The Best Things in Life are Free

July 9th, 2013 by Search Influence Alumni

Facebook Contest Reach

In today’s ad-heavy world with million-dollar Super Bowl spots and thousand-dollar billboards, it’s easy to forget that some of the best advertising can be pretty inexpensive–like everyone’s favorite vehicle: social media!

Recently, we strategized and implemented a sweepstakes giveaway for one of our local clients that was mainly held through Facebook. The main goals were to build Facebook fans, generate sweepstake entries, and increase brand awareness of course. There was no real cost to implement, as it was a graphic and form design that lived within the Facebook platform. The only traditional “paid” advertising we did for the contest was minor Facebook promotion.

The results were astounding!

In less than three weeks, the client received over 6,500 form entries. Their fan count increased an average of 1,076 likes per week during the contest—better than their average of 857 new likes per week during the 10 weeks prior to the giveaway. The contest entry form on their site received over 5,000 visits, and the sweepstakes was actually picked up by multiple giveaway sites. The Facebook page’s reach saw a definite spike when the contest was released, as illustrated below.

Facebook Contest Reach

Not only were we able to generate new likes, but we were also able to drive traffic to the site Considering the cost was so minimal, small businesses should consider a contest or entry giveaway as a way to honor their loyal customers and drum up new visitors.

Keys to “Free” Promotional Success:

  • Cross promotion: Just because you’re promoting something on Facebook, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t Tweet it! Make sure you’re reaching all those fans that you’ve worked so hard to build whether that’s Google+, Instagram or whatever!
  • Reminders: Don’t just post your contest, share it with your followers, and never speak of it again. Social media users are very in the moment. If you’re not in their feed, they won’t remember you. Make sure you’re posting consistently between the contest start date and the end date.
  • Simplicity is key: We’re all lazy and private people. We don’t want to give you our home address, working hours, or business name to enter a contest. Your entry method should be simple and easy to use. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

For many businesses, advertising costs can add up and quickly. It’s nice to remind people of the little and easy things they can do to generate business interest and hype. Every business owner “likes” that!