Years ago, if a marketer wanted to run a contest, he’d have to run print ads and hope that people would take the time to fill out an entry form and then mail it in. The Internet made things easier, but you still assumed that consumers would somehow find their way to your website.
Facebook adds another layer of ease to the process: Consumers are already there doing something else. If the promotion looks interesting enough, filling out an online form isn’t that big a deal. Rodney Mason, the chief marketing officer of promotions agency Moosylvania, says Facebook-only promotions have a lot of advantages. “One would be the ease of use,” he says. “You can also connect with people who’ve already opted in for past promotions, and everybody’s on there all the time.”
But Facebook didn’t just add ease of use to contests, it totally changed the motivation behind entering them. Nowadays, the prize seems secondary. The main appeal of Facebook contests is to communicate something about yourself.
These four highlighted contest campaigns illustrate this. In each case, users get more out the program than a gift certificate or whatever the nominal prize is: They also get a forum to define themselves to like-minded people. Maybe the best prize you can offer these days is bragging rights.