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Facebook Contests Yield Fans for Businesses, Survey Finds



Running contests on Facebook is a popular way for businesses and brands to increase fan count and loyalty and collect data. And the tactic is living up to its brag, a new survey shows.  The vast majority of companies who had rolled out at least one contest for their Facebook Page said the contest had met its predefined goals.

When Shortstack, a developer of custom applications for Facebook Pages, polled its user base of nearly 800 page administrators, 57.7 percent said they had created at least one Facebook contest for their page. And more than four out of five administrators said that their contest had met predefined goals.

The primary goal for most companies and brands was to increase fans/likes (44 percent), the survey found, followed by increasing loyalty (30 percent) and collecting data (19 percent).

"We ran into a problem, if you want to call it that," said Lucas Hanyok, a Web developer with the Cyphers Agency in Baltimore. "We didn't realize the response we would get. We quickly jumped from 1,000 fans to 53,000 fans in just a few days. We only had 5,000 of the product samples to give away."

Overall, running contests boosted fan count by an average of 28.7 percent, the survey found.

Sweepstakes received the greatest number of entries, followed by photo contests, essay contests and video contests.  The incentive that proved to be the most effective was offering big-ticket grand prizes, such as iPads, plasma TVs or cruises.  Other incentives respondents reported using included promotional items, fan of the week postings, T-shirts, a free period of service and reduced cost items.

The one surprise in the Shortstack survey was the relatively low number of users who restricted contests to fans, known as fan-gating. Slightly more than half of respondents said that they fan-gated their contests.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.




Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.