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Six Tips for a B2B Facebook Contest

by Jim Belosic  |  
November 29, 2012

I know lots of business owners who think that Facebook—and, indeed, most social media—better serves B2C companies than it does B2B firms. But I'd argue that although communicating via social media might be easier for B2C companies, B2B companies can still take advantage of social media to connect with their current customers and convert prospects into new customers.

The B2B audience might be smaller, and B2Bs face unique challenges, but social media is worth B2Bs' time and effort. I know firsthand, because at my company we function as both a B2B and a B2C. And we use contests all the time to engage with our users and to convert new ones, and we create apps for clients to use with their clients.

So if you've ever wondered whether a Facebook contest might work for your B2B company, I have some tips that will help.

1. Remember that social media is a friendly way to get in front of your clients

Let's say you use email newsletters to share information about your company and products. Newsletters are a great way to alert both current and prospective customers about special deals and new features.

Newsletters, though, are also likely to be filed—figuratively, anyway—under "business," whereas if you have a presence on Facebook you are engaging with your customers in the same place they engage with their friends and families. Your post, which might be an invitation to enter a contest, could potentially show up in between pictures of their children or grandchildren.

In other words, via social media you have an opportunity to have a dialogue with your customers that might not have anything to do with sales.

2. Host contests or promotions to get in touch with your customers more often

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Jim Belosic is a co-founder and the CEO of software company Pancake Laboratories, best known for its flagship product, ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool.

LinkedIn: Jim Belosic

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  • by Natasha Shabani Thu Nov 29, 2012 via web

    Just want to add a cautionary note that Facebook contests and sweepstakes, like other contests and sweepstakes, are subject to a host of federal and state laws. Legal compliance is a key consideration when structuring any B2B or B2C promotion.

  • by Jim Belosic Thu Nov 29, 2012 via web

    Natasha has a good point -- some contests and sweepstakes can be subject to local, state or federal laws. For example, in NY you may need to post a bond if your giveaway prize is valued at more than $5,000.

    A best-practice -- sorry, this isn't legal advice :) --- to protect yourself is to include commonly used disclaimers in your rules such as "void where prohibited" and "check local laws for eligibility". You can also try to limit non-eligible participants by clearly stating who is eligible in your app. "Open to legal residents of the United States" is a common one.

    ShortStack also has a method where you can make the entry form (or the entire app) visible only in selected countries. That can help limit ineligible entrants quite a bit.

  • by Sean Fri Nov 30, 2012 via mobile

    Great info. Contest can be a great tool for B2B

  • by Lisa Kalner Williams Fri Nov 30, 2012 via web

    B2B contests don't have the "sexy" of B2C contests, but they can be quite effective in drawing in new leads. (I write a bit about it here -- but only give five tips:

  • by Loren Fri Dec 7, 2012 via web

    Don't forget to ensure you comply with Facebook's guidelines. Here is a blog post that steps you through conducting a successful competition that complies with Facebook's guidelines:

  • by Rohit Tue Dec 11, 2012 via web

    Great piece. I would further like to emphasize on the fourth point, 'Use your contest to show off your company's personality' The contests can do more than just involve users in a random game. Giving info that somehow connects to the brand, by the means of a contest and designing contest around that info truly serves the purpose. I bumped upon a contest by Lufthansa that does round about the same,
    the contests cleverly puts brand (along with Stuttgart) right into the center of it all...

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