If you’re thinking of holding a contest for your resort’s Facebook audience, this easy to follow checklist of 10 tips is a great place to start.
1: Check Out Facebook’s Terms of Service
The social media site updates its contest rules and regulations on a regular basis. Be sure to take a look at the Facebook Guidelines page before planning any new contest.
2: Decide on Contest Type
Caption and photo competitions, photo-vote and video-vote contests are always popular with Facebook users. Sweepstakes are super easy to enter and are a great way to drive lots of entries – the contest can be something as simple as asking your audience to vote for which style of room renovation they prefer from a choice of two photos. Everyone who votes is automatically entered into the sweepstake to win a great holiday discount, special package or voucher.
3. Choose the Correct Software
Select the kind of software you’ll need to run your resort’s contest. If your aim is to collect contact information from your guests, look for third-party software that will help you sort through all the info you collect. If you’re planning to run a timeline contest, opt for an importer tool that allows you to collect user identification information from every guest that engages with your competition.
Whatever kind of contest you decide to run, don’t forget you can use the data you collect to inform your future marketing campaigns.
4. Decide How Long Your Contest Will Run For
The timeframe that’s appropriate for your contest will depend largely on the value of the prize that’s up for grabs. If the prize on offer is large; such as an all-expenses paid break at your property, it makes sense to run the contest for a longer period of time than you might for the smaller prize of local restaurant or spa vouchers.
Whatever timeframe you decide on, make sure it’s clearly included within your contest promotions, along with a designated time zone.
5. Lay Out Your Rules
Are you going to select your winner at random, or by asking others to vote for their favourite entry?
Either way, it’s important that your audience understands exactly how the contest is going to work before they can consider taking part.
6. Pick an Enticing and Relevant Prize
Do lots of people on Facebook want to win an iPad? Sure! However, if this is the prize you’re offering up, you might get lots of entries but the people with their eye on the prize might not necessarily have their eye on your brand.
A prize that appeals directly to your ideal guest, such as a great discount on a long weekend away for couples or a special package at your spa is far better than a generic prize that appeals to the masses. True, less people may choose to enter, but those that do are likely to be interested in engaging with you further in the future.
7: Include an Eye-catching Image of Your Prize
If you want people to enter your contest, it’s vital to include a compelling image that will grab the attention of your easily-distracted Facebook audience.
You have just seconds to make an impression. Make sure your image is large, high quality and gets your guests excited about the prospect of winning. It might be an image of a room, a local beauty spot or even a delicious plate of food if your prize ties in with your restaurant.
8. Get Mobile
Depending on the software you choose to run your contest, it may run perfectly on your guest’s mobile devices. Then again, it may not.
Since the majority of your audience use their Smartphones to access Facebook on the move, it’s essential to ensure your contest includes a smart URL that is responsive to mobile. Get this right, and you can rest assured that your contest imagery, rules and entry forms look great and perform perfectly whether they are being viewed via a big or small screen.
9. Make it Shareable
To give your contest the best chance possible of reaching a wide audience, you need to make it shareable. If you’re using third-party software to manage the contest, it should have built-in features to encourage shareability.
You could also consider driving shares by offering extra chances to win to people that share the contest with friends and family.
10. Promote, Promote, Promote
Although it would be nice to simply create your contest and have entries flying in, unfortunately it rarely works like that. The success of your hotel’s contest will depend largely on how well you promote it, using both the paid and free options that are available.
If you have the budget, Facebook advertising is a great way to create ultra-tailored ads that get seen by your target audience.
Of course, there are plenty of free ways to spread the word about your contest too. You can promote it with announcements and ads on your website or blog, alert your subscribers via email and include a link in your hotel’s other social media profiles.
The more you fine-tune your Facebook contests, the more successful they’ll be. If you stumble upon the winning formula for your resort’s particular audience, don’t be afraid to repeat it, possibly several times throughout the year to grow your reach and drive loyalty.
What do you think? Has your hotel experimented with Facebook contests yet? Let us know in the comments below!