Win a free iPad? Facebook giveaways, raffles and contests are an incredibly effective marketing tool for Realtors
Would you like to win a free iPad?
Of course you would! After all, who doesn’t like winning free stuff?
And that’s the basis of an incredibly effective – yet underutilized - marketing tool for Realtors that I’ll talk about today: social media contests, giveaways, and raffles.
In fact, psychologists have found a strange nuance of human behavior that's nearly universal – we love to win just about anything, and we love free. Studies have shown that people vastly overvalue an item, good, or service if the word "free" is attached. Such is the case with an advertising campaign conducted by Krispy Kreme years ago when they offered a free donut to each patron on one particular day. The lines were so long that people had to wait up to two hours just for one donut (how much is two hours of your time worth?), and the promotion was so frenzied that the donut retailer ended up having their most profitable day ever!
Real estate agents can use this same psychology to promote themselves, albeit online and without the donut (eat that yourself).
To give you a broad definition, we’re talking about giveaways, raffles, and contests (GR&C) as one interchangeable promotional tool, since they are basically the same things despite small and subtle differences. Likewise, these can be conducted online via your website, social media accounts, email blasts, or any combination.
But today, I'll talk more about GR&C's for Facebook.
The basic premise is simple: we offer something of value for free for the winner(s) of these GR&C’s as a way to promote your brand.
The benefits can include:
• More page likes
• Increased sharing of your page/post
• Increased engagement, energy, and interest in your page and services
• Develop a fun rapport with your followers
• Add new people to your database
• Generate more reviews and testimonials
• Build overall awareness of you, your brand, and your services
So what might a GR&C look like on Facebook?
Here are a few common ideas:
-A quiz or trivia
-A random drawing for new people that like our page
-Random drawing for all of your followers
-Random drawing for people who say they want to be eligible, either by liking or commenting on the post
But my favorite GR&C’s involve some form of a photo contest:
-Take a funny selfie in or around your house
-Take a photo of a DIY home improvement or decorating project you did around the house
-Take a selfie in front of one of your For Sale signs
-Take a selfie somewhere recognizable in the city/neighborhood you sell real estate in
-Take a photo of a home you’ve helped buy or sell
-A social media scavenger hunt, where you give clues, and people have to take a photo at those places around town or per your instructions
The possibilities for great GR&C’s involving photos are endless, and they also gain far more interest than text alone and give you important social proof, humanizing your brand.
You can also extend this to videos, but you'll get far fewer participants.
The key to a good GR&C is that you make it simple and document the rules clearly.
That includes who is eligible, what they have to do to enter, what exactly you’re giving away (and how many), how they can enter, and how long the promotion will run.
Create a big, clear, nice image for us that explains the contest, the prize, the terms, etc. You can also post about the GR&C on your blog, website, on Instagram, and via email blast.
When the deadline ends for submissions, there are several ways you can decide the winner. It can be a random drawing based on names-in-a-hat or random number selection, or you can simply choose your favorite.
But my preferred method for picking a winner is by posting all of the photos from the participants (assuming you ran a giveaway with photos) and let your followers vote for their favorite. The photo with the most likes, wins!
That also encourages participants to share their photo/your post to encourage their other friends to like your page, follow you, and vote.
To step up the promotion for the sake of enhancing your business, partner with a local business in the city or neighborhood where you sell homes. Businesses will often gladly give away a restaurant coupon for a free meal, a free car wash, a free massage, a free coffee, etc. just because of the advertising it will yield them.
By bringing in a local business, you also encourage them to share it with their extensive customer database on Facebook and elsewhere, so you’re really gaining massive new exposure to a new audience.
But, before you fly off and start setting up GR&C’s on Facebook, there are some rules and regulations you should be aware of.
From what I’ve read, you can only run these GR&C’s on your business page (not personal). You also have to clearly define the terms and rules, who is eligible, and share a standard Facebook disclaimer that states that Facebook isn’t involved in any way.
You also CAN’T ask contest participants to:
Recommended you or your business on their page
Share your Page to be eligible
Tag themselves in a random photo (one they aren’t actually in)
Post something on their own timeline
Share your page or raffle on one of their friend’s timeline
Here are Facebook’s specific rules for promotions like this:
1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a. The official rules;
b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.
My advice is to start small, with a simple Starbucks card giveaway or random drawing. But begin to do it regularly – like Free Giveaway Friday, as an example, or on the first day of every month. Eventually, people will flock to your site regularly as word gets out and they realize that you're consistently giving great prizes away.
Need help setting up a Facebook giveaway, managing your Facebook marketing, or with any real estate marketing? Contact us!