Facebook Contest Ideas

May 5, 2014

Market your Business with these Facebook Contest Ideas

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What’s This?

One way to attract Facebook likes and obtain those all-important email sign ups is by running a contest on your Facebook page. A well-designed contest with a fairly valuable prize can land you contact information on hundreds of potential customers because when people enter your Facebook contest and provide their email and contact details, they become a new lead.

Facebook Contest Ideas & Tips

You can run a Facebook contest to meet specific goals. For example, you can run a contest to get new fans or keep fans engaged, to get new emails and leads, to expand awareness of your brand, or to generate fresh user content.

When choosing a contest prize, a gift card for your business is a strategically good choice. If you give away a product or service unrelated to your business you will not be attracting entries from people interested in the products you sell. Giving away a gift card ensures entrants have an interest in your products, which makes it easy to convert them into sales. Don’t give away something of low value like a mug. Make the prize something really exciting so you can get the most amount of relevant people involved.

What is not Allowed in Facebook Contests

Before we get into the type of things you CAN do on contests, it is important for you to know the things you are not allowed to do. The last thing you want is to violate Facebook’s TOS. This set of guidelines is always changing, so we recommend that you check Facebook directly prior to running your contest just in case something suddenly changes.

  • Like a page to enter
  • Share a page to enter
  • Ask people to Tag themselves in a photo to enter
  • Share a page on a friends Timeline to enter
  • Like multiple pages to enter

What is Allowed in Facebook Contests




  • Like a post to enter
  • Post on a Page to enter
  • Like to vote
  • Comment on a post to enter

Different Types of Contests

There are different types of contests that you can run on Facebook. Let’s break them down so you fully understand the difference:

  • Sweepstakes: users enter for a random chance to win. There is no payment to enter to win.
  • Contest: There is no random element here. A contest has to do with an action taken. A good example of this type of contest is asking people to take a picture and have the community vote on their favorite one.

What you MUST do when promoting your contest

  • Include a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
  • Make it clear that Facebook is not associated with the contest in any way.
  • Clearly state the official rules of the contest.
  • Clearly state terms and eligibility requirements, for example, age limitations.
  • Start and end dates
  • How a winner will be chosen & notified
  • What the prize is, its value, and the last date it must be claimed by.

Types of Goals you Can Set

Each type of contest you run on Facebook appeals to a different audience. And the more fields you ask users to fill out, the fewer entries you’ll receive, so keep this in mind when you set up your contest. Here are a few target details you should aim for:

1. Contact Details: This type of contest requires people to enter their email address, name, phone number, etc. to enter. Ask for the minimum amount of data you need in order to get the most sign-ups.

2. Contact Details + User-generated content: This is one of our favorites. In this case, your audience needs to create content (photos, videos or text) to enter. Running this type of contest gives you tons of great user-generated content to use in future marketing, and allows their audience to get involved.

3. Contact Details + Friend Referral: To increase the number of entries you can require people to refer “X” number of friends to the contest for their entry to count. This is a great way to boost entries and sharing.

Third-Party Apps for Facebook Contests

Facebook requires businesses to run a contest on a third-party application, and while there are lots of companies that provide contest support, the one you choose should be embeddable. And considering the millions who access Facebook from a mobile device, you want an app that has mobile capabilities.

Facebook Contest Ideas

Market your business with Like to win contest on Facebook

1. Like to Win

“Like to Win” is the type of Facebook contest that will get you the most entries. Liking a post counts as an entry for the contest. This type of contest is great because it increases engagement, and allows you to invite the people who liked the post to like your page. You can also promote the post with Facebook ads to get more people to like the post and enter.

Facebook Contest Comment to win

2. Comment to Win

“Comment to Win” is better for your brand than “Like to Win”. Users are showing they are really vested in the contest and will probably be easier to convert into customers.  People just need to “leave a comment to win” or to sswitch things up, answer a question, such as “What feature do you like the most about our products?

Caption Contest for your business' Facebook page

3. Caption Contest

If your audience loves Memes,  they will love captioning your images. This is a fantastic way to get engagement, but doesn’t always get as many entries since it requires a creative audience.

Fill-in-the-blank contests for your business' Facebook page

4. Fill in the Blank Contest

These contests are fun to run, especially when the blanks are open ended. You can use them in your regular updates as well as for contests to get people talking about your brand or product. Such activity-based posts bring people on board and makes it really fun to hangout with followers. Big brands are using this tactic to get people from liking and sharing to actually writing comments and sharing their thoughts. JetBlue is one example, they got 182% more comments with FITB posts.

Effective Photo Contest on Facebook for your Business

5. Photo Contest

You can run these contests with both third party apps or without them by simply asking fans to submit a photo to you through the Facebook Message feature on the brand page or allow fans to post a photo on your page wall and pick the winner randomly or by the number of likes or votes.

Q&A Contest for your Business' Facebook page

6. Q&A Contest

Similar to Fill the Blanks you can run Trivia based quizzes and Q&A’s on your page and run contests without having to pay for any service or app. You can ask simple questions or multiple choice questions and pick the winner randomly.

Grow your email list with Facebook join email list contest

7. Join Email List to Win

This simple contest will give you both engagement on Facebook and allow you to get more signups to your email list. Free Digital Reads ran this simple contest on Facebook and picked up 250+ email subscribers running a contest for a $25 Amazon gift card.

How to Promote Your Facebook Contest

 Use the Right Tool

The first thing you  need to do is have a tool that lets you manage all your social media from one place (like Socialdraft). With Socialdraft you’ll be able to promote your Facebook contest by:

  • Scheduling posts about the contest to Facebook (pages & groups), Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest
  • Monitor hashtags (in case you use them in the contest)
  • Monitor your brand to find out whenever you are mentioned in Social Media
  • Engage on Twitter
  • And much more

Cross Promote on Other Social Networks

Schedule shares of the event on the rest of your social media channels: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram (of course while keeping your audience in mind.

Find Facebook Groups That May Be Interested in Your Contest

Once you find the groups, join and reach out to the admins to ask for permission to post. Groups are fantastic places to find vetted audiences.

Write a Blog Post About The Contest

Blog posts are great ways for word to get out, so make sure you write a well SEO’d blog post about the contest.

Send Out Email Newsletters

If you have an email newsletter (and you should), make sure to send one out before, one during, and one after the contest is over.

Run ads on the contest

Ads work, make sure that your targeting options are right and run an ad to get eyes that are outside of your audience on your contest.

 

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