Why you should run a Facebook contest!
25 March 2015

Why you should run a Facebook contest!

Businesses can benefit greatly by running Facebook contests. Not only do contests inject fun into your Facebook page, they create further exposure for your brand and give people a reason to interact with you. They are a great tool to drive marketing and increase engagement by encouraging people to like your page and share your content, whilst also increasing brand awareness. Facebook contests can be very rewarding, you get to engage with your customers and build relationships with your potential leads whilst having some fun along the way! The best part is, as people enter your contest, you build a list of potential leads.

Contests need to be administered in your Facebook page through an application which you manage separately through a tab on your page. These apps can be customised and designed according to the needs of your contest, personal to your business. So not only do they provide a useful function, they can also reflect and reinforce your branding.

Contests are a great way for you to increase your fan base and the exposure of your page. When an incentive is offered, such as prize which appeals to your target market, your followers are more likely to share your information with their social connections. This will generate additional traffic to your page from new visitors who are interested in the contest and what your company has to offer. Extra traffic to your page will not only mean increased brand awareness, it will also increase the likelihood of receiving organic “Likes’ to your page from new visitors.

By running a Facebook contest encouraging follower participation, you are able to engage your fans and potential leads with your brand and build relationships. Encouraging followers to submit a photo of themselves using your product or service, coming up with a slogan, or explaining how your product or service fits into their life are great ways to engage fans. This encourages your followers to really think about your brand and what it means to them. In addition, you can use their entries as marketing material for the future (get their permission first of course!).

Take advantage of the opportunity Facebook contests provide to learn about your engaged fans, beyond what the Insights Dashboard can tell you. Your followers are more likely to divulge personal information for a contest when an incentive is offered. You can offer a voluntary field where followers can leave their email address to opt in to receive relevant information, news and offers. By including an optional email address field, you can build your email database of fans who are interested in your brand and the products or services you offer. Be sure to not include too many fields on the entry form as it may scare off your followers from entering completely.

When launching a new product or service, you can generate interests and inform your fans of your exciting news by announcing the launch with a contest. This technique can also be used to regenerate interest in existing products

Hopefully now we have outlined the benefits of running a Facebook contest you are sold on the idea! Next you need to decide what type of contest to run as there are a few different options to choose from. Decide what you want to get out of a Facebook contest, whether it is additional exposure, specific product attention or consumer information and structure you contest accordingly.




This involves your fans answering questions about your brand or the products and services you may offer. They can invite friends to participate through Sponsorship also, in order to receive additional entries into the draw.


A great way to get feedback from your fans if through a survey contest. Although not technically a contest, you can ask important questions and offer a possible prize incentive for answering.

Instant Win

This is the quickest and most efficient of the contests available. Your followers will know if they have won immediately after entry into the contest. This type of contest attracts all users and you can collect the greatest amount of information in the shortest period time.


Random draw sweepstakes are different to contests and are easy to enter as people only need to enter their name, email and like the page typically, you can of course add additional fields for data capturing purposes. The winner is then chosen at random after the specified end date taking any sponsorship into account.

With contests, you can collect valuable data from your followers in the form of demographic and contact information. This can be acquired through different formats such as text entry, drop down boxes or multiple choice questions. A contest which requests a higher level of participation from your followers such as a photo, essay or video submission contest is much more likely to increase their attachment to your brand than a simple sweepstakes where a winner is drawn at random. You may get fewer entries for contests which require a high level of participation, such as photo and video contests, due to the time and effort involved, but the level of engagement will be higher. In contrast with sweepstakes, the level of entries will most likely be higher, due to the low barriers to entry, but engagement levels will be much lower.


Read on to discover helpful tips on how to produce the most effective Facebook Contests to achieve your desired objective:

Don’t Give away an iPad or a holiday

Big prizes may attract attention and generate a high number of entries, however the majority of the entries will be from people only interested in the prize, not your company or what you sell. In this case, most of the leads you receive are likely to unsubscribe from your email campaigns, or worse mark it as spam. Also with large prizes, some fans may think they will not be in with a chance to win, so they may not enter at all. Smaller prizes generate a higher number of entries from potential leads who are actually interested in your brand.

In terms of Facebook contests, the greatest return on investment is acquiring targeted leads who you can convert into customers. In order to ensure that everyone who participates in your contest is interested in your company, is to offer discount vouchers off your products or service as a prize, or even give them away for free, depending on your business.

Regularly post about your contest after its launch

Around 84% of your followers will miss out on your initial post about your contest, according to Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm. Therefore, it is extremely important to continue to post regularly on Facebook prompting fans to enter your contest. Also, it may take users time to take action and apply, so the more times they are reminded to do so, the better. Posting daily for the duration of the contest is ideal, or as often as you can. This should make most of your fans aware of your contest and you don’t run the risk of annoying your fans by bombarding them. Promoted posts work well to reach a greater audience at little cost.

Don’t Forget to promote the contest on your website

Make sure to display the contest on your website to drive people to your Facebook Page to enter. As most businesses get a substantial amount more traffic to their website than their Facebook page, you can tap into a wider audience, than just your Facebook fans. Also, you can achieve greater Facebook Page likes from website visitors who may not already be fans. As most website visits do not end in a sale, by running a contest, you can obtain their contact details to promote your company to these bounced visitors in the future.

Keep the entry form simple

Do not overcomplicate the entry form. A lengthy form can be quite daunting to even the most devoted customer, especially if the questions are time consuming and require a lot of thought. Before you launch the contest, be clear on what information is crucial and don’t add in fields that are not necessary.

Make it easy to unsubscribe

You may find that some of your contest entries are from people only interested in the prize you are offering. Ensure it is easy for people who have no interest in connecting with you, to unsubscribe from any marketing communications you send through, to avoid you being added to their spam list.

Keep in line with Facebooks page guidelines

If you do not follow the rules set out in Facebook’s page guidelines you run the risk of having your page removed completely. For example you must state that Facebook is not related to the app you use to host the contest and does not have access to the data you collect. It is not just Facebook guidelines you need to be aware of, you also need to get accustomed to any local laws which may apply restrictions on how you conduct your contest.

When creating your contest, remember that Facebook provides useful information regarding the demographics of your audience which can be used to create appealing contests for your fans. Carry out testing before launching your contest to ensure it meets your objectives.

For maximum reach, promote your Facebook contest on your other social media channels, blog and your website directing traffic back to your contest. Make sure to measure the success of your contest and alter any subsequent promotions accordingly. Finally, remember to engage with participants after the contest has ended and continue to develop on any relationships you have built.

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