Running contests on social media is a risky proposition. It has to be just the right idea, and it has to be handled just the right way. Today, I want to take a look at one recent contest that has completely taken over marketing using Facebook.

Which contest is it? If you’ve spent any time on Facebook this month, I bet you can already guess. That’s right, it’s the Gerber Generation Photo Search 2012.

This is a perfect example of how a contest can be some of the best viral marketing you’ll ever see. It takes a behavior that people already enjoy engaging in (sharing baby pictures) and makes it into a challenge. “Do you think your child is the cutest?” Of course you do, and that’s why you’re going to spam your family and friends with the link and remind them to vote every day.

Gerber does a couple things really well here. It’s an obvious tie-in to their product, and seeing their brand name plastered over the faces of adorable babies is sure to have a subliminal effect on all Facebook users. Also, by allowing people to vote once every day, they keep engagement high and ensure that the entrants will drive traffic by requesting friends and families to vote.

Use this contest as inspiration for one of your own. Using adorable babies won’t make sense for most businesses, but chances are there’s some aspect of your company that is photogenic. Just remember, make it something people care about, and be careful not to spam.

Original article about Facebook contests posted on Wikimotive's blog under the title Gerber’s Great Contest.

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