Wildfire Interactive Woos Smaller Businesses With New Sweepstakes Feature

As Facebook promotions grow in popularity, it’s no longer simply big corporate names that have jumped on the social media bandwagon. As we’ve previously reported, several companies have stepped in to help small and medium businesses make the most of their Facebook presence with promotional tools. Most recently, Fan Appz launched a Professional version of its tool kit for smaller businesses to better engage their fans on Facebook. This week Wildfire Interactive rolled out a new sweepstakes service that allows companies of any size to take advantage of this type of promotion.

The sweepstakes service aims to make running these promotions easier by partnering with Publisher’s Clearing House to administer the prizes, taking the burden of this follow-through off of the companies, and allowing them to simply design the contest and collect the entries.

“We’re making the sweepstakes process that generally takes several weeks to build and a lot of money, and turning it into something they can get up and running in a number of minutes,” Wildfire Interactive’s Victoria Ransom tells us, noting that while the company does work with larger clients, it also wanted to open the door to Facebook marketing for smaller businesses. “We are trying to provide a scalable service because we wanted to provide an affordable and effective way for businesses of any size to use social media marketing.”

Wildfire Interactive has provided services to allow businesses to create their own social media marketing with photo contests, coupons, quizzes and other campaigns for both Facebook and Twitter and this week’s sweepstakes service makes running these more advanced promotions easier, Ransom said. Publisher’s Clearing House plays the vital role of providing the prize (such as a $10,000 cash prize or dream vacation), the sweepstakes rules, drawing the winners and ultimately delivering the prize to the winners.

Ransom tells us that the sweepstakes service allows companies to focus on engaging with their fans no matter what size they may be.

“Sweepstakes is one of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your brand,” she tells us. “It’s a great way to generate likes, get people to sign up for your newsletter, get them to become fans.”

Businesses that subscribe to Wildfire Interactive’s new sweepstakes solution can do so for as little as 99 cents a day, although services with more features that allow for more creativity cost more, Ransom explains.

After a company sets up an account with Wildfire Interactive they can set up a basic sweepstakes and publish it on their fan Page. This automatically creates an application for them to collect entries. This sweepstakes may then be promoted on the company’s Facebook Page and web site, ultimately running on a microsite on their Facebook Connect-enabled web site in order to comply with Facebook’s sweepstakes rules, she said.

The sweepstakes feature is set to be offered for free to Wildfire Interactive customers until June 15, thereafter a per-entry fee will be charged.

Sweepstakes on Facebook are growing more complicated, and as a result, several companies have stepped in to provide businesses with tools to run them in keeping with Facebook’s rules. It’s likely that, in the future, other companies will follow Wildfire Interactive and Fan Appz’s lead and begin to tailor their services to smaller businesses, as recent studies and industry experience has been showing that engaging fans via sweepstakes and other Facebook promotions can be beneficial to any business’ bottom line. For more on how to navigate the increasing complexities of Facebook Pages and sweepstakes, check out the Facebook Marketing Bible, our comprehensive guide for marketers and businesses seeking to better understand and utilize Facebook’s full marketing capabilities.