Is a Free Facebook Contest App Gonna do the Job?

Posted on August 22, 2013 by

Facebook contest appOne of the best ways to grow and engage your Facebook fan base is to run a contest participants will be excited to share with their friends. Facebook contests come in different flavors, such as a photo contest a quiz or a video contest.

A Facebook photo contest will work wonders in terms of virality- your participants will want their friends to vote for their entries, will invite them to do so, and consequently spread the word about your brand for you at no cost!

Brands run these types of Facebook contests all the time. Not only do they grow their user base, these contests also provide brand recognition and a huge pool of people that they can now target with their advertisements. So! How do you start your own contest and cash in on this goldmine?

Free Facebook Sweepstakes App

A Facebook Photo Contest is a great way to recruit new fans and have them spread the word about your brand. As they will need more votes on their entries, they will be highly motivated to invite all their friends. That’s a lot of free publicity for you! This photo contest has been run by the Sofitel brand using Agorapulse starting at $29.

What Is Needed to Start?

Almost all of the contests that are run on Facebook use some type of software, or app, in order to run the contest for them seamlessly. Using software is much easier than trying to do it manually!

Before you decide between a free or a paid app, here are some of the questions you need to address:

  • Does the free app allow you to gather and export fans email address and other contact info?
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  • Does the free app give you access to all the options in the app, or are there “premium” features that need to be purchased?
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  • Does the free app have the ability to use different types of templates/forms in order to collect information?
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  • Are you able to customize these forms to fit your page?
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  • Does the free app work flawlessly in all browsers, or are there some reported errors with usability?
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  • Does the app work seamlessly on computers AND mobile devices?
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  • Will the design options make your brand look good, or low cost?

You Get What You Pay For

As with most things in life, you 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 to be brutally honest, most developers are going to want to get some money for their efforts. While using a free Facebook sweepstakes app to test the waters 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.

If an app is free, it’s usually that way for three reasons:

  • Its quality is so low that the developer does not think he deserves to be paid for his work (not a very common reason!)
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  • It is just a way to get you in, but all the options you really need are not free and you’ll end up paying something since the app won’t meet your needs otherwise. It may look free at first, but it is not. And in the end, it may cost you more than you would have thought.
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  • You will not be able to download the data you have collected or worse, this data will not belong to you but to the app owner. This is really the kind of situation you don’t want to be caught in.

The limitations that you will probably encounter while using a free Facebook contest app are:

  • Design will be very basic
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  • Exporting the participants’ list (and their emails) is usually not possible
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  • Moderation options are not available
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  • The app does not work on mobile devices
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  • Not option to prevent fraud (and this can be a big pain!)
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  • Limited viral features
Facebook sweepstakes app

Free Facebook Contest Apps will usually not offer the level of options you may need to run a successful campaign.

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- to get you to upgrade to the paid version!

So, don’t be fooled, there’s 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’ll be surprised to see how fast you’ll 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 contest on Facebook is to gather customer information and hopefully gain new sales. By using a free app for your contest, 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 contest on your Facebook Page!

Why choose Agorapulse for your Facebook Contest?

Agorapulse may not be free to use, but it is free to try, so you are not risking anything in trying it out. Starting at $29 / month, the cost won’t hurt your budget. And, for that cost, not only do you get to use a Contest application on your Facebook page, but you can also use all our other Facebook applications such as a Quiz, a Sweepstakes, 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 those participants and their qualifying data into Excel.

Agorapulse Facebook sweepstakes dashboard

Agorapulse is offering you all the options you need to run a successful sweepstakes with an easy to use app manager.

If you’d like a closer view, I recommend viewing the following video tutorials.  They’ll tell you everything you need to know about our application:

Step 1, Install the application

Step 2, configure your first campaign

Step 3, specific options of the Facebook Photo Contest App

I hope this article has been helpful. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Richard is a Client Happiness Jedi for Agorapulse, based out of San Francisco and Paris, advising agencies and brands across the globe on Facebook page management and marketing. He sings Bachata in the shower and dances salsa 3x a week whether he needs it or not.