Anna Colibri, SEO, Copywriter, Brand Creative, Digital Marketing

Any good social media strategist will tell you that a sweepstakes campaign is one of the best ways to gain new Facebook followers and capture new leads. A sweepstakes campaign can be both cost efficient and simple to execute. Once the campaign is in motion, it requires minimal maintenance. It’s a strategy that almost seems too good to be true.

Yet a sweepstakes campaign truly is the magic bullet, if you’ve got the right tricks up your sleeve. Play your cards right and you will capture targeted leads, boost your Facebook and Twitter followers, and increase brand exposure all in one sweep.

5 Ways to Optimize a Sweepstakes Campaign

Here are five of our best strategies for maximizing your Facebook sweepstakes campaign and getting the most bang for your buck:

1. Titles Matter

That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, right? Not when it comes to a sweepstakes campaign. You’ve got to give your campaign a catchy title or people will just keep scrolling.

There are a couple rules to follow here:

  • A sweepstakes sounds more appealing if it is referred to as a contest or a giveaway. People love to “win” and they like free things. There’s a reason why carnivals are so fun.
  • Keep it short and sweet. People aren’t on Facebook to read a novel. They’ve got e-readers for that.
  • Make it exciting. You want your contest title to have pizzazz. Craft a tile that is punchy, crisp, and fun.
  • Be a copy cat. See what titles have worked for other companies and rework them for your own.

2. A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Your Facebook image is a one shot story of your sweepstakes, so make it count. An ideal sweepstakes image will convey several things at once without appearing too busy.

Stick with these four elements:

  1. Text
  2. Product image
  3. Logo
  4. Relatable

For the text, think title, call to action, one sentence description of the prize. The largest component will be the prize, which is your product image. If your product is immediately relatable, then there is no need for extra items in your sweepstakes image. If not, then add something that people will identify with. For example, if the contest prize is an online course about writing, you could include images of books or a feather pen graphic. For extra brand exposure, include your logo on the image, either on the product images or a place where it will fit neatly within the sweepstakes image.

Don’t forget that you can add extra information about the sweepstakes within the text of the Facebook post. You will also be including more text in the contest landing page, which brings us to our next point.

3. Use an App

There are several reasons why using an app is ideal. And don’t worry, the app doesn’t have to break your bank. Some of them are even free. The app companies want your database just as much as you do and perhaps even more, so they’ve made things super simple. They pat your back, you pat theirs.

An app will also have your back, which means that their template will be in line with all of Facebook’s lengthy regulations. The last thing you want is Facebook shutting down your page because your sweepstakes campaign violated their guidelines.

Two of the most popular sweepstakes apps on the market are Heyo and Woobox. Heyo has an affordable price plan while Woobox offers different tiers of pricing based on what you need. Woobox also has some free options, which you can really take advantage of if you know how to use html.

Both of these apps perform the way a sweepstakes app should. They are optimized for mobile devices, laptops, and desktops. All of their image sizes are outlined for you within the templates. There are customizable options, spaces to put a lengthier contest description, and multiple calls to action such as to tweet or share the contest. There are also two special social media features that truly maximize your sweepstakes campaign:

  1. The landing page is hosted on your Facebook page, which means many people will automatically click your page’s like button when they enter the contest.
  2. The sweepstakes tweeting option will grow your Twitter followers. Just be sure to include your Twitter handle in the tweet description.

You’ve now got the nuts and bolts of your sweepstakes strategy. Time to turn it into a campaign. There are multiple strategies you can use, but our last two steps to maximizing your sweepstakes campaign will hit the mark every time.

4. Be a Team Player

Those who work together thrive together. So, team up! There are several ways to do this:

Make it a joint contest. Get two or three more companies involved. Offer to design the images and put together all the elements in exchange for the companies supplying a prize and promoting the contest on their social media and newsletter networks. They’ll get all the same perks as you, minus the increase in Facebook likes, since the app will still be hosted on your page.

Offer a trade deal. Reach out to Facebook pages that have a high number of likes and ask them to post your contest link in exchange for something. You could offer to post something of theirs on your page, or to share the contest database with them.

Paid promotion. Many pages will post something for you on their page for a fee. The cost can vary, so it’s good to ask around to make sure you can get the most bang for your buck. You can also post your contest as an ad on Facebook or via a boosted post for extra exposure.

With multiple channels promoting the contest, your number of likes and leads will increase exponentially. But a word of warning: some Facebook pages have a high number of likes but little engagement. Do your research and make sure that their audience is engaged before you reach out.

5. Give Back

It pays to give back. Teaming up with a charity is a win for everyone. You can offer the charity different things for promoting your contest, such as free promotion from all companies involved in the contest, sharing the contest database with them, or a donation for an agreed upon number of contest posts they make for you.

Another way to include a charity is offering to match the prize as a donation. Either the winner can choose a charity to receive a matched prize (winner gets one, charity gets one), or you can reach out to one or several charities and ask them to promote the contest for their own chance to win a donation.

Including a charitable component is positive for your brand image, increases the reach of your sweepstakes campaign, and provides a donation for a worthy cause.

A final piece of advice: build on these strategies. Get creative. Think outside the box. Most of all, have fun doing it. A sweepstakes campaign can really be enjoyable, just like the carnival analogy we mentioned earlier. And your sweepstakes can either be the Fish Bowl or the Dunk Tank; one of those games is much more enjoyable to run than the other. Make sure your sweepstakes campaign is one that everyone will love, including you.

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