Before all your attention drifts to the fall and winter holidays, take advantage of the waning days of summer and offer your fans a chance to win something before the season comes to an end. With a little more than a month left before fall begins (by the way, the official first day of fall is September 22nd) you still have plenty of time to host an awesome end-of-summer Facebook contest.
In today’s article, I share three contest ideas to try during the remaining weeks of summer. Each app idea in the line-up either complements an upcoming event or will help your business prepare for the fall time. Like “they” always say: “The early bird catches the worm.” The adage applies pretty well to Facebook contests.
Okay, let’s get started!
Contest #1: Reduce End-of-Summer Inventory
Facebook users love getting a chance to win a prize! In fact, according to a recent Syncapse report, 35 percent of users choose to become a brand’s Facebook fan to participate in a contest.
App idea: Countdown/Giveaway app
For product-based businesses with extra summer inventory, host a Facebook contest to give away some of your leftover summer stock and engage with fans at the same time! To do this, create an app that counts down to the final days of summer, each day revealing and then giving away a new prize.
Why you should try this app: Extended giveaway promotions that support multiple contest winners often have the highest engagement. They also help to drive the most new fans/page likes. Why? Because when multiple prizes are being given away every day for an extended length of time, people are encouraged to follow the contest. And the best way to keep up with a brand’s contest is to like their page.
Tip: When you design of your end-of-summer countdown contest app, have a photo gallery to showcase your daily prizes. If users are able to see what your prizes look like, it will entice more of them to enter your contest.
Contest #2: Use the Wisdom of Your Crowd[contextly_sidebar id=”7de08bb20f48786209ae37a61cb5c88a”]If your business is planning to introduce new products during the fall season, customer feedback can help you make sure you give your customers what they want. One easy way to do this is through a crowdsourcing app.
App idea: Crowdsourcing Contest App
If you own a coffee shop, for example, and are updating your menu for fall, create a contest app that allows users to submit written entries for the seasonal items they want to see on your new menu. The entry or entries that inspire your next fall menu item can win a prize — something like a gift card from your business would be appropriate.
This kind of Facebook contest is best known as an essay contest. Don’t be fooled by the name though. In this case, “essay” just means that users must submit written entries — they don’t necessarily have to write a complete essay to enter. (Most Facebook users would not want to do that much work to win something as small as coffee shop gift card!)
Why you should try this app: Crowdsourcing apps, like this one, done right can serve the same purpose as the “response” section you often see at the end of a survey. It gives people the opportunity to share their thoughts, and your business the opportunity to grow in the right direction!
Tip: If there are redundancies in the feedback you receive from your essay contest, use that insight to determine which products you should promote or feature most during your fall campaigns.
To create a crowdsourcing contest app (like the example explained above) with a third-party app company, you will need to use a feature similar to the poll widget. A poll widget lets you pose a question and allows users to vote for one of the available options.
Contest #3: Pin It to Win It this Labor Day
Since its March 2010 launch, Pinterest has grown to more than 70 million users. What’s more important than the number of users is that the users are dedicated and active on the platform. According to Pinterest Insider, the average time spent on Pinterest is 98 minutes a month!
App idea: Pin It to Win It Contest
To engage Pinterest-loving Facebook fans, use the first week of September to host a Labor-Day inspired Pinterest contest of your own! Hosting a “Pin and Win” contest is a great way to convert Facebook fans into new Pinterest followers. It’s also an easy way to grow your email newsletter list! To do this, you’ll need to fan-gate your app with an email opt-in form, requiring contest entrants give their name and email address for a chance to win.
Why you should try this app: A lot of Pinterest’s users are on Facebook. In fact, 9 million Pinterest users reportedly have connected their Pinterest accounts to Facebook. So it’s no wonder that the popularity of businesses hosting Pinterest contests has skyrocketed within this past year.
Tip: The easiest and fastest way to create a Facebook Pin-it contest app is to use a pre-designed template. At ShortStack, for instance, you can get a Pin and Win Contest app up and running in no time with our “Pin and Win” template.
Is your business hosting, or thinking about hosting, an end-of-the-summer contest on your Facebook page? If so, tell me about it in the comments below.
Jim Belosic is co-founder and CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom application-design tool used to create apps for Facebook pages, websites, and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies, and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines, and more