Nowadays, thousands of online entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large companies are monetizing Facebook through contests. It is not uncommon to see businesses pushing products, services, or causes through contests hosted in the social networking site. If you own digital space of any kind, you should be doing the same. The power of Facebook as a marketing tool is undeniable. Facebook is after all the biggest social media site out there. Its members are close to approaching the one billion mark. If this doesn’t make you rush out and use Facebook like crazy, nothing will. The great thing about the social network is that you don’t have to be an online entrepreneur to be able to make use of it. Even if your business only operates offline, you can still make a huge online presence for it on Facebook.
Holding a Facebook contest is nothing new. Ever since the site’s beginnings, people have been using it to conduct contests. Now that the site has grown into a whole new level, it’s not surprising to see hundreds of contests being held on it in a daily basis. Marketers have seen the potential of Facebook contests and they are taking full advantage of it. You should be doing it as well if you want to leverage Facebook’s huge traffic and member levels. Of course, the process is not as simple as offering prizes and stuff. You have to plan everything just like any marketing campaign. You can’t just go in there without any directions or goals. If you do, you will likely fail.
Everybody knows that besides Facebook’s advertising program, everything on the site is free to use. You don’t have to pay a cent to make use of the services, resources and tools that it offers. Speaking of tools, there’s one tool that is particularly helpful in holding Facebook contests and that would be the Facebook Connect feature. If you want to try monetizing Facebook through contests then Facebook Connect is something you should look into. This is going to make the whole contest process easier to conduct and of course simpler to track and measure. Facebook Connect was specifically made to help outside parties like you to get a better experience on the social network. With regards to contests, Facebook Connect will amplify the results of your contest campaign.
But first of all, what exactly is Facebook Connect and why does it matter in hosting Facebook contests? In the simplest of terms, it is but a feature of Facebook that allows users to share their information and activities with third party websites and applications. You are basically connecting your Facebook account with third party websites. That is of course if you allow them to. Looking at this scenario on a marketing perspective, this is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, marketers, and businesses to get connected with customers, readers, clients, fans, etc. It is therefore not surprising to see many websites holding Facebook contests by leveraging the Facebook Connect feature. You will simply double or even triple the number of people you can reach if you use Facebook Connect on a contest.
Here’s what happens if you host a contest on Facebook and then make use of Facebook Connect. Let’s say you create a web application specifically for the contest you have in mind. In order for people to join in on the contest, they have to have a Facebook profile and they have to connect it to the web application you created via Facebook Connect. To use the web application, they will log in using the Facebook login details because this is the whole point behind Facebook Connect. You simply use your Facebook login details to sign in into third party websites and applications.
Now, whenever these people interact with your application, these interactions will be shown in their Facebook walls. They will show up in the feeds of other users who are friends with the people who joined your contest. In essence, people who join your contests will be promoting your contest for free. More people will be directed to your Facebook contest. There’s a snowball effect. This is where the magic happens. If your Facebook contest is interesting enough, it could go viral. If the contest is geared towards promoting a product or service of yours, expect a spike in your sales. That’s how powerful Facebook contests can be.
One obvious drawback of using Facebook Connect on a contest is the fact that people nowadays are more aware about security issues. They won’t just give up their Facebook login details. Although Facebook Connect is pretty secure, you cannot discount the fact that people sometimes get freaked out when asked to connect their Facebook profiles to websites external of the Facebook banner. However, if the offers or prizes in your contest are hard to refuse, Facebook users have proven time and time again that they take risks when confronted with great free offers. With that said, if you play your cards well, people will be more than willing to connect their Facebook accounts to your website or application.
Now, let’s go to the monetization part. The goal is monetizing Facebook through contests right? That basically translates to making money off Facebook. Most businesses use Facebook contests for marketing purposes like branding, introducing a new product or service, etc. You can also use the contests to make money right off the bat. The goal is to drive as many people as possible to your website or web application through the Facebook Connect feature then introduce them to your offers and services. It’s as simple as that. In other words, the contest is merely a bait. This may sound a bit unethical but most of the time this is what Facebook contests are all about – just a small part in a huge marketing puzzle. It’s a very effective marketing strategy as long as you have high quality products and services that will draw customers towards you.
Here are a few tips on how to effectively conduct a contest using Facebook Connect:
- Offer great prizes. Give people reasons why they should connect their Facebook account to your website or application. If you are offering prizes of $5, why would anyone even bother connecting to you? So offer prizes that will blow people away that they will have no choice but to join.
- Create a Facebook Page specifically for your contest. Keep in mind that a Facebook Page is different from a Facebook Profile or a Facebook Group Page. A Page differs because it can be viewed by anyone on the web whether he/she is logged into Facebook or not. This makes it a very great tool in promoting your contest.
- Encourage those who joined your contest to share the contest with their Facebook friends. This will ensure that your contest is exposed to as many people as possible. Imagine someone sharing your contest to a thousand of his friends then these thousand friends do the same. The numbers can easily grow as people start sharing your contest.
These are everything you need to know about monetizing Facebook through contests. Keep them in mind and most importantly, follow them. A Facebook contest isn’t too hard to pull off. If you have great offers, Facebook users will do all the marketing for you. For instance, if you’re going to offer a free iPad, thousands of people will likely share your contest right after you announce it.
Kevin Coombe is the Owner of Market Web Group, LLC an online media consultant firm. He founded Market Web Group, LLC in 2009. The mission of Market Web Group is to generate a consistent stream of qualified leads for Businesses.
Market Web Group does Real Time Marketing for Businesses, both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C). Strategies include: Video Marketing, SEO, SEM, PPC, Local Search (Google Maps), Social Media Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and most importantly (Automated Follow-up).