Facebook contestEveryone likes a good contest, and Facebook contests in particular, can be effective and easy to run. It’s likely your customers are already spending plenty of time on Facebook, and the allure of a prize is a great way to engage and attract new customers at the same time.

With just a little know-how your business can run a Facebook contest that users will not only love, but “like” repeatedly.

Determine the Type of Contest

There are countless fun ways to hold contests. From a like-to-enter post to holding a photo contest where customers are asked to post a picture with a product or around a particular theme, these promotions can build customer engagement and offer exposure to your followers’ Facebook friends. The more creative, the better.

Pick Your Prize

A gift card to your business is always popular because it not only gets the customer in the store, it also will tend to attract only those interested in your business. If you give a cash award or some other product (say concert tickets or a weekend getaway), you’ll get entries from random people more interested in the prize than your business

Make the Rules Clear

Make sure you know Facebook’s contest rules, follow them and state them clearly for your followers. For example, you can’t require people to share the contest post to enter or get additional entries. Also, make sure you include basics such as who is eligible to participate and the timeline.

Promote the Contest

Don’t just depend on Facebook itself to get the word out. Use email lists, in-store advertisements and all of your social media channels — Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. — to promote your contest. Don’t forget to create a special hashtag and shareable contest images. You may also want to consider purchasing a Facebook ad or listing your contest on some contesting websites if you want to go big.

Gather Information

Whether you have entrants providing an email address or other additional information, make sure you collect it so that you can use it for future marketing efforts. Encourage entrants to opt-in to future emails from your business so that you can notify them of future promotions.

Choose a Winner

Depending on the size and nature of the contest, you may want to consider using an app to help you fairly pick a contest winner. In any case, make sure you have a plan in place before you launch the contest, and don’t forget to announce the winner.

These steps will ensure that while you’re the one handing out the prizes, your business is the real winner.