facebookpicAre you looking to increase the number of likes and fans you have on your company’s Facebook page? Running a Facebook contest is the perfect way to spread the word about your business and attract new customers.

However, as with any new marketing tactic you might want to try, it takes a good bit of thought and strategy to run an effective contest or promotion.

Below are a few tips and suggestions for you to follow to make running a Facebook contest as easy and as successful as possible:


1.     Know the Rules

Facebook has set aside a few very strict guidelines and rules when it comes to running any type of promotion or contest. The most important thing to remember is that ALL Facebook contests or promotions MUST be run through a third party application.

There are many third-party applications available to build and administer your promotion, such as Woobox or Shortstack. Facebook requires any business running a contest to identify to your audience that your contest is not sponsored, endorsed or administered or associated with Facebook.

What this means is that Facebook wants it to be clear to entrants that they are not a part of your contest. Another thing to keep in mind is how the winner is contacted once the contest is over.

The safest way to contact the winner of your contest is through the personal email address they provide when they enter the contest. Announcing the winner of the contest on your Facebook wall is prohibited.

For more information and a full detailed list of the rules, be sure to look through Facebook’s official contest rules.


2.     Set Goals

Every good Facebook contest requires a good deal of planning and thinking. A successful contest should be entertaining but also relevant to your business.

Remember that you are competing against other businesses on Facebook for the attention of Facebook users. You will need to select a contest and prize that sets you apart from your competitors.

Be sure that you select a prize that is related to your business offering and appeals to your target audience. The goal isn’t to get as many random likes as you can, it’s to increase likes from those who could be potential customers.

When you offer a prize that isn’t relevant to your business, users are more likely to enter the contest and then unlike your page once it’s over. If you sell a certain product, you could give away what you sell on a day to day basis.

If you are a service based company, such as landscaper, you might want to give away a free winter landscape cleanup or a free bed of flowers.


3.     Promote Your Contest

Now that you have set up your contest and picked the perfect prize, be sure to promote it. Just because you can’t run the contest on your Facebook wall doesn’t mean you can’t promote it there.

Be sure to offer instructions on how to get to the contest and what they will need to do to enter. Be sure to leave your contest up long enough so that people can start talking about it.

Be sure to promote it on any other social media channels, such as Twitter or Google+.


4.     Follow Up After the Contest

Once the contest is over and you have contacted the winner, take some time to look at how you did. Did you meet your goals? How many new likes did you get? When you run a contest, often times you collect email addresses.

Now you can use those email addresses for email marketing. Be sure to continue to communicate with Facebook users and thank them for participating in the contest.

Remember to continue to provide insight and information so that they can continue to interact and learn more about your brand.

Now you have a few tips and suggestions to help you get started. While the rules and steps to setting up a Facebook contest seem strict and a little bit overwhelming, the overall benefit of gathering new fans and potential customers is priceless.


This guest blog post was written by Full Media, an Atlanta SEO firm. Specializing in internet marketing and website design in Atlanta, we offer a high level of expertise and service to organizations of all kinds, regardless of size or industry.


PromoteYourBrandIn the past, protecting the reputation of your business simply meant keeping the customer happy.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Today we live in an increasingly “virtual” world. We rely on our Smartphones and mobile devices to direct us towards reliable companies before we make a purchase.

This means that a single negative review can do serious damage to your business.

It’s important to stay a few steps ahead when it comes to protecting your image and the image of your company. Ben Franklin was once quoted as saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

When it comes to managing your online reputation, it’s far easier to prevent negative press than to undo it.

Read on for three ways to pro-actively protect the online reputation of your business – you’d be wise to put in the effort!


1.  Buy your brand’s domain name and several variations

The first step to ensuring a flawless online image is to make sure you’re in control of your own brand. If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to buy and several modifications of the original. For example: and

This prevents anyone with sinister intentions from taking those sites and using it to drive traffic away from your business; or, even worse, to bash your product or services.

While this might sound unthinkable, you’d be surprised how nasty competitors or dissatisfied clients can be. Additionally, you can use these “sister sites” to create more content that links back to your main brand homepage.

When it comes to increasing search traffic on Google, owning the variations of the original domain name can be a valuable SEO tool.


2.  Monitor Yelp and local review sites for customer feedback

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what customers have to say about your business on Yelp.

Not only for reputation management purposes but also because it can help you improve your offerings and appeal to your customers better down the line.

Some SEO-savvy organizations use Yelp as a way to communicate with customers and gain valuable insights into their own services.

Without formally surveying customers, you can essentially look for any commonalities among Yelp reviews, and make adjustments to your product accordingly.


3.  Look out for negative reviews

No matter how hard you try, there’s always someone out there who wants to drag your name through the mud. Whether they attack you on a more personal level, or bash your brand, it’s unpleasant either way.

Keep an eye out for negative press by searching your company on Ripoff Report,, and other complaints sites. If you happen to stumble across a negative review, don’t panic. Contact the dissatisfied client and see if you can help.

This just comes back to basic customer service. If you feel like the issue has been addressed, you can ask them to take down the review.

The less time negative comments related to your brand spend on the Internet, the better it is for your online reputation as a whole.

Of course, you can’t expect to silence every naysayer, but with these three tips in mind, you can effectively monitor your brand’s online reputation and pro-actively promote business.


About the Author – Brian Patterson is a Marketing Analyst with Online Trading Academy, a day trading education firm with 33 locations spread internationally.