WildFire App Facebook SweepstakesOne of the more popular ways to run a Facebook sweepstakes is to use the WildFire app. Remember, you MUST use a third party app if you want to run a sweepstakes on Facebook. You CANNOT use the normal Facebook interface to take entries or to contact winners.
As of August 2012, the cost to run a basic sweepstakes using the WildFire App is $5 plus 99 cents for each day you want the contest to be live.
I ran a test of WildFire App to see how it performed. The app does NOT require a person to like the page. They can enter without liking the page. So to me that is a down side. I ended up with almost 100 entries but only 15 or so new fans.
Apps don't work on SmartPhones. This is an issue apparently with the Facebook interface, and not with any particular app. So you will need a backup method of entry posted for those who are accessing their FaceBook page with a smartphone.
The confirmation email of the entry seems to indicate that you are now subscribed to the WildFireApp newsletter, meaning people will start getting email from WildFireApp as a result of entering. So this means the WildFireApp people (or whoever you use) is not only getting paid but also a free flood of email addresses to market to. Also it could mean the people who get spammed get grumpy with YOU because they equate the spam with your sweepstakes that they entered.
The app does give you a nice graph to show you the pattern of views and entries. This can help you see how your marketing efforts work or don't work on a given day. In my case since I wanted a bare-bones baseline I didn't do any marketing at all besides one initial announcement. So this does seem to show at least that sweepstakes gather interest even without much work.
On the downside, their interface shows you lists of entry names one at a time WITHOUT EMAIL ADDRESSES. To get to the email address, you have to click on a given name. So in order for me to get those 91 names to add to my own mailing list, I would have to click 91 times and manually cut and paste them. That seems fairly tedious. And again this was a fairly short, quick test run. Imagine if I did a 30 day run and marketed it heavily. NOTE: I have now confirmed with WildFire support that the ONLY way to get the names out is to click one by one and cut and paste them. They want you to pay more money to export them. For this reason alone I highly recommend not using them.
I blurred the actual name for privacy reasons.
I used their "live help" button, typed in a question, and it sent an email to them instead. I wouldn't call that "live". If I'd known it was an email, I would have been more verbose in the question and provided details. I thought I was just starting the conversation. This was at 3pm EST on a Tuesday, so "normal business hours".
So to summarize, I could do an "entry form" myself on my own webpage if I wanted. That is very easy to code. So to have their app not work for smartphones, and to have it not get me a like, makes me wonder why I'd pay the extra money to them. Especially since it will cause me enormous grief to have to manually retrieve each email address from the end results.
Running a Facebook Sweepstakes
Facebook Social Networking
Facebook Fan Pages
Social Networking Websites
Marketing your Small Business
Work from Home