Before You Launch a Facebook Contest, Do These Things!


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When it comes to hosting a successful Facebook promotion or contest, planning ahead is critical to success. Here’s what you need to know about building and launching a Facebook contest app.

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Before You Launch a Facebook Contest, Do These Things!

  2. 2. 2 Have you ever heard the saying, “Proper preparation prevents poor performance?” Well, when it comes to hosting a successful Facebook promotion or contest, planning ahead is critical to success. At ShortStack, we get lots of support questions that amount to either, “I want to build a Facebook contest app but I don’t know where to begin,” or “I’ve built my Facebook contest app ... now what do I do?” But no matter which app platform you use, there are a few things you must do before you launch your next Facebook promotion. First, take a few minutes and read through Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines. Knowing what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook is important for any promotion. Facebook now allows Pages to host promotions/ contests without using apps but there are some remaining restrictions. For example, you cannot ask entrants to Share the contest on personal Timelines. You also must publish terms and conditions and eligibility – e.g., on your Timeline, blog, website or on an app – with each promotion. Here’s what you need to know about building and launching a Facebook contest app.
  3. 3. 3 Before You Launch Your App Step 1: Familiarize yourself with your app platform Get comfortable with the platform you’re using. It probably has a few “off the shelf” features that will help you get apps set up quickly. But if you spend a little time experimenting with additional features, you’ll probably find customization options that will make your apps even better. For example, you might want to enable sharing on your apps, or display certain content in different regions. The platform might offer these options but you won’t know about them unless you spend some time learning about its features. Step 2: Test everything, on multiple devices Once you build your app, create a special Facebook test Page that’s separate from your brand Page(s) and test all your features, acting as both a fan and as a non-fan. A “hidden” Facebook Page is the ideal testing environment where you can submit entries and have your friends submit entries, too. Make sure the flow, visibility and anti-cheating mechanisms (limiting entries, votes, etc.) are working. ShortStack User Tip Encourage sharing by giving your fans more chances to win if their friends enter too. Learn more >
  4. 4. 4 This is also the time to see how the app functions on multiple browsers and devices. You don’t know what kinds of devices your fans will be using, so you’ll want to cover all bases. And don’t forget about mobile. Does the platform have mobile capabilities? How do the functions work? Since an increasing number of people access Facebook apps from mobile devices, mobile capability is essential. Step 3: Create a promotion plan Creating an app is only step one. If you want your fans and followers to know about the app, you’ll have to promote it across all of your other social networks. If you have an email list, contact everyone on the list, sending links and an overview of the contest. If you have a large presence on other networks (Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) sharing content there increases the likelihood that your fans will see it. Investing in Facebook advertising is also an easy and affordable way to get the word out about your app to your Facebook community. Want to learn more about promoting apps? Download “12 Ways to Promote Your Facebook App on a Shoestring Budget” DOWNLOAD
  5. 5. 5 After the Contest/Promotion Ends Step 1: Collect your Data Now it’s time to reap the rewards of your efforts! Data that you’ve collected from your app may be in the form of emails or a database, such as Excel. (ShortStack users on any paid plan can export data in a CSV or Excel format). Step 2: Allow Time to Choose your Winner Sometimes the person who wins your contest/promotion does not respond to your email notifications. In order to ensure you can award your prize, we recommend choosing a few runners up just in case the winner doesn’t respond. Step 3: Understand your data and analyze it Before you dive right in to the data, ask yourself what you just collected from your fans and what that data might mean to you. If you collected a hundred email addresses, then you just grew your email list and have a long list of people to reach out to the next time you host a promotion. If you collected user feedback, then look for trends. If many people said the same thing, be responsive: Make the requested changes, updates, etc. Promotion Tip If you’re running a promotion, use a tool such as a Comment/Like Importer to collect and manage the data you get from your contest Learn more >
  6. 6. 6 Step 4: Make notes and repeat Was this contest a success? Did you have a promotion plan that worked better than ones you tried in the past? Keep notes of everything you tried so you can implement the successful tactics with your next app. After building and launching a few apps, you’ll have a system in place that will make each app better than the last one. Hope this advice helps you as you start to plan your next contest! As always, let us know how we can help. Ready to start building awesome apps with ShortStack? If you like this PDF, subscribe to our mailing list to receive more free content as we release it. CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED FOR FREE CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE