You’ve decided to run a contest on Facebook for your residents, but how can you make the most of your promotion? A contest should increase your Facebook page likes, boost interactive activity, and create buzz around your property brand. In addition, the most effective contests will go one step further and provide owners with measurable results to ultimately convert Facebook likes into leases. Here are my Do’s and Don’t’s on maximizing your Facebook promotion.
Use a 3rd party to administer the contest – There are companies that specialize in managing contests. They will not only manage the administration of the contest, but will provide measurable results that you can use to gauge its success. Be sure to have them provide the participants’ demographic information to help you with follow up.
Require each entrant to “Like” before entering the contest – Remember, a goal of your contest is to increase the number of likes your page has so you can market to them in the future. I see many management companies miss this step and give away an amazing prize without gaining any likes.
Offer a compelling prize – Always offer a prize that is relevant to the target demographic. Try to stick with prizes that students will like.
Make your contest is mobile friendly – A majority of student renters will more than likely try to enter via using a mobile device. If the contest isn’t set up to be mobile friendly you may lose entrants because of the inconvenience.
Market contest – Give yourself enough time to effectively market your contest, sweepstakes, or promotion. Use creative photos and/or short videos to help build a buzz around the promotion.
Include an opt-in for *CAN-SPAM laws – Including an opt-in feature gives you permission to follow up with the entrants post contest.
Plan a follow up post contest – this is equally important as the contest itself. The purpose of the contest is to increase the number of Page “Likes”, in an attempt to convert those likes into traffic, and covert the traffic to leases. Determining your strategy post-contest is a critical step in seeing an ROI from any social media promotion.
Ignore Facebook’s guidelines – Make sure you are versed in the rules and guidelines on running promotions on Facebook. By violating Facebook’s guidelines, you run the risk of having to cancel the contest, and possibly having your Facebook page deleted.
Run contests using Facebook’s functionality (comments, likes, and shares) – I see contests set up by using Facebook’s functionality as the entire contest. The good news is that you will gain likes, however you have no “op-in” and/or follow up rights to these students when the contest is complete.
Make it complicated – Keep it simple. For example, the entrant should only have to like the page and opt in for a chance to win. Adding any more steps than that to a contest typically results in it not being successful.
Notify the winner in a status update – When you have selected the winner, you are required to notify them first in writing (mail or email), not by a status update. Once they have been notified, then you may announce the winner in a status update.
Break any local, state, national, or international laws – Be sure to follow all laws pertaining to contests and sweepstakes. Prizes of great value may require you and the winner to follow certain protocols. I’d recommend getting legal consultation before running any promotion to be sure you’ve covered your bases.