Which Facebook contest app will be a good fit for your Facebook page?

This blog post has been originally published as a guest post on Social Media Examiner

Facebook contest appAre you looking for the right Facebook Contest App for your page? Is your goal focused on recruiting new fans? Collecting qualified emails? Engaging your existing fan base?

How can you be sure to choose the one that best fits your page and your goals?

Don’t worry. We’ve prepared a guide to help you make the right choice.

 

#1: Sweepstakes

A Facebook sweepstakes app is very simple to set up (good point for the admin) and very simple to use (good for the participants). User experience is generally pretty quick, helping you to convert a higher percentage of participants, and get more fans through the process.  Though, it’s not as fun as your other options, so virality may be low, and your participants will not likely remember their experience for a long time.

The pros: Easy to set up. Easy to use. An excellent choice to recruit fans, and engage your existing fan base. Definitely the app of choice if you want to maximize the number of participants without spending a lot of time on the effort.

The cons: If you want your participants to remember you next year, this is not the app for you! The user experience is a non-event, there are very few Open Graph options, and a Sweepstakes is not good for leveraging virality through share and invite buttons.

A Sweepstakes campaign that shows your participating friends and provides various sharing features

A Sweepstakes campaign that shows your participating friends and provides various sharing features

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fansExcellent
  • Engaging your existing fan base: Good
  • Number of potential participants: High
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin: Low
  • Maintenance level for the admin: Low
  • Ease of use for the participants: Easy
  • Quality of user experience: Low
  • Virality: Medium – “Share” and “Invite Friends” buttons, few Open Graph actions.

8 things you must know to run a successful sweepstakes on Facebook.

 

#2: Instant-win

A Facebook Instant Win contest is nearly as simple as a Sweepstakes, except it works like a slot machine, so users will know immediately whether they won or lost and are encouraged to return for another chance.  You’ll get more fans and convert more of them due to the quick user experience, and it’s a little more fun than the Sweepstakes, so it’s slightly more memorable.

The pros: Easy to set up. Easy to use. An excellent choice to recruit fans, and engage your existing fan base. It’s another good choice for maximizing the number of participants without spending a lot of time on the effort.

The cons: The Instant Win contest still doesn’t cut it as the ultimate brand awareness tool. There are few Open Graph options, and minimal virality available through share and invite buttons.

An Instant-Win app where you can see the latest winners.

An Instant-Win app where you can see the latest winners.

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fansExcellent
  • Engaging your existing fan base: Excellent
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin: Low
  • Maintenance level for the admin: Low
  • Number of potential participants: High
  • Ease of use for the participants: Easy
  • Quality of user experience: good – immediate “win or lose” result.
  • Virality: Medium - “Share” and “Invite Friends” buttons, few Open Graph actions.

 7 things you must know to run a successful Instant Win on Facebook. 

 

#3: Photo Contest

If you’re looking to engage and reward your existing fan base while driving up interactions on your page, look no further.  You’ve got a hot product, and your fans can’t wait to show you, and each other what they’re doing with it!  Facebook’s Open Graph loves Facebook photo contests, every vote will contribute to your virality.  Be sure to choose a provider who has built fraud protection and moderation into your app.  Once you’ve got your creative and copy ready to go, implementing and managing your contest will be easy.

The pros: Easy to set up, easy to manage (with the right built in protections).  An excellent choice to engage your existing fan base.  Fans will love and remember their experience.  Facebook’s Open Graph loves photo contests, every vote will contribute to your virality.

The cons: Poor fan recruitment.  While fans love photo contests, the necessary effort in itself may inhibit participation.

The MV Agusta Brutale page allows fans to showcase their bikes through a photo contest.

The MV Agusta Brutale page allows fans to showcase their bikes through a photo contest.

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fansLow - the game requires significant fan involvement, there will be fewer participants
  • Engaging your existing fan base: Excellent
  • Number of potential participants: Medium - the necessary effort may inhibit participation
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin: Low
  • Maintenance level for the admin: High – the admin will have to moderate entries, can be burdensome for big pages
  • Ease of use for the participants: Easy
  • Quality of the user experience: Very good – involvement and creativity
  • Virality: Excellent - every vote contributes to the virality of your game due to the Open Graph actions.

7 things you must know to run a successful photo contest on Facebook. 

 

#4: Fan Vote

Just provide some examples of your next product model, color, or menu item, and let your fans choose which one they like best!  The Facebook Fan Vote is the win-win app for engaging your fan base.  You’ll get helpful insights from your customers on your newest product or idea, and your fans get to participate in creating their next purchase.  It’s not as time consuming as the Photo Contest, but it comes with the same great virality options.

The pros: Easy to set up (just one vote to participate). Easy to manage.  An excellent choice to engage your existing fan base.  Fans will love and remember their experience.  Every vote will contribute to your Open Graph virality.

The cons: Poor fan recruitment.  This can be improved by organizing a sweepstakes and prize among your voters.

This Fan Vote app let you choose your favorite president during the 2012 presidential election.

This Fan Vote app let you choose your favorite president during the 2012 presidential election.

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fansLow - in order to recruit new fans you must organize a sweepstakes and designate a winner among all those who voted
  • Engaging your existing fan baseExcellent
  • Number of potential participants: High
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin:  Medium - you have to be creative with the entries you are submiting for voting
  • Maintenance level for the admin: Low
  • Ease of use for the participants: Easy
  • Quality of the user experience: Very good
  • Virality: Excellent - every vote contributes to the virality of your game with Open Graph

6 things you need to know to run a successful Fan Vote campaign on Facebook.

 

#5: Quiz

So far we’ve drawn a line between engaging your fans and recruiting new ones.  A Facebook Quiz App does both.  Popular brands, brands held in high esteem, media and B2B organizations will enjoy recruiting new fans with a Quiz.  And, no matter your product, you’re sure to offer a fun experience to the fans you already have, though quizzes generally don’t have the same draw as a Photo or Fan Vote contest.  Offer a mixture of prizes to random participants and your highest scorers to really drive up the potential.

The pros:  Recruiting new fans (for popular organizations or themes) and engaging your existing fan base.  Positive and rememberable user experience.  Great virality options through Open Graph, as well as Share and Invite buttons (award more points to participants who have participating friends).

The cons:  Can be time consuming- for the admin to set up, and for the user to participate.

An example of a Quiz to find out if you’re a Facebook marketing expert.

An example of a Quiz to find out if you’re a Facebook marketing expert.

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fans: Good - under certain conditions: BtoB, News, well-regarded brands, etc.
  • Engaging your existing fan base: Excellent
  • Number of potential participants: Medium
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin: Medium – you have to be creative with the questions and profiles associated to them. Takes some time to draft.
  • Maintenance level for the admin: Medium – watch out for cheaters and track fake accounts if you give points for friends invited
  • Ease of use for the participants: Medium - it takes time to answer questions and get a score
  • Quality of the user experience: Very Good – fun learning.
  • Virality: Good - extra points awarded if friends are involved

9 things you must know to run a successful quiz on Facebook.

 

#6: Personality test

With the Facebook Personality Test App, fans take a quiz and are given a personality profile based on their answers.  This is another popular app for fan engagement.  Participants’ friends love to discover each other’s profiles, so you can rack one up for virality as well.  Don’t approach this app unless you have time to draft creative profiles and and questions to associate with them.

The pros:  Recruiting new fans (for popular organizations or themes) and engaging your existing fan base.  Positive and rememberable user experience.  Great virality options through Open Graph.

The cons:  Can be time consuming- for the admin to set up, and for the user to participate.

A personality test to discover which kind of Facebook marketer you are

A personality test to discover which kind of Facebook marketer you are

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fansLow - unless you designate a winner among participants
  • Engaging your existing fan baseExcellent
  • Number of potential participants: Medium
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin: Medium you have to be creative with the questions and profiles associated to them. Takes some time to draft.
  • Maintenance level for the admin: Low
  • Ease of use for the participants: Medium - it takes time to answer questions about your profile
  • Quality of the user experience: Very Good – tests are popular games for fans
  • Virality: Good - your fans love to discover each other’s “profiles” and those of their friends

8 things you must know to run a successful personality test on Facebook 

 

#7 Coupons

As Facebook has recently announced the deprecation of its own native offers, third party apps are the only option left for marketers who want to offers coupons to their fans.  A good Facebook coupon app will provide you with customized coupons (detailed information, attractive branding, QR codes…) and qualification data from your participants.

The pros:  Quick and easy reward for your fans.  Easy to set up and administer.  Use QR codes to automatically redeem in-store purchases.  Collect customized data from your participants.  Popular brands will enjoy high fan recruitment.

The Cons:  Low fan recruitment for less well known products and services.  Low virality.

Facebook coupon app

Enjoy the use of Agorapulse free for one month free with this coupon 

In a nutshell:

  • Recruiting new fansLow - unless there is a significant discount or the product is attractive for a wide audience
  • Engaging your existing fan base: Good
  • Number of potential participants: Low
  • Complexity of implementation for the admin: Easy
  • Maintenance level for the admin: Low
  • Ease of use for the participants: Quick and easy
  • Quality of the user experience: Good - it rewards your fans
  • Virality: Low – unless you have a very attractive discount for a very attractive product or service

 

In conclusion

Any Facebook Contest app will engage your existing fan base, depending on the experience you want to give and get from your participants.  When it comes to offering a “fun” experience, apps with a real user experience (such as the quiz or the personality test) are much better options than a sweepstakes or instant win that offer hardly any experience at all.

When it comes to recruiting new fans, the simpler the better. The less effort required to enter, the bigger the number of participants. Aim for a sweepstakes or an Instant Win. However, if you are a B2B company, a quiz may make more sense (too simple is not always best in a B to B context).

If you’re looking to tie revenue to your campaign, a coupon is definitely worth looking into.

What is your experience with Facebook contests and apps? Any contest or app type you love or hate? Let us know!

 

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Emeric Ernoult

Emeric is the co-founder of AgoraPulse, a Facebook Marketing Software company launched in 2011 and based in Paris and San Francisco. AgoraPulse is currently being used by more than 17,000 Facebook Pages across 137 countries.
 
Since 2000, he has been one of the European pioneers in the field of Social Media Marketing. He has advised French and international brands such as Virgin Megastores, FIA and Microsoft.
 
He is a regular speaker at International conferences such as the AllFAcebook Marketing Conference, Facebook Success Summit and BOLO. He is also an accredited instructor at the Online Marketing Institute.