So, is it time to run a Facebook Contest? I thought I would try one out on my brand new Facebook Fan page at facebook.com/socialwebcafe. Now, I don't want to make a complete fool of myself in the process, but, at some point, we have to jump in and get our feet wet, right? And, besides, if this contest thing works out well, it would be a win-win with promotion opportunities for me and goodies for the winners.
I have used (or at least, reviewed) contest platforms in the past. I set up a wildfireapp.com contest, but didn't really know what I was doing at the time and I realize that I could have enhanced it even more. I have also used involver.com free apps and I really like what involver does, but I wasn't ready for the $99/mo (or higher) price tag. So, back burner is where my contest plans landed.
You see, my to-have-a-contest-or-not-have-a-contest dilemma was really quite simple. I didn't want to have to pay for a contest until I knew what I was doing. Enter binkd.com. Here was an opportunity to have a wildfireapp.com like contest platform for free! Now, granted, wildfireapp.com is very reasonable with the $5 base price and an ala carte system on top, but again, I wanted to try-before-I-buy, "pet the puppy," first. Believe me, if the contest platform works well for me and for my Facebook "fans," I will happily return and pay the upgraded cost, in this case, that Binkd.com offers. Or, I may find myself returning to wildfireApp.com or involver.com if they suit my purposes, now that I have figured out how to maximize the contest. 🙂
If you do decide, like me, to venture down the road of a Facebook Contest, keep this in mind:
Make sure you follow the Facebook promotion guidelines. Read these very carefully. The one that really caught me was the one about NOT notifying the winner through Facebook. The last thing you want is to have your Facebook page removed for breaking these rules!
If you do decide to use Binkd.com, be prepared for the following, for starters:
- The WordPress integration with Binkd.com does not work smoothly. You may want to skip it, instead of getting frustrated over the process if it doesn't work for you.
- Currently, you will need to know the UTC time for your contest start and end times. There is no time zone adjustment in the interface. Visit WorldTimeServer.com to find out what time it is and calculate your contest start and end times.
- The interface is not as user-friendly as wildfireapp.com and involver.com. I even offered to put docs together for them so that it is easier for users to set up the contest. Maybe in upcoming blog posts. 😉
So, I am off to try my first Binkd.com contest and see how it works. It is the freebie version, so what do I have to lose?