“The first person to comment on this post will receive a discount on the loaf of their choice,” Jeff Dorrian, “The Soap Guy,” posted recently on his Facebook page. More than 40 comments later, tardy responders were out of luck, but the boisterous chatter surrounding Dorrian’s soap persisted. Supply and demand are critical to strong sales figures, and Dorrian uses social tactics to sway the demand in his favor. For retailers considering hosting Facebook contests, here are a few points to consider.
Facebook contests involve minimal risk on the part of the business and can be created in-house. They also improve the appearance of a business’s page because highlighting a post gives the page an appearance comparable to a magazine spread, increasing visual appeal. One factor in a consumer’s decision to participate in a contest is the amount of personal information he or she must disclose. Privacy and security can be areas of concern in contests that require a mailing address or phone number. The Soap Guy’s Facebook contests rarely require more than “liking” or sharing a post. The company gains access to participants’ profile information without appearing intrusive.
Once you publish a contest post, follow through and deliver the prize, and you’ll receive a gift in return. Past winners of The Soap Guy’s contests, for example, have left comments attesting to their joy when the soap arrived and praising the quality of the product. Social contests mobilize your business without the work of commissioning a separate site. By being on Facebook, your company is visible to the 604 million Facebook members who access the network on a mobile phone. By offering contests, you can increase the level of activity on your page, build your fan base and leverage the power of existing customers to help promote your business.