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3 Tips for Sweepstakes Marketing on Facebook and Other Social Networks

September 26, 2012 By Marla Altberg
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Come on, admit it ... you check your Facebook account at work at least once a day. Well if you're a direct marketer, I say, "keep up the good work." Increasingly marketing, and direct marketing in particular, is being conducted through social media. It is an extremely low cost medium, a stellar lead generation device and a no-brainer research tool. What's more, the viral buzz is practically free.

Sweepstakes and contests are an important part of some brands' social strategies. They work on a smaller scale on social media, too—gone are the days when it took a multi-million dollar prize structure to generate a consumer response.

1. Small Prizes—Large Results
By way of example, Ellery Homestyles' brands such as Sound Asleep room darkening curtains and Curtain Fresh odor-neutralizing curtains ran very successful sweepstakes that grew these brands' Facebook fan bases 20 fold by offering affordable prizes, such as the Curtain Fresh curtains and other brand products.

Small prizes like these can mean large results. According to Cheryl Morse, director of digital commerce and marketing at Ellery Homestyles, "We firmly believe that sweepstakes executed on Facebook are a great way to grow and engage your fan base. This in conjunction with a targeted blog outreach and a PPC Facebook ad are sure to provide steady fan growth and continued engagement over time."

2. Rules and Regulations
With the ever-changing landscape of government regulations and privacy stipulations-not to mention Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, et al, constantly changing the compliance playing field-you need to be clear on the rules, and perhaps consider expert guidance. Don't think you can copy and paste another marketer's legal copy. Don't assume the stock set of disclaimers from your app provider meets your company's needs. One mistake can shut down your social media page for what seems like an eternity.

Most importantly, your contests need ironclad sets of official rules. These define the eligibility, the prize terms, what the consumer must do to enter and what your obligations are as the sponsor.


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