How did your dealership perform during the first half of 2017? Did you meet or exceed your targets? Or, did you fall a little short? Whether you want to make improvements for the days left in 2017 or further down the line, an important platform dealerships should be considering is social media, especially Facebook.
Look, I know that you’ve probably read enough articles or listened to enough people rambling on about social networks; particularly Facebook. But even if all this noise can be a little overwhelming, and the benefits obscure it’s still important to consider the value; especially when 68% of Americans are on Facebook alone. With other networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram thrown into the mix, you can imagine how many people live social online lives.
With many of these networks, but Facebook in particular, you can boost your reach, sales, and customer base. I’m going to show you how, using 1 particular little known feature - contests.
Now there are plenty of options available to you when it comes to Facebook (and other networks, of course), and these can include advertising, boosting posts, focusing on original content on Facebook that gets better organic reach, and so on. But, for the sake of this article, I want to focus on Facebook Contests. While Contests are the primary focus for this piece, keep in mind that making a contest on Facebook work often requires utilizing the aforementioned steps of advertising, boosting posts, and creating engaging organic content.
A Facebook Contest is any type of contest that is run through your page on social network itself. For example, people can go directly to your Facebook page and enter there. Using the contest app, you can take a more bare-bones approach of just telling people to comment and share on a specific post of yours, or they may include a proper entry form hosted on Facebook.
To give you a better idea of how this can work, let’s start with a real-world example. Chilliwack Motorcycles, ran a 30-day promotion that offered users the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas. This effort helped them grow their Facebook page from almost total obscurity to reach thousands of people. Some quick stats from that 30-day window included:
However you choose to integrate a contest onto your Facebook page, make sure that the requirements of entering aren’t overly complicated – be it the steps necessary (e.g. “like and share this post to enter) or the information required of the entrants (name, email, phone number, etc.). The more that is required of them, the more valuable the prize needs to be. But even for high-value prizes, people tend to not enter if too many steps are involved.
A benefit of a Facebook Contest where people have to fill out a form on the network is that many of their basic details – such as their name, date of birth, email, etc. – will be automatically generated based on what information they have already shared with Facebook in the past.
A contest won’t simply be successful because it exists (even if said contest has an amazing prize) – you need to ensure people know about it. When talking about Facebook Contests, there are plenty of things you can do natively on the network to create buzz and get more people involved.
As you saw from the above numbers for Chilliwack Motorcycles’ campaign, Facebook advertising increased the page’s overall reach from 188 users to 12,744 users within a 30-day window – and the majority of those 12,744 geo-graphically and interest targeted users were reached purely via exposure to an ad about the company’s contest.
It cannot be understated how significant Facebook’s influence is across the globe. There are more than 2 billion users on the site. That’s around 28% of the world’s population. Even on a local level for the US, that 68% of the population is significant. To put that into perspective, it’s estimated 111 million Americans watched the Super Bowl earlier this year – that’s around 34.35% of the population. Facebook’s US audience is almost doubt that of the Super Bowl, and it achieves this every single month; not just one day out of every year.
And while your dealership is unlikely to run a nationwide contest, you’re looking at a platform where the cost to run an ad aimed at your target audience is substantially cheaper than any traditional ad or marketing outlet. If that ad exists to build exposure for a contest that is run on Facebook itself, then there are very few barriers for users to get involved.
Along with paid ads or boosting a Facebook post you make about the contest, don’t forget about the organic options. While organic posts (ones you don’t pay for) naturally have less reach, you can still get some solid engagement provided your page has a good number of fans/followers already. One key rule to remember is that Facebook doesn’t like it if you lead users off-site. After all, Facebook wants to retain users’ engagement. Don’t link to a gallery or a YouTube video; upload your photos and videos to your Facebook page. Video is a big deal on Facebook right now, and you can get some fantastic engagement by investing in it.
If your contest is run through Facebook and encourages engagement entirely on Facebook, then it’s going to be far easier to promote – both through paid and organic means. That said, don’t be afraid of cross-promotion. Are you telling your followers or fans about the contest in posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.? What about email marketing? While Facebook’s standalone power cannot be denied, there is never anything wrong with utilizing other channels to spread the word.
Facebook grants you access to around 68% of Americans, and it’s backed by ground-breaking micro-targeting options that allow you to reach exactly who you want and need to reach. So no matter what your contest prize is, be it a vacation giveaway or tickets to an upcoming sporting event, running the contest through Facebook can be both cost effective and practically effective.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences when it comes to Facebook Contests by commenting below.