take part so creating a separate tab for it keeps it visible at all times.
Here’s an example from On the Beach where they have a dedicated contests page
Here are some other useful blogs on this topic:
6 tips for running promotions
5 mini competition ideas
promotions without paying $10,000 per month
20 expert tips on running a contest powered by social media
Do you have other tips and learning to share when running competitions on Facebook? Please share below or come and join our newly formed Social Media Travel Group on Linkedin by clicking on link below.

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