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It’s always been a big decision to choose between hosting your competition on social media or on your website, but in light of recent events and with more and more businesses finding their pages shut down and banned from popular social platforms, the question is even more salient – where should I run my competition: on Facebook or on our website?

When Facebook and Instagram recently collapsed for almost an entire working day, the internet lost it. Productivity was up, people joked about actually having to work for a change and the memes came out in force… but for the businesses that took a hit to their daily sales, it was no laughing matter.

How do you currently reach your customers?

The question you should ask yourself is, if Facebook, Instagram or whichever social platform you use had an outage tomorrow or – dare I say it – disappeared for good, how would you reach your customers?

Do you have a processes in place to encourage your audience to leave social media and visit your website or subscribe to your mailing list, where they’re more likely to make a purchase? If the answer is no, running a competition via social media might get you a lot of entries in the short term because that’s where your audience is, but eventually you’re going to want to convert that audience into paying customers and that’s just not going to happen on Facebook.

Facebook is not a long-term solution.

By running your competition on Facebook, you are essentially renting an audience from the social media platform – if you think of them as ‘your’ audience, you’re playing a dangerous game. I know it seems inconceivable that Facebook could ever just ‘disappear’, but when was the last time you logged on to your Bebo, Friends Reunited or Myspace account?! Similarly, asking any business owner who has had their page or account shut down on Facebook is likely to tell you they wish they’d collected an email address or two…

Social media is a great place to find and grow your audience in the beginning, but it’s not a long-term solution. Funnels exist for a reason – you broadcast your message to a wide, borrowed audience, funnel those who are interested in what you do to your website and give them a valid reason to join your mailing list or make a purchase.

Facebook is the speed-dating of the competition world – used for sorting out the wheat from the chaff and getting down to who your ideal customer is. Enter your email to win or enter via our website competitions is the dating process, this is where you woo your potential clients, wine and dine them and show off your best side.

If they like you, they’ll not only enter your competition, but they’re much more likely to turn into paying customers too.

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So you’ve got them to your website, what now?

Here’s where the magic happens. By getting them to your website, you not only increase awareness for your brand, you also gain important and valuable information about them through Google Analytics data, collecting their email address and if you have your Facebook pixel installed, the ability to remarket to your competition entrants long after your competition is over.

Having more detailed information about your entrants means you can start to segment your list based on their demographics and behaviour – for example if you’re running a workshop in Melbourne, you can send an email to the segment of your list that lives in Melbourne, enabling you to personalise your content and increase your chance of conversion.

Your competition, like any marketing tactic, should yield a lasting result – not just a quick win. When people think of competitions, they think of ‘like us to win’ or ‘follow us to enter’ type competitions… Yes, they have their place in the marketing funnel, but the value is in directing your audience to your website – or better yet – collecting their email address, so you can continue to market to them with valuable, relevant and consistent content following the competition. That increases conversion and ultimately return on investment. 

As dedicated competition strategists, we’re always focussed on your long-term business goals, not vanity metrics that don’t pay the bills. Find out more about how we can bring your audience from social media to your site and how you can start building a meaningful, long-term relationship with your clients, book in a 15 minute free strategy session with our competition gurus– no BS, no sales, just awesome ideas and advice.