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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