Facebook Contests for Fitness Businesses

You have a well-designed, optimized gym website. You post and engage on your social media pages, and you respond to reviews and questions on your Google My Business listing. You have the basics covered, but how do you plan to raise your digital marketing game in 2020?

If you feel your strategy could use a refresh, this post is for you. We’ll cover the basics of Facebook contests for fitness businesses and show you how to do more than collect “likes.” We’ll show you how to drive sales and increase revenue.

Understand Facebook’s Current Contest Rules

Before you begin to design a Facebook contest, make sure you’re up to date on their contest rules. These guidelines change from time to time, but the basics include:

  • You cannot require people to “share to win,” but you can prompt them to “share the opportunity” with friends.
  • You cannot require people to “tag a friend” to win.
  • You cannot require that people “purchase to enter.”
  • You must be clear that Facebook is not sponsoring your contest.
  • You must identify the prize or giveaway.
  • You must provide contest rules, including the duration of the contest and how a winner is selected.

While Facebook contests for fitness businesses guidelines might seem restrictive, they are actually helpful because they ensure annoying, spammy contests are a thing of the past.

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Establish Your Goals

Contests can drive measurable results in terms of exposure, engagement, leads and sales. Here is a list of popular Facebook contest goals. As you read them, consider how each one may or may not bring you closer to a sale.

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Collect user-generated content (ex: images and reviews)
  • Collect leads through email addresses and phone numbers
  • Increase engagement through likes and shares
  • Build brand awareness by increasing impressions

As you can see, you must think about what you want to accomplish. Some goals seem worthy until you evaluate them in terms of sales. For instance, page likes are nice, but they aren’t the most direct way to drive conversions. A direct strategy is collecting contact information for nurture campaigns.

Whatever you decide, once you know your end goal, you can narrow down the type of contest you want to run.

Pro Tip: Consider using third-party tools or Facebook contest apps to gain access to helpful features that make running contests easier and more successful. Rafflecopter, Wishpond and Shortstack are among the best for small businesses.

Determine the Type of Contest

Just as there are different contest goals, there are different types of contests. Here is a list of the three most popular and likely to help you make sales.

  • Sweepstakes and Giveaways– this type of contest is the best to start with because it’s the easiest to launch and manage. It also lends itself perfectly to collecting contact information.
  • Photo Contests- the contest creates user-generated content that’s excellent for driving traffic and awareness. Usually, each person who enters will share their photo-entry to collect votes.
  • Refer-a-Friend Contest- this type of contest drives qualified leads but tends to be the most difficult to run. One way to make this type of contest work for your business is by asking current page followers (likely your current gym members) to enter and refer a friend. But remember, you cannot ask for Facebook “tags” as an entry vehicle, so this is where third-party apps and tools like Wishpond come in handy.
Decide on Your Prize or Giveaway

Once you know the type of contest you’ll run, you can decide on the prize. Your prize should be brand related to help prequalify your audience. What you want to avoid is giving away a universally appealing prize, like a pre-paid VISA gift card. That sort of giveaway will pull in participants outside of your target audience and defeat the purpose of a sales-driven contest. Instead, consider giving away a membership, pack of classes or series of personal training sessions.

Promote Your Contest

After the planning is done, you need to promote your contest. The most obvious way to do this is with targeted Facebook ad campaigns, and there are a few different strategies to try. You can broadly target a large group of fitness-minded people in your area for an awareness campaign. You can also target a smaller, well-defined group for a more direct campaign. Finally, you can create a lookalike audience, which will deliver the content to people with the same demographics as your members. Reflecting on your goals and giveaway will help you create your promotional strategy, but be sure to tailor your copy and creative to the specific group you’re targeting.

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Follow-Up and Close

When your contest ends, the real value-related activities begin. To make the most of the contact information you collected, start a lead conversion campaign that includes a special offer or incentive to drive conversions. For people who don’t become members right away, call and send a second and third email or SMS each subsequent week, nurturing the relationship and reminding your them of the special offer.

From there, keep this list as its own segment and periodically send them helpful content, invitations to events, information about promotions and future contest information. Open and click-through-rates for drip email campaigns like this are about three times higher than with single send emails.

Conversion rates are usually much higher as well, so do not get discouraged and drop these leads. It can take months and more than a dozen touchpoints to convert them. Consistency and patience are the key.

Evaluate ROI

Finally, it’s time to evaluate your data. Consider Facebook metrics like traffic, engagement, leads and conversions. Then look at your lead conversion campaign results. Ideally, you’ll be able to quantify your ROI by comparing your campaign spend with the average lifetime membership value for each of your conversions. You should also be able to determine your cost per lead for each of the leads that came in through this promotional campaign. Use that data to inform future marketing strategies and if running Facebook contests for fitness businesses is the right tactic for you.


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