said 10 months, 3 weeks ago:
What an adventure our first contest was! The Contest is over now. We had about 45 photo entries for the” HTMYHB Best Business Photo Contest” Since I put it together in just a couple days, and I am in such a small niche, that was very good.
I promoted it from a different angle then most contests. I used it to show my fans (business owners) how they could get the word out more on the newsfeeds about their business through their contest photos. They loved it! In fact, so did the people who say them promoting their photos!
At times, I felt I was getting a little spammy as the app I was using (Tab Site) allow the voters to share their choices on Facebook (all our pages and profile) Twitter and Google+. By the time I realized I could promote my fans entries that way, the contest was half over. (It ran 11 days) so I started adding more posts to my pages and profiles. No one cared! In fact, several people have contacted me saying how much they enjoyed watching how the participants learned how to use the contest as a way to promote their business better on social media.
Interesting to know that the photos got more of a response (for me) on Google+ than anywhere else. That was a surprise.
What did I learn?
At first I was going to accept prizes from the HTMYHB fans. Everyone likes to share what they have to offer and the prize choices were very impressive. That was when a friend of mine, who does contests, told me to rethink prizes from other people. She said it would take a lot more time and that I should focus on “in house” prizes. (gulp…) So I did. All I offered were 3 Social Media Marketing Sessions with me and a Timeline cover image by my designer @Carolynne Smith. That was good enough! I was very surprised with how many people wanted to enter with only those prizes!
I used the Facebook Events. They only allow us to invite friends, which I find to be very strange. So, I spent 45 mins clicking on each of my friends. What I did not know is that once I did that, they would get notifications each time I posted. I did lose one friend as a result. This showed me that even though I share, at least once a month, on my profile how people can turn off notifications or set their privacy settings, that they are not reading those posts.
I will never invite my friends again.
Since it was basically a popularity contest, I allowed each person to vote 5 times. Those who entered could enter two photos.
The contest really caught on fire the last few days. People were really getting excited! When the results came out, we even had one non-horse business who came in 3rd place.
When I started the “HTMYHB Best Business Photo Contest” I choose NOT to use a fan gate. I did not want people to have to like the page to vote or enter. With the new Timeline Edgerank, this would cause more damage than good to have so many “empty seats” (people not interested in the page. Even with out requiring people to like the page, we earned an additional 160 fans who decided to like HTMYHB because they wanted to! I thought that was very good results in 11 days.