How to Incentivize Fans to Enter and Share Your Promotions

Posted on February 11th 2014

How to Incentivize Fans to Enter and Share Your Promotions

ImageUsers are typically introduced to a business’s Facebook promotion or contest in one of three ways: through a status update, a Timeline-featured app or via a referral from a friend. And you know what they say about first impressions — they are very important!

There are five primary elements of your promotion and promotion efforts that will affect whether or not a person will enter and/or share your Facebook promotion. Here’s what you need to focus on:

1. The Prize

When you host a promotion, it’s important to choose a prize that does two things:

1. Resonates well with the interests of your fans or the audience you’re trying to engage with. So, if you’re an auto repair shop, don’t give away a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant, give away one free oil change! Remember: Think about what your fans would want and what your brand can offer.

2. Corresponds with the level of effort users have to put in to enter. If your company has a small promotion prize, like a t-shirt or sweatshirt, don’t expect your users to submit an essay to win. However, if you’re giving a chance to win an iPad, an essay entry would justify the user’s efforts. You get the idea?

If your prize misses the mark on either of these points, there will be a drop in the number of users who will want to enter your contest and share with their friends.

2. The Copy

Clear and concise copy is essential to a promotion’s success. If your promotion cannot be explained in a couple sentences, rethink the concept. If users don’t “get” what you’re giving away, or what they have to do to win, they will not bother with it.

If you do have a more complex, multi-step promotion, one tip is to use bold headlines on your app that highlight the most important information about your promotion. And in the status updates promoting your contest, keep your copy short and enticing and then link to a place (like your app) where a user can get more information.

3. The Images

If you have a really good prize, imagery will not make a huge difference as to whether or not a person will enter your promotion. But it does have some effect.

If the visuals you use in your status updates and on your app look appealing or are nicely branded, it can help to entice more people to enter your contest. Good imagery can even add a level of legitimacy, giving the users who enter your contest a vote of confidence that your company won’t misuse the information they give you.

4. Whether or Not it’s Fan-Gated

Fan-gating your promotion’s app can be helpful if you want to drive new Page Likes, but there are a couple consequences and risks involved. The first risk is that a user may decide to Unlike your brand’s Page after the promotion is over. The second consequence is that the number of “genuine” Likes your Page gets — the  number of people who Like your brand for more than just a contest — can be distorted by a fan-gated promotion.

Your best approach if you want to get lots of promotion entries and shares is to “give to get.” The give to get approach is simple: You give everyone (fans and non-fans) the chance to enter your promotion — there is no fan-gating — and your business gets valuable information from your fans and people who are not yet your fans. This information could be email addresses or insights from a poll your users have to take in order to enter your promotion.

5. The Number of Promotion Entry Fields

The worst thing you can do is frustrate users with a long promotion form. To avoid having users abandon your promotion, limit the number of promotion entry fields you have.

The best advice is to decide on the one thing that your business needs most and ask for that.

To incentivize people to enter and share your Facebook promotion, use the lessons in the five points above.

Jim Belosic

Jim Belosic

CEO, ShortStack.com

Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a do-it-yourself custom app design tool used to create apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines and more.  

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