All posts tagged online marketing

Making Facebook Work For Your Business

Making Facebook Work For Your Business

Do you use Facebook for your business? With nearly a billion people using the social network internationally, it’s a great tool to connect with existing customers and prospects, while also finding new ones. But you can’t just advertise your business indiscriminately on the service. Keep these points in mind when using Facebook for your business:

  • Start with a Plan. Before you begin using Facebook for your business, be sure you know what you want to gain as a result. Are you trying to encourage repeat business? Find new prospects for your business opportunity? Get customer feedback? By starting with an end in mind, you’ll ensure that the actions you take on Facebook are focused and results-oriented.
  • Engage Regularly. Facebook is a SOCIAL network. You can’t be social if you don’t show up. So be sure to set aside time daily, even if it’s just 10-20 minutes, to engage with people on Facebook. Ask and answer questions, comment on photos and status updates, listen to what others have to say, share interesting content that the people you’re connected with may enjoy. The point is to be social, and not just post an update and move on to the next thing.
  • Set Up a Business Page. Facebook Terms of Service is very clear about where businesses are allowed to promote themselves, and it’s NOT within a personal Profile. (SEE: What is the Difference Between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page?) If you are planning to ask people to do anything on Facebook from which you will make money, you MUST do those posts within the context of a Facebook Page. (Don’t know how to set up a Facebook Page? SEE: How to Create a Business Facebook Page)
  • Run Contests Within Facebook Guidelines. Contests are a fabulous way to build momentum for your business, and create addtional awareness. But you must follow the rules. Rules??? Yes, Virginia, Facebook does have requirements when it comes to contests. You may NOT use any Facebook feature (liking, commenting, etc.) as an entry for a contest. Instead, you must use a 3rd party application to administer your contest. (SEE: How to Run a Great Contest on Facebook.)
  • Consider Facebook Advertising. Facebook advertising can be a great way to generate additional awareness of your business. Be sure you’re advertising in a giving spirit, however. Give away something free (such as an ebook or a coupon) to encourage people to click and learn more. (SEE: 8 Tips for Effective Facebook Advertising.)
  • Have Patience. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your Facebook community. It takes time and nurturing to build an engaged community. Focus on providing great content, listening to and connecting with others, and making relevant offers that are interesting to your community. And ask your community to share your Page with their friends! If they find you valuable, they’re more likely to do so.

How do you use Facebook to build your business? What additional tips would you give? We would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Tips for Making More Money in Your Business

Tips for Making More Money in Your Business

So you’ve established a successful business model, built up a loyal clientele, and have begun enjoying the fruits of your labor. Now it’s time to increase your profit.

It may seem difficult or sometimes impossible to increase your income stream as a small business owner or direct seller. However, making more money doesn’t always require spending more money. The following tips can help you make more money for your business.

  • Have a detailed plan, but be ready to adapt. Anything in your business that you want to change should be carefully planned, including dates, deadlines, numbers, etc. Be aware, however, that you can’t always anticipate every circumstance, so be ready and willing to adapt if necessary. For example, a business owner decides she wants to add more clients to her business in order to make more money. She plans for increased costs in advertising as well as increased demands on her time. Soon she realizes that adding more clients takes too much time away from her family, so she changes her plan to one that allows her to increase her fees for her existing clients by adding more valuable services instead. By being adaptable, she was able to achieve her goal and avoid burning out.
  • Be a creative problem solver. In what area is your business lacking that is preventing you from making more money? Think outside the box to solve problems creatively when answering this question. 
  • Persevere. Remember that old ketchup commercial that stated, “Good things come to those who wait”? This old idea has a great deal of truth in business. The road to success may have rough spots and roadblocks, and you may not see the results of your hard work right away. If you really want something, though, it’s worth staying the course. Perseverance is an admirable and valuable quality to cultivate in yourself.
  • Have mentors. No one succeeds without some level of help. Seek out mentors who have succeeded in their own businesses. Pick their brains for ideas you may not have thought of. Most people are happy to share their success stories with others and pay it forward. Mentors can be people you already know, other business owners you meet through networking, or even authors of published materials that are inspiring to you. Never stop learning from those who have already done what you’ve set out to achieve.
  • Stay lean with your budget. Be very careful and deliberate about how you spend money. As the owner of your business, you should be aware of every aspect of your cash flow. Without sacrificing service or value, find ways to decrease spending where possible. Buying used equipment instead of new, focusing on one marketing method at a time, and increasing use of free resources like social media are examples of how you can tighten your budget.
  • Believe in yourself. If you don’t think you can do it, then you won’t. Remember that more success requires more hard work, so make sure you’re up to the challenge. How badly do you want to achieve this? If it’s in your heart to succeed, you will always find the motivation to continue. Confide in people you trust to help boost your self-esteem and look at your previous accomplishments when facing self-doubt.

Your quest to increase your bottom line may be difficult and take many unexpected turns, but with a bit of preparation and self-confidence, you can achieve your business goals. What else do you think should be added to our list? Please share your ideas below!

4 Tips to Improve Your Business Marketing

4 Tips to Improve Your Business Marketing

Marketing for your small business requires a good deal of creativity, especially if you want to avoid wasting precious dollars on things that don’t work for you. No matter what type of marketing you choose for your business, there are some key concepts to keep in mind. For example, focus on what your customers want and how you can help them, and work on marketing yourself instead of your product or service. With these things in mind, the following suggestions can help you improve your overall marketing strategy.

  • Leverage your strengths. Many small business owners make the mistake of apologizing for what they don’t provide or services they don’t offer. Instead of doing this, emphasize what you can do for your customers by demonstrating the strengths of your business. For example, a mobile pet groomer does not service cats at all. Instead of drawing attention to this, she focuses only on marketing her business to owners of dogs only. Any literature she distributes refers to her business as a dog groomer, not a pet groomer. She emphasizes this so effectively that most people don’t even think to ask her if she services cats at all. In the rare instances that they do, however, she still responds by reminding clients that she grooms dogs of all breeds and sizes. Her ability to highlight her strengths and use them to attract the right customers makes her marketing efforts much more effective.
  • Look at your competitors’ weaknesses. Gather some marketing materials (flyers, newspaper ads, emails, social networking sites, etc.) from your competitors. Look at them from a customer’s point of view and decide what their weaknesses are. You might get a beautifully designed email in your inbox complete with hyperlinks to their website, scannable coupons that save you the hassle of having to print them out to use them, and a brief but memorable description of the services provided. The only problem is that some similar version of this flyer gets delivered to your inbox at least once a week. After the first couple of weeks, you know what you’re going to find, so you start deleting it as soon as you get it. The flyer itself is not the weakness here, but the frequency and lack of variation of the email. Learn from these types of mistakes and avoid them in your marketing plan.
  • Incorporate trends that make sense for your business. This requires some industry research, but can prove quite beneficial for your marketing efforts in the long run. Find out what others in your field are doing, and if possible, incorporate it into your business. Back to our mobile dog groomer, she has researched other local groomers and has found that they offer incentives for customers who are located within a 5-mile radius of her home base, have more than one dog to be groomed, and who use her services multiple times in a 6-month period. All of these perks make sense to incorporate since they are starting to become a standard in the industry, and they will help her stay competitive. It would be a good idea to point out these incentives in her marketing efforts as well.
  • Brainstorm with your community and customers. Feedback from your customers is a valuable tool that you should be using on a consistent basis. In addition to asking about how satisfied they are with your services, pick their brains about what kind of marketing gets their attention. It can sometimes be difficult to see something from a customer’s point of view when you’ve been so focused on your role as business owner. Strike up conversations within your community to gain a new perspective; your customers will appreciate your interest in their opinions.

Emphasizing your strengths, downplaying your weaknesses, and industry research can improve your marketing and help prevent you from wasting money and time on methods that don’t work.

How have you improved your marketing? Share your ideas below!

What You Need to Grow a Business

What You Need to Grow a Business

Congratulations! You’ve done something significant: you’ve launched a business and are maintaining a certain degree of success. Since the initial startup period has long since passed, it may be time to start thinking about how to take your business to the next level. You might think that doing so may take just as much “blood, sweat, and tears” as starting up your business from scratch, but there are simple things you can do right away to grow your business and continue achieving your goals.

  • Prepare financially and be ready to grow. Expanding your business will most likely require some sort of financial investment, such as a new marketing plan or travel costs for attending conventions and networking events. It is just as important now that you plan for these added costs as it was when you started the business. Are you prepared to see a slow return on your investment? Will investing this money take away from other key elements of your business? Once you’ve prepared yourself financially, make sure you are in the right mindset. Business growth will likely put more demands on your time. How will that impact your existing customers and your family? Only you can answer those questions, so make sure you are okay with the answers before you take the leap into business growth.
  • Think big and outside the box. One of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time, Donald Trump, wrote that “as long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.” Why put limits on what you can accomplish? You may not achieve every single dream, but selling yourself short before you even begin only keeps you where you are. Look for ways to grow your business that have large-scale impact. Be creative and try coming up with something original. You can always dial it back later.
  • Increase marketing. Growth cannot happen without some level of increased marketing. Assess your current marketing plan by figuring out what specifically is working and what is not. Eliminate the weak points and expand on the strong ones. If there is an untapped customer base or a marketing method you haven’t tried yet, give it a shot. You won’t be able to grow without adding to your bottom line, and that can’t be done without attracting more customers. Research what options will give you the greatest return on your investment and proceed full steam ahead.
  • Diversify and expand your team. Your team should consist of people whose strengths complement yours and each other’s. When looking to add to your team or staff, seek out different types of people. For example, you’ll want people who are strong face-to-face sellers, others who have a head for numbers and projections, and still others who are creative and contribute originality. A team that can pool their strengths and work together toward a common goal has the potential to be unstoppable.
  • Listen to customers. Ask them for their feedback about a variety of topics, including what new products they’d like to see, how service can be improved, what made them come to you as opposed to a competitor, etc. Customer loyalty has a huge impact on the success of your business, so it makes sense to pick their brains about how you can improve and grow. They will also appreciate your interest in their opinions.

Your business growth potential is limited only by your imagination. Use your available resources, your own expertise, and feedback from your customers to begin a plan for expansion.

What else do you think should be added to our list? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!

How to Compete Effectively

How to Compete Effectively

Handling your competition as a small business owner can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. It is important to educate yourself in regards to who your competition is, what they are offering, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. You cannot control how your competitors run their businesses, but you can control how you run yours, and having a full understanding of your competitive landscape can help. The following is a list of strategies to use in your quest to compete effectively in your industry.

  • Help clients see you as a friend. If clients see you as a friend instead of just a business, they are more likely to be loyal to you. In order to do this, put their needs ahead of your own. If a customer is looking for something that you are unable to offer, be honest about it and even go so far as to recommend where they might find it. Clients will appreciate your honesty and that you didn’t waste their time trying to talk them into something they probably don’t need. Because you have demonstrated that you are sincere in your desire to satisfy their needs, they will likely come to trust your professional opinion and will return to your business again and again.
  • Use social media for word of mouth. The potential for exposure via social media makes it an extremely valuable tool of which you should be taking advantage. Creating a social media presence will cost little to no money, but it does require an investment of time. It isn’t necessary to tackle everything at once, however. Try your hand at social networking sites like Facebook or Pinterest, start a blog, comment on others’ blogs, create a YouTube channel, or reinvent your website. Decide which avenue will most effectively spread the word about your business and focus on that. Social media is this generation’s word of mouth, so be sure you are taking full advantage of its benefits.
  • Create partnerships. Creating partnerships with other business owners means less competition for you. For example, a local cupcake shop is having a hard time competing with the new frozen yogurt bar that has just opened up down the street. Health conscious shoppers are now shunning the high-calorie cupcakes for a refreshing treat that is easier on the waistline. The owner of the cupcake shop forges a partnership with the yogurt bar to bring in some fresh baked cupcakes in healthier varieties (gluten-free, low-fat, etc.) to create a yogurt sundae section. The cupcake shop gets a percentage of the sales, the yogurt shop is reaching a wider customer base, and they both get to cross-promote each other’s goods. Seek out other businesses who have similar interests and you can cut down on your competition.
  • Implement incentives for referrals. Referrals are often the lifeblood of small business. Consider offering your customers unique incentives to motivate them to give you more referrals. This can be anything from a tiered reward system to a one-time discount or VIP customer membership. Show your appreciation for their referrals in a way that will make them want to bring you more. Also, by creating incentives, you avoid the often uncomfortable method of flat-out asking your customers for referrals. You can introduce the program and incorporate the “asking part” into your presentation.

Staying ahead of the competition is a necessary part of small business ownership. How do you compete effectively? Please share your ideas below!

DSEF & CBBB: 7 Tips for Optimizing Your Professional Profile Blog

DSEF & CBBB: 7 Tips for Optimizing Your Professional Profile Blog

By Lindsey Max

Mashable lists 7 tips for ensuring you have the best online professional profile:

1)      Keep it up to date: Post as often as you can with any new changes, statements, or recommendations. Try getting a new recommendation once a month; or, if you receive multiple recommendations at once, spread them out in your postings.

2)      Refresh your keywords and specialties: Find popular terms from job search websites that describe specifically what you do and integrate them into your profile. Be careful not to overuse these keywords, however, and be sure to include them in a natural way.

3)      Be Everywhere: Create multiple online profiles, making sure your message is consistent throughout all of them. Participate in online discussions, post recommendations, and comment on blogs to get yourself out there!

4)      Get the recognition you deserve: Don’t be modest! If you have received any awards or have had special accomplishments, SHARE THEM!

5)      Diversity your professional and peer recommendations: Having recommendations from more than one group will add to your credibility. Don’t have all your recommendations come from your coworkers at your previous job, for example.

6)      Request personal and professional recommendations: Ask for specific recommendations, but always remember to say thank you. It is very important to show your appreciation, and little things like a thank you note or a $5 Starbucks card may help more than you think.

7)      Get involved in groups on LinkedIn and other job forums: Look for LinkedIn groups and job forums that relate to your specific career goals and get involved. Such groups and forums can be great ways to network with company executives and recruiters.

To read the full article, visit

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Using Instagram for Your Small Business

Using Instagram for Your Small Business

Instagram is a photo-sharing tool that has recently exploded onto the social media scene.  A free app that can be found on both the Apple and Android mobile platforms, it provides users with a novel way to connect with a whole new group of people.

According to Instagram’s website, “It’s a fastbeautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family.  Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram.  Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it’s as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.”

If you regularly take pictures on your phone and share them with others, you should consider using Instagram as a networking and marketing tool.

How you can benefit from Instagram:

  • Capture moments from your business events.  Photos of conferences, openings and special celebrations can be filtered to capture the tone or mood of an image.  These can then easily be sent right to a tab or album on your business Facebook page.  Clients and contacts who visit the page will be able to get a feel for what kind of energy existed at these events and may be motivated to learn more about your business. And once you share photos from Instagram to Facebook, it’s easier to access and use these photos in other places, like Pinterest and your website, as well.
  • Make your business feel more real by taking and sharing photos from around the office, your production process, etc.  Before someone signs on to work with you, they can get a glimpse of what it might be like to actually work in your business.  What does a typical day look and feel like?  These images can share many valuable details about the day to day of your business environment.
  • Share photos as subtle business messages.  Your business can take pictures of happy customers for instant testimonials, parties, fundraisers, and training events to share with customers, contacts and team members. Share photos of people having fun with your products, too. By using appropriate tags, users will be able to find them easily.  Remember that Instagram is a social network, so you should share these images as well as images that are personally important to you.
  • Connect with a new group of people. Use Instagram to browse other photos that appeal to your personal and professional interests.  By following users who share such images, you can connect with a wider range of people who may become part of your broader business network. Remember to give as much as you get by taking the time to like and comment on images that appeal to you.
  • Engage with customers regularly by inviting them to share photos of themselves using your products on your Facebook wall.  Encourage users to comment on photos and even hold a contest where people vote on their favorite every month.  Instagram can be a tool that helps you keep an ongoing conversation about your products and business.

Maintaining a social media presence can be overwhelming if you try to participate in too many.  Don’t rush to use Instagram if you don’t feel you have the time to invest in it right now.  It’s a great tool for those who already enjoy taking and sharing pictures.  Now you can use that passion to benefit your business.

Are you already using Instagram in your business?  How have you benefitted from it?  Please share your ideas in the comments section below!

Tips to Improve Your Online Site

Tips to Improve Your Online Site

Today’s technology provides a great number of conveniences that have changed the way everyday tasks are completed.  For example, twenty years ago, if you needed to find the phone number or any other information about a business, you opened up the yellow pages, or perhaps you splurged and called 411 to get what you needed.

As you know, all that has changed.  The first place most people go when they need information about a business is the internet.  You’ve probably done it hundreds of times: Google the name of the business, scan the first couple of results, and click on the one that appears to be the business’s official site.  If designed well, you are quickly able to find it from that Google search, find contact info, business hours, product info, testimonials, etc.

Because of the way consumers look for businesses today, having an effective web presence is essential. Here are some tips for improving your website so customers can easily find what they are looking for.

  • Keep it simple.  A site that is uncluttered is much easier to navigate and takes less time to load, especially for users accessing it from a mobile device.  Evaluate your current content and get rid of anything that isn’t absolutely essential.  Keep your calls to action simple, based on your goals. You should even also simplify the font used to make sure it’s legible and appropriate.  There’s nothing worse than having to click through an untidy site that is chock full of needless html coding or flash animation, or whose menus are not easily found.  Tip:  Identify five business sites that you find easy and pleasant to use, and model your own after the qualities that you feel are the most user-friendly.
  • Use call to action buttons to your advantage.  Call to action buttons (Submit Order, Start Download, Add to Cart, etc.) are designed to get the user to act on something, so they should definitely stand out.  Make the buttons larger than the font on the rest of the page, and use a bright color like orange to differentiate them from other text.  Remember that your call to action buttons should “command attention without overwhelming your design.” Source
  • Provide testimonials with photos.  Any business can say good things about itself, and consumers are often skeptical.  That’s why testimonials are so important.  Visitors to your site want to know how real people felt about their experiences with you.  Including photos with your testimonials will make them even more relatable and real to your potential customers.
  • Keep it updated.  All hyperlinks should be functional and relevant, any online ordering system should contain current products and pricing, contact information should be accurate, etc.  Set yourself monthly reminders to visit your own site as if you were a first time viewer.  Click around the entire site, testing out links and reading any copy.  If something is out of date, fix it immediately.
  • Include a description of your business.  You might have an “About” page that includes a mission statement and a brief description of the products/services you offer.  Be smart about how the description is worded, as it will affect your SEO (search engine optimization).  Remember how most people’s first step is usually a Google search?  You can improve your website’s visibility if you use key words that someone might use in a search. For instance, if you sell all-natural cleaning products, you should include words such as: green, chemical-free, environmentally-friendly, and organic.  Such terms are most likely to be used in a search, and you want your site to pop up in the first page or two of results.  There is no shortage of resources for improving your SEO, such as SEOmoz for those just getting started.
  • Create an interesting “About” page.  This portion of your site should be interesting and personable.  Do this by making the copy easy to understand and written in your own unique style that feels professional, yet conversational.  Also, be sure to include a call to action button on this page like “Learn More” (links to more specific product information) or “See How It Works” (links to a video demonstrating the product).
  • Include a blog. A blog serves the purpose of providing answers that potential customers may be searching for, while also providing the fresh content that Google loves when determining the order in which it displays search results. Write a blog at least 2-3 times per week that provides content related to what you have to offer, without being an ad. For example, if you sell jewelry, you might write about current fashion trends and how to wear jewelry with different outfits. The blog gives visitors a reason to keep coming back to your site, and to tell their friends about it.

A site that is user-friendly and full of valuable information can be a major asset to your business.  Use your own experiences with both effective and ineffective sites to decide how you want yours to look.  What other tips do you have for improving your site?  Please share your ideas below!

3 Effective Ways to Market Your Business

3 Effective Ways to Market Your Business

Imagine if you were planning a major celebration, such as a wedding.  You’ve spent days and weeks planning the perfect theme, venue, food, music, etc.  As amazing as this party could be, it simply wouldn’t happen if you didn’t send out invitations.  Without invitations, no one beyond your close circle of family and friends would even know about the event.  This same rule applies to your business.  Marketing your business is mandatory for bringing in customers, but you should also think of it as an ongoing process instead of something you do once in awhile when sales are starting to lag.  Here are three effective ways you can market your business and bring in customers.

  1. Tap your customers’ passions.  It’s no secret that successful entrepreneurs know how to educate their customers on what they need as well as how the product works.  However, people aren’t usually as interested in what they need as they are in what they really want.  Find out what your customer is passionate about, what motivates that person on a daily basis, what he/she really enjoys doing, etc.  Your marketing materials are much more likely to bring in customers if you appeal to a customer’s lifestyle/culture rather than the product itself.  For instance, if you are selling all-natural cleaning products, an advertisement stating that customers will get “10% off if you stop by all this week” will likely get overlooked.  On the other hand, if your message says, “We’ll provide you with all your green cleaning needs because your family’s well-being is our #1 priority,” you’ve now tapped into your customer’s desire to eliminate harsh chemicals from the home.  People respond better to messages they care about than they do to sales talk.
  2. Get involved in your community.  Being a part of your community offers wonderful opportunities for networking, service-sharing, customer service, and marketing.  Even better than that though, is demonstrating your commitment to give back.  By participating in community events and hosting your own events, you will be more recognizable to others, and they will be more able to relate to you because like them, you are interested in the community’s well-being.  For example, a local contractor builds the central display for the town’s annual festival for free, makes himself available for free estimates for neighborhood residents, and is regularly seen his children’s baseball games and school fundraising events.  Because he is a visible part of the community who frequents the same local spots as his customers, they are more likely to remember who he is and trust him to do the job well.
  3. Make customers feel special. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and customers are happy and excited to recommend you to others after they’ve had a memorable, positive experience patronizing your business.  We live in tough economic times where getting the lowest price has become a top priority for most people, and lots of businesses that can offer competitive pricing don’t have time for superior customer service.  Find ways to personalize your products and services, such as including a handwritten thank you note with your customer’s order.  Being kind and attentive to customers is an effective and low-cost way to market your business.

How have you been able to use our suggestions?  What are some other ways to market your business that have worked for you in the past?  Please share your comments below!

How to Run a Great Contest on Facebook

How to Run a Great Contest on Facebook

Running a contest on Facebook is a great idea because it not only engages your community, but it gives you something new to talk about.  Both of these things attract new people to “like” your page and can help bring in new customers and prospects.  However, if not done properly or effectively, a contest can backfire and turn people away from your page or worse; you could lose your page altogether if you don’t abide by Facebook’s terms of serie.  Use the following tips to help you run a successful Facebook contest.

  • Decide on an outcome.  If you have an objective or ultimate goal for your contest, then you will be more equipped to create one that is successful.  For example, your goal may be to build up your mailing list or referrals, to introduce your product line, or to compile customer testimonials to use in future advertising.  Keep your goal in mind when working out the details for how the contest will operate.  This will help you keep it straightforward, user-friendly, and easily shareable.
  • Carefully choose your contest type.  There are a myriad of ways to run a contest including photo or video contests, essay contests, trivia, or sweepstakes.  Once you’ve decided on your desired outcome, make sure the type of contest and the motivating prize you choose will help you achieve your goal.  Consider your target market and what they will be willing to do.  For example, let’s say your target market consists mostly of career-minded professionals in the corporate sector.  If you design your contest in such a way that there is too much work involved to enter, like one that requires a 5-minute viral video, you will be very disappointed with the small number of entries you get, if any.  Ask yourself what your target market will be willing to do for the chosen prize.  In the example above, if the chosen prize is a one-time voucher for 10% off the next purchase, chances are slim that your potential customers will put much time in for a glorified coupon.  A better choice would be a free gift basket of their choice of up to 5 products or one year of unlimited free shipping.  Get creative and think about the kind of contest that you would want to enter.
  • Use a third party app.  Because of Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines, which prohibit the use of any Facebook features (comments, likes) as requirements to enter, third party apps are a requirement for running a contest.  Unfortunately, these apps are not always free to use, but there are some inexpensive ones such as Wildfire or Google Docs that make running your contest easy to do.  Tip:  If you have a blog, consider accepting entries via comments on the blog using a service like Rafflecopter.  Don’t risk losing your Facebook page because you weren’t willing to pay for a 3rd party app.
  • Don’t run the contest for too long.  A contest that runs for a more than a few days to a week will most likely lose its steam long before the end date.  Keeping in mind what people have to do to enter, choose a time frame that is reasonable enough for any necessary preparation, but tight enough to maintain interest.
  • Promote!  The best way to promote your contest is to ask people to share it.  Ask in person, post about it every day on your Facebook page, and/or add a widget on your blog such as a countdown ticker.  Encourage others to click the “share” button to help you get the word out, and explore the use of Facebook ads to attract new people in your target market, as well as engaging your existing community.  The more you ask people to share your contest, the better turnout you will have.

What experiences or ideas have you had for running a successful contest on Facebook?  Please share your tips in the comments section below!