Tips for Successful Facebook Contests for Nonprofits

Tips for Successful Facebook Contests for NonprofitsIn the last few years, social media has become a complete game-changer for nonprofits, in the very best way. Because of limited budgets, time constraints, and dwindling resources, nonprofits that previously relied on expensive or traditional means of self-promotion had a difficult time attracting volunteers and donors. Though, with relatively little effort, Facebook contests can be used to create interaction and buzz around your organization, engaging your audience and spreading awareness for your cause.

Facebook Is the Foundation

With over one billion users worldwide, Facebook should be the social media workhorse of your nonprofit’s online presence. Therefore it only makes sense to start with the world’s most popular social network. By drawing people to your Facebook page, individuals are encouraged to like your page and become fans, leading to increased influence.

Facebook Contests Create Engagement

Facebook contests are a fantastic way to generate buzz around your nonprofit and its causes. Setting one up is fairly easy and can coordinate with other social media pages you may have online. You will need to decide what type of contest you are going to have, how long it will run, who will administer it, and what the prizes will be (products, services, etc).

Know the Rules Before You Start

There are certain rules to be aware of when creating a Facebook contest for your nonprofit. Facebook does not allow any organization to require fans to like your page or take any other action in administering a Facebook contest. As a result, apps like Google’s Wildfire can help nonprofits affordably create, manage, and promote a Facebook contest without violating Facebook’s policies.

Decide on What Type of Contest to Promote

  • Using the app of your choice (we like Wildfire due to its low cost and ease of use, but any Facebook contest app will work), determine if you’ll be holding a “best of” or “sweepstakes” type of contest. Bear in mind that a “best of” contest will be more interactive and more likely to go viral, which is the desired effect.
  • Keep the contest simple. A great idea for a “best of” contest is to have your fans upload their own photos, such as asking participants to submit humorous ones involving a certain object, place, theme, etc., and are somehow relevant to your organization and its cause. Make sure you are monitoring the photos being uploaded through the app so any inappropriate content is removed.
  • Prizes can be a donated service, item from a local business, or more. For instance, if your nonprofit rescues dogs in need, you can approach a grooming salon about donating a free bath and groom session for the contest winner. This helps the business’ image and marketing efforts, and encourages participation in your contest by offering a valuable and useful prize. However, you can also make the prize non-monetary, such as posting the best photo as your Facebook cover page for a month. To keep the excitement going, you can make contests a monthly event to encourage continued interaction.

Keep It Simple

If you’ve never ran a Facebook contest, start with one and keep the rules and idea simple. Remember, on average, people are hit daily with 5000 marketing messages, so your contest should be simple to enter. Offer prizes that are of value, and manage the contest effectively. Social media engagement happens in real time, and delays in response time or apps that aren’t working properly will dampen the mood of fans participating.

Once you get the hang of it, you can begin running multiple contests, with different prizes and themes. The cost to use the necessary apps is minimal, and the ROI your nonprofit will receive from increased donations, attendance at key events, and likes to your Facebook page will be worth the effort.