During the Colorado Christian Writer's Conference last week, I gleaned some valuable tips. One of my favorites was the idea for a fan of the week contest. There are a couple of different ways to do this, and each one doubles as free marketing. Yes, I said free!
To do a fan of the week contest on Facebook, simply let your fans know that you are holding a contest and that the winner will be announced as the fan of the week and possibly receive a prize (anything from a free eBook to being interviewed on your website or even a physical prize - totally up to you!). To be entered in the contest, all they have to do is change their profile picture to one of them holding your book. Do you know what happens when one of your friends changes their profile picture? It shows up in each of their friends feeds as well as each time they post or comment. The speaker that shared this tip with us said that he got the idea from Nabisco who does it with Oreos. While I have yet to see an author host one of these contests, it sounds like a great idea. Even if you didn't want to do a fan of the week, you can still place a widget on your blogs sidebar with photos of your fans with your books. Jody Hedlund does this and I absolutely love it - so much so that when I won a free copy of her book, The Doctor's Lady, I took my own photo to send in.
To do a fan of the week contest on Twitter, you can create your own hashtag to follow (HootSuite makes this easy), and then ask your fans to share a certain tweet using that hashtag so that you can keep track of the entries. The same rules apply, the winner will receive whatever you are offering as a prize. Many people hold Twitter parties using their personalized hashtags. I know an author who gave out a prize during her book launch to one of the people who tweeted about out as an incentive. It's a great way to spread your marketing message to the masses. Especially if your message lets other people know they can spread the word to be entered as well.
Have you ever held a fan of the week contest or know of an author who has? I'd love to hear some feedback on this!