Use a Sweepstakes to Help You Sell in Facebook

Are you looking for a way to boost your social standing and engage your existing fans? Look no further than running a sweepstakes through your social networks! Not only can it get a stagnant fan base involved but it can drive sales and grow your brand awareness. Before any marketer begins to run a sweepstakes campaign* they need to make sure that they have all the details in place; the who, what, when, where and how. Sounds like a lot of work? Fear not… we’ll offer a brief overview and example of creating a sweepstakes to demonstrate the potential impact to your Facebook audience.

Before you begin you need to decide where you want the sweepstakes to take place. Should it be on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest just to name a few? Or do you want to use a mix of social mediums? A good tip to keep in mind is to think about which platform has the most activity. If you see that you engage more people on Twitter, then make it the main social hub for the campaign but involve your other social networks as well. We recommend that you don’t limit your audience to only one social channel – typically the impact can be felt in all channels.

Now that the platform decision has been established you should review the make-up of your audience?  Think about the profile of your main target customers.  Determine an age bracket, gender, and general interest for them – create a clear picture. By answering those key questions you will be able to determine the end game of the campaign as well as the components of the sweepstakes. Additionally, the prize at the end of the sweepstakes has to align with your audience profile and is an important element. On the topic of the prize, you will want to determine the appropriate action you desire from your fans. For a sweepstake you can just have them ‘like” your Facebook page or if they follow one of your other social channels they could then be entered in your daily, weekly, or monthly drawing for a prize. The prize can range anywhere from a gift certificate, free products, or a large discount on certain items. At the end of the day you will need to decide what you are comfortable with rewarding your fans and followers. If you are running a contest then the prize needs to be worthy of the fans efforts such as asking them to take your product to a new destination and take a photo with it. That requires some work on your fans part, so rewarding them with 20% off a shirt may not really make up for their time.

When do you want to run the sweepstakes? Once you’ve determined the length of time then you’ll want to establish when the drawings will be held or when the contest winner is announced. When the Sugar Association decided to run a sweepstakes to boost their fan page they declared they would give a gift certificate every week, and the fan was entered in the drawing for one of the three grand prizes at the end of the 12 week period. Their thought process behind their sweepstakes was by offering a prize weekly the engagement would remain high. They thought right, their end results were a 4,488% growth in their Facebook page according to Adam T. Sutton with Sherpa.  Maybe you should consider using the sweepstakes and associating it with a recent product introduction or launch for your social selling.

It’s now time for the how you will run your sweepstakes for your fans. This section could be a whole blog post in itself so I’ll try to keep it short and simple. To provide an example, we’ve implemented an application from WuFoo on our Facebook page that allows you to create a form fill for your sweepstakes entries. Wufoo has various plans and pricing, but their basic package is free and works great for a simple campaign. 

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It works really well for our desire to solicit new features ideas from our clients.

Once you’ve created your form and implemented it on your Facebook page you are now ready to market it. You will need to make people aware that you are running a sweepstakes and let them know what they will be working towards – i.e. build a marketing plan to promote it, don’t just expect them to find it on your Facebook page. You will want to socially post about the campaign consistently so users new and old will be reminded of the event. Make sure you post clear deadlines as well as announcing the winner or winners of the contest or sweepstake in a timely manner. If the campaign is taking place inside of Facebook you can utilize Facebook’s tools such as promoted posts and advertisements to reach a broader audience.

Driving engagement and increasing your fan base are critical elements in successful social marketing and ultimately the delivery of sales. Using tactics like a simple sweepstakes or contest can dramatically change your ability to engage fans in discussions about your brand and products in your Facebook store. These discussions are proven activities that will drive immediate impulse purchases in Facebook and referral traffic to your website.

It’s alive! It’s our creature feature contest that will run from August 17th to September 17th. We’ve been busy at ShopTab releasing new features to make your Facebook store experience the best it can be. But now it’s time for you, our audience, to take the feature creation in your hands. One lucky fan will win an Amazon Kindle with a retail value of $79.00 and a $20 gift certificate to Or they can pick a $100 Amex or Vise gift card. Starting Friday August 17th our fans can submit one new ShopTab feature on our Facebook page through our Wufoo app. On September 17th the contest will end and our job will begin, we will read through all your ideas and pick the best one for ShopTab. The winner will be notified and we will begin to work on their new feature!

 Let us know how a sweepstakes or contest campaign worked for you.

*Make sure to check for regulations regarding your running of sweepstakes or contests in your locality.

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Unique Sells in your Facebook Shop

Your job as a merchant and a marketer is to create a unique and engaging experience on all of your social media sites, you’re probably sitting there asking what does that mean? A unique experience is one that will “stick” with your customers, it’s memorable and out of the ordinary for them. In return, they won’t forget the experience and will create a lifetime advocate promoting your company and products to their friends and followers.

If you have an existing website then your social sites may be the place to let your hair down, relax, and be yourself. Your goal in social networks is all about the two-way communication and engagement. It’s your chance to let your personality come through. You don’t sell to your friends do you? Most of the time no! You listen to them and communicate with them. They tell you their funny stories and vise versa. So why would you want to sell to your “Friends/Fans” on Facebook? They don’t want to be sold to, they want a social experience. Sure you can remind them from time to time that you are selling on Facebook as well but the more you interact with them the better chance you will have at turning them into real fans. I’m reminded of a friend’s recent casual discussion while playing golf with a business associate that led to a purchase of a piece of real estate. The intent of the game was social and fun. However, the discussion provided context for an opportunity that he wasn’t aware of but was highly interested in. The context for the purchase was driven by a conversation, interesting product and a relationship that already validated their commitment through their purchase. 

So how do you create a unique experience? Do you have an interesting hobby or job, if so share it. Are you funny? Yes, then create a daily joke that’s tasteful and appropriate for all audiences. Into fashion or food then share your passion. Have cute animals? Share your pictures and stories, everyone loves adorable animal pictures. These personal things make you relatable to your audience; they are now communicating with a human, not a computer.

Now that you have their attention you want to integrate your products into the mix to remind your audience that you have a social shop, key word is “social.” If you started to engage your fans by introducing pictures of cute, furry animals then use that to your advantage with your products. For example, if you sell jeans then post pictures of dogs wearing your jeans or just wearing jeans with a caption that says “Think these look good on him, imagine what they could do for you! Shop today in our Facebook store by clicking on your Shop app icon.” You have now successfully been engaging, sociable, and a marketer all at one time. Get creative this is the fun part figuring out how to share your products with your personality thrown in.

You are now creating a unique experience that customers will remember. Many times your products aren’t highly unique so you have to stand out from the crowd.  If people associate you with the dog jean pictures then you have successfully stuck with them. And they are more likely to share it with their friends who share those interests.  It’s time to build on the experience, branch out and post things that are relatable to your unique content. Start to build your niche.

Once you have built your experience make sure you maintain it, you don’t want to drop off the face of the earth. All your efforts will have been wasted. Stay consistent and reliable your fans will reward you for it. Do you have a favorite brand you like to follow because they’re out of the ordinary? If so let us know in the comments below.

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