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Are Facebook contests really that good for your business?

Are Facebook contests really that good for your business?

For a couple of years already, we've seen a large amount of Facebook contests inviting us to Like and share their page for a chance to win something. Although it really is an inexpensive way to get new people to know you, is it really the best way to get new customers?

The main problem: Facebook

The problem with Facebook contests isn't that they don't work. We've seen lots of contests that worked really well to get new Likes. The problem comes up after the contest is over. Facebook doesn't allow you to reach all your fans. As a matter of fact, when you post something on your page, some 2016 studies say that Facebook only lets you reach 2% of your fans (source). 

So if you were able to get 10 000 Likes, when you post something, it isn't sent automatically for free to 10 000 persons, but more like 200. What's even worse, of those 200, you can be sure that there's a large amount of those who only liked your page to win something and because it was fast and easy, not because they're really interested in your products, which makes it alot less interesting.

If you want to reach the rest of your fans, you'll have to pay to boost your posts. What's more, you don't even know anything about your fans directly! Facebook has all their profile information, but you don't really have an easy access to their names, age, e-mail, phone number, address or anything else.

What can I do to get their information?

To make sure you get all their information when someone enters your contest, you have to make them fill out a form. 

As a matter of fact, the most efficient way we've seen to make a contest is to link it with your newsletter subscription. For example, offer a prize for anyone who subscribes to your newsletter (by filling out a form that includes their name, e-mail, and phone number as a minimum). That way, you get all the information you need on everyone that enters your contest, which gives you a way to contact them directly without having to pay Facebook to do it.

Let's compare stats

Let's take for granted that a Facebook contest via Likes will get more subscriptions than if someone needs to fill out a form. So let's say your Facebook page has 40 000 fans (which is a pretty good amount). According to our numbers, you can expect that for that same company, you can get between 10 000 and 18 000 persons to fill out a form to enter your contest. Just to make things interesting, let's take an even lower number (5 000) and use newsletter open-rate statistics (source) to see the reach for both marketing systems.

 

Potential

% reach

Total

Facebook

40000

2%

800

Newsletter

5000

20%

1000

As you can see, even with a base that's 8 times smaller, newsletters are still able to reach 25% more clients. And that's not even counting the fact that you also get access to all their names, e-mails, phone numbers and any other information you asked in your form.

The best of both worldS

One way you could use to get even more subscriptions would be to create a Facebook tab for your contest on your Facebook page that would allow your fans to subscribe to your newsletter (it would be the exact same form you would put on your website).

That way, you'll be able to keep getting Likes, all the while offering your fans a way to fill out the form directly on Facebook to enter your contest. It's a little more work (both for you and your fans), but for the amount of information you'll get out of it, it's worth it!

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