This is the second in a six post series, aimed at assisting businesses to effectively run competitions on Facebook. In case you missed them, the other posts are:

I often get asked “What types of competitions work best on Facebook?”, so this post will help you determine what type of competition would be best for your business.

What Types Of Competitions Work Best On Facebook?

In general, competitions fall into one of two competition types, they are:

  • A game of chance, which is a competition draw or sweepstakes where the winner is drawn “at random”; or
  • A game of skill, which is a competition that is judged.

Each has their own pros and cons.  The laws around these different types of competitions vary depending upon the area in which the competition is to be made available, so you should check that out in advance of deciding on which format will suit you best. I have provided a summary of the legal requirements in the next post in this series.
The most important thing in deciding on the type of competition to conduct on Facebook is to make sure that it is relevant to your objective.

Developing A Competition That Is Relevant To Your Business Objectives

What types of competitions work best on FacebookRegardless of what competition format you choose, just make sure that it aligns with your business goals for using Facebook and strategically what you are trying to achieve at the time.
For example, if you are looking to develop ideas for a promotional video, then getting your entrants to develop a 30sec video featuring one of your products that your fans then vote on may be the best option for determining what resonates best with your audience. In addition to this, you may make part of the competition terms that you have the right to use all submitted videos for your own promotional purposes. You may even strike gold and have something submitted that is of high enough quality that you don’t even end up having to develop something yourself!
Similarly, I’ve had a couple of clients that have complained to me that they don’t have enough engaging images to share on Facebook, so I suggested they run a photo contest as a way of obtaining those images. They made it a requirement of entry that they could use those images in future for their own promotional purposes and now have a great stock of images to use in addition to the thousands of Page Likes and email addresses they obtained by running the competition. One of my clients achieved all this off the back of a $100 prize that was donated to them and a $10/day ad spend for the duration of the competition. That’s pretty good value for money I think!

What Prize Should I Giveaway For My Facebook Competition?

When selecting a prize to giveaway on Facebook, make sure that it is of significant (wherever possible) value to your target audience.
Recently I met with a client who provides accounting, financial planning and wealth management services to discuss conducting a Facebook competition. She wanted to run a competition in conjunction with the tax return season and giveaway an iPad as the prize for people who Liked her businesses Facebook Page.
Fortunately I was able to convince her that whilst an iPad would generate a lot of interest, social sharing and entrants, the prize was not targeted. All they would be attracting is people that wanted to win an iPad, not people that wanted to engage with them and do business with them long-term. Gaining non-targeted fans will harm your level of engagement in the long-term as those people just won’t be interested in the content that you share on a regular basis and that could have a negative impact of your Facebook Page’s Edgerank.
What prize should I giveaway for my Facebook competition
After a quick brainstorming session and a couple of phone calls, instead she was able to offer a financial plan valued at $4,400. With the support of a sponsor, she was able to provide this prize, which was of significant value to her target audience, for less than the purchase price of an iPad.
Another way to work out the best prize to offer is to ask your current fan base. I recently did this prior to conducting my most recent Facebook competition. Try this yourself. You may be surprised by the results!

The Importance Of Keeping It Simple

Whatever competition you choose, make sure that you keep it simple and relevant to your business, products and/or services.  The simpler the competition to enter, the more entrants you will receive and therefore the better results.
Something else worthy of noting is that if you run competitions regularly, make sure that you change the type of competition you conduct, and the prize on offer on a regular basis to keep it fresh and attract different people to enter.
Make sure you check out the legal The Legal Requirements For Running A Competition On Facebook in the next post in this series to ensure you are complying.