One of the best ways to grow your fan base on Facebook is by running a contest or a sweepstakes that other people will be more than happy to share with their friends. If you have been on Facebook even just for a little bit, you surely have seen other contests other business have ran. Companies run these types of events all the time because not only does it grow their user base on the site, but it also gives them brand recognition and a huge pool of people that they can now target for their advertisements. But how do you start your own contest so that you can cash in on this goldmine?
What Is Needed to Start?
Almost all of the sweepstakes that are ran on Facebook use some type of software, or app, in order to run the contest for them seemlessly. Using software is much easier than trying to do it manually, and if you want to do a test run, you can certainly use a free Facebook sweepstakes app to see if this is something that you want to continue to use. However, as you grow your fan base and run more and more contests, a free application may not be the best way to go. While some software may seem pricey at first, the return on the investment that you will receive more than makes up for the initial price. Here are some of the questions you need to find answers to when deciding between a paid or a free app:
Does the app allow you to export fans email address and other contact info gathered?
Does the free app give you access to all the options in the app, or are there “premium” features that need to be purchased?
Does the free app have the ability to use many different types of templates/forms in order to collect information?
Are you able to customize the forms to fit your page?
Does the free app work flawlessly in all browsers, or are there some reported errors with usability?
Do you have more than 2,000 fans on your Facebook page (most free apps are only free for small pages)?
You Get What You Pay For
As with most things in life, you really do get what you pay for in this instance. Making an application like this run perfectly with plenty of options takes money, time and skill, and most developers will want to get some money for their effort to be brutally honest. While using a free Facebook sweepstakes app to test out is a great start, it probably shouldn’t be your long term solution. They are limited, and the last thing you want to be in your business is limited.
The limitations that you will probably encounter while using a free Facebook sweepstakes app are:
- Design will be very basic
- Exporting the participants’ list (and their emails) is usually not possible
- Draw options are limited
- Not option to prevent fraud
- Limited viral features
At the end of the day, you will probably be left with more frustration than satisfaction.
Furthermore, most of the free options out there are free for one reason: get you to upgrade to the paying version to get rid of the limitations of the free one!
So don’t be fooled, there is no free lunch, and if a product is free, it probably means that you are the product ;-)
Do It Right the First Time
Using a paid solution will pay off in the long run, and most of the paid apps actually pay for themselves after just one campaign. The amount of new leads and customers that you will be introduced to through the use of the app will be much more significant, and best of all, you’ll have their emails to get in touch with them! And if you are giving away a really amazing prize, you will be surprised to see how fast you will gain new qualified prospects. Doing it right the first time will mean less headaches to deal with, especially if you had to transition from a free app to a paid one.
One of the major reasons a business runs a sweepstakes is to gather customer information and hopefully gain new sales. By using a free app for your sweepstakes, you risk not having access to the data that you collect other than on your site, meaning you can’t import any information into a proper CRM or emailing program. Using the right solution from the start is essential to saving your business time and money, and you will probably deliver a better experience for your potential customers by using a paid version. Do your homework and find the perfect solution for your business before you start to run sweepstakes on your Facebook Page!
Why choose Agorapulse for your Facebook Sweepstakes?
First of all, Agorapulse may not be free to use, but it is free to try, so you are not risking anything in trying it out. Then, starting at $29 / month, the cost will not hurt your budget. And for that cost, not only do you get to use a Sweepstakes application on your Facebook page, but you can also use all our other applications such as a Quiz, a Photo Contest, a Fan Vote or an Instant Win. All that without any additional cost!
You will also have the unique possibility to qualify all participants with your own form and easily download all participants into Excel.
If you want to have a closer view, I recommend viewing the video tutorials that will tell you everything you need to know about our application.
Here is everything you need to know to run a successful sweepstakes campaign on Facebook.
I hope this article has been helpful. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question.