The holiday season always brings some wonderful opportunities to promote our businesses. Holiday sales and special promotions, reconnecting with clients, and networking!

Social media also offers an array of ways to get the word out about your business and provides some great opportunities for marketing your small to mid-sized business. And, here’s a fabulous example. This past holiday season we ran a Facebook photo contest for one of our clients, Shodeen Homes in Mill Creek in Geneva, IL. It’s a wonderful housing community with many amenities – from their golf course, to schools, to shops right there in the neighborhood.

In November, they launched a Holiday Lights photo contest for homeowners in the community. People could submit a photo of their home decked out in holiday lights for the chance to win one of three great prizes. What fun! You had to live in the community to enter your home, but you didn’t have to live there to vote. Even though the contest is over, you can still view the nominated homes and see how the contest was set up. Click here to access their Holiday Lights Facebook Photo Contest. If you haven’t already, make sure you log into Facebook so you can see all the contest details. If you have liked Mill Creek’s Facebook page before, you will have direct access to the contest. If you haven’t, just click “like” in the upper right hand corner to gain access to the contest page.

While you’re there, check out some of the inner workings of a Facebook contest. If you’re planning on running one for your business page, here are a few tips:

  • Offer an incentive or prizes. In this case, it sure helps having a $1,000 first prize. But you don’t have to spend that much. Your business is most likely not limited to such a small geographic area. But, in this case, having that prize sure gets attention!
  • Create an attractive or enticing graphic image to draw the visitor in.
  • Consider whether you will use fan-gating. For this contest, we did. What that means is that in order to participate, you have to “like” the page first.
  • Make sure you have thoroughly thought through and documented the contest rules. There is a complete page describing the official rules of the contest.
  • MAKE SURE YOU USE AN APPROVED FACEBOOK APPLICATION! Did I get your attention? Facebook can shut down your whole page if you neglect to do this. The one we used is called Offerpop ( We love it. It’s easy to use and you have a host of options available. Plus, as you’ll see, you can share and comment right from the voting page.
  • Remember your mobile users. Things get a little tricky when you are working with mobile devices. Facebook currently does not support tabs. So you’ll want to pin a post with a link to the contest tab so that mobile users can quickly navigate to it.
  • Promote your contest offline, as well. This particular contest was promoted via a door hanger left on every home in Mill Creek. If you have a smaller group of potential participants, it’s especially important to use as many tactics as possible to get engagement.

If you’ve never created a contest before, it can be a challenge navigating all of your options. You may want to consider outsourcing to a company with expertise in online marketing and social media. If you find yourself in that position, contact us at The Price Group Inc. We would be happy to help! We can be reached at 630 717-8332 or