Sep 29, 2015

Should You Run Competitions on Your Website, or Facebook?

With the proliferation of social media usage, many businesses are paying more attention to their Facebook page than their website. But is this the best way for a person to be running their business? Considering that your website is an owned asset, whereas Facebook is not, it seems obvious to say that you want to drive traffic to your site. But how do you get the traffic in the first place?

One of the methods that many businesses utilise in order to gain attention is through competitions. These competitions can be anything from offering the chance to win the new product or service that is being offered to the world via the business, offering a trip to those who are loyal customers or the like.

In order to truly understand whether you should be spending more time on your Facebook page or your businesses website, you need to understand the benefits that each option is going to offer your business. From there, you can choose the option that is going to best work for your needs.


Running competitions on your website

On your own website, you know that the users are generally already interested in what you’ve got to offer, in some capacity. You can use the competition in order to harness that interest and potentially turn them into a lead down the track.

The benefits of utilising your website for competitions are:

  • It’s an owned asset; therefore you have total control over the terms and conditions (in accordance with your local laws, obviously); the design is completely up to you; and the prize, and entry requirements, are only bound by local laws and your imagination. 
  • When people visit your website, you can advertise the competition to them using pop-ups or other methods to make sure that they see the prizes on offer. 
  • You are getting the option to sell directly to the consumer, which is going to mean that you do not have to deal with a third party. You are responsible for how this advertising is working, putting more power into your hands. 
  • You can encourage users who enter the competition to sign up for your mailing list. Even if the person is only interested in the competition that is being run, they are going to sign up. This new sign up is one way for your business to create more contacts and have more consumer potential.


Running competitions on Facebook

Facebook is a huge tool for businesses, and has proven to be successful in the past for businesses that are running a competition. The benefits of utilising Facebook are:


  • There is a huge audience already in place. Facebook has over fourteen million Australian users, with about 10 million of those visiting every day; this is a huge number that your website is very unlikely to be able to match (unless you’re Google). 
  • The audience that is there does not like to be taken off site – they’re on Facebook, and they want to do as much as they can from that website or app, rather than have to visit anywhere else (consider the 48% of Australians who use Facebook for news)
  • The bigger the audience of your Facebook page (that is, the more ‘likes’), the more likely it is that many people will enter your competition. As people enter, or like your page, or comment on your post, this shows engagement which will appear in your friends’ news feeds, which may encourage them to visit your page as well.
  • For a relatively inexpensive price, boosting your post on Facebook means that it will get more eyes on it, which is generally necessary nowadays with Facebook’s restricted reach.


Which Method Works Best?

As a web development company, we push hard for our clients to make the most of their owned digital assets, due to the level of control and customisation. However, having a brilliant competition with all the bells and whistles running on your site doesn’t mean anything if no one sees it.

The ideal is to use both Facebook AND your website – Facebook to draw people in, and your website to actually process the entry. The trick is to make the offer itself enticing enough to get people off Facebook. It needs to have a great prize; a unique, not-too-difficult set of entry requirements; and a very clear statement of how to enter. The Facebook ad goes to your website, so ensure that the landing page (the page that a user gets to first) is all about the competition. Don’t just send a user to the home page and hope they find it – you WILL lose a customer.

Make the user interface neat, and ensure that people can go back to Facebook straight away. Including a link back to your business’s Facebook page from the ‘Thank you for your submission’ page means that the user feels that they just had a brief interlude somewhere else on the web, and can now return to normal transmission.

The problem with using Facebook alone is that you could be missing an opportunity. The idea of these competitions is generally to gather leads. The average reach on Facebook is only about 2.6% of your total ‘likes’, so even getting people to like your page includes no guarantee that they’ll ever see anything else you post in the future. By sending people through to your website, you create the ability to gain contact information, which you can use for other marketing tactics down the track. Though Facebook is great for drawing in a crowd, you need to use your website to create a loyal follower base for your business.

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