Running Photo Contests on Facebook can allow you to capture new leads, understand your customers better, and increase fans and engagement on your Facebook Page.

Unfortunately, one contest isn’t going to do the trick – there are many steps involved in maintaining a successful reputation as a contest holder. Below are steps you must take before your contest, during your contest, and after your contest.

The top 7 tips to running an awesome photo contest:

1. Give away your product, service or gift card.

2. Put a reasonable time limit on your photo contest.

3. Attract new leads with syndication.

4. Grow your email list.

5. Offer a consolation prize to non-winners.

6. Make sure your Photo Contest is optimized for mobile.

7. Run contests consistently.

1. Give away your product, service or gift card.

At first it may seem like a great idea to give away an iPad. Everyone wants one of those, right? Sure, you may get a booming number of entrants, but the likelihood of them actually being interested in your business is very low. Entrants will generally be interested in the iPad and not your business. Unless you conveniently sell iPads, it’s not wise to give away something unrelated to your industry.

Giving away a gift card for your products/services is smart because you will get people who are most definitely interested in your business, and it lets them choose their prize. Offering a product/service works effectively as well.

2. Put a reasonable time limit on your photo contest.

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I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a business run a photo contest on Facebook for over a month. By stretching your contest out this long will mean people will lose interest and likely forget they have even entered.

Give it a logical time limit relative to the type of photo contest you’re holding. A week is a good general time limit for most photo contests. Try to keep them shorter than a month so people don’t forget about your contest.

3. Attract new leads with syndication.

Not only should you promote your Facebook photo contest on your other various social networks (such as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.), you should promote your contest on websites that host social contests.

Did you know that there are a bunch of websites that host contests just like yours? They’re a great way to further promote your contest and broaden its reach to new leads.

These websites attract thousands of users per day who love to enter and share contests with their friends and family. They promote these contests on their various social networks, such as Facebook. These users can bring you tons of entrants from different places. This is great for businesses with low engagement on their Facebook Page.

Read our article covering the top 19 websites to host a contest.

4. Grow your email list.

People will often hold “DIY contests” where they require you to share or comment on a photo in order to enter their Facebook contest. There are no long-term benefits from this method. This impersonal attempt at engagement will not not convert those potential leads into customers.

It’s best to use a third party app that can supply you with the right kind of contest that collects the right kind of data that you can use long term.

Email is still king in online marketing and should be treated as such. It is personal and direct, and it’s what going to give you the best ability to convert your new leads. A contest that collects email addresses is key.

5. Offer a consolation prize to non-winners.

Since you’ve followed the above suggestions, you will have a list of email addresses. Now you can show your appreciation for their involvement in your Facebook photo contest.

If you’ve followed the rules above about giving away something that you actually offer (such as a gift card) everyone who entered should be interested in your products/services. So why not offer them a minor discount as a consolation prize? Send out an email with a 20% off coupon. This way, they’ll feel better about the loss – and the odds are they’ll either pay you or your website a visit.

6. Make sure your photo contest is optimized for mobile.

It’s predicted that by 2014, mobile internet usage will surpass desktop internet usage. Isn’t that enough to convince you that your social contest needs to be optimized for mobile?

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7. Run contests consistently.

If you run a contests consistently, your fans will develop anticipation for the upcoming ones. This keeps them engaged and bringing them back to your Facebook Page constantly. It’s perfect if you’re able to run a contest 1-2 times per month.

Check out the other types of Facebook contests your business can run.

Written by Cara Tarbaj @ Wishpond

Now you’re equipped with some handy tips to make the most out of your Facebook photo contests. Try one out and let us know what you think.

At Wishpond, we want you to be the best marketer you can be. That’s why we’ve created a whole range of social promotion apps – making your successes a little easier.

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