12 Step Facebook Guide That Will Make Your Facebook Contest a Success

The powered of FREE Stuff! You don’t need me to tell you FREE gets people interested in an instant.

There is nothing better to attract massive attention. Give people a gift or an opportunity to win something and they will be more than happy to at least share and be social.

That’s the psychology behind every Facebook Contest and the reason why contests are becoming part of every marketing strategy.

Almost all businesses today are using this to their advantage.

Facebook registered 1.28 billion daily active users on average for March 2017 https://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/ .

It seems to me there are potential customers for facebook contest ideas for small business in those billions.

Let’s see how to run a successful contest and bring some of them to your Facebook business page.

We’ve created a complete guide.

Here is everything you need to know for running a Facebook Contest!

Step by Step Facebook Contest Guide

  1. Review Facebook Contest Rules
  2. Set Goals
  3. Define Facebook Contest Type
  4. Choose the Prize
  5. Create the Rules
  6. Contest Hashtag
  7. Image Design
  8. Optimize Your Contest for Mobile Devices
  9. Promotion
  10. Announce the Winner
  11. Say Thanks To All Who Participated in the Contest
  12. Analyze the Contest Performance

1. Review Facebook contest rules

You’ve probably read this a thousand times, I know I have!

So why do we feel the need to outline it over and over again?

It’s because Facebook every now and then is changing the regulations for Facebook contests, promotions, and giveaway.

Make sure you check Fb regulations carefully before you lunch your contest.


When you’re making a strategy it’s essential to define your objectives, this will give you a way to measure results and will help you decide what kind of contest will work best.

Ask yourself why am I running this Facebook contest? What do I want to accomplish?

  • Get more likes
  • Build brand awareness
  • Gain new followers
  • Boost engagement
  • Drive traffic to your site
  • Promote service or product
  • Increase sales
  • Gather content
  • Get an idea
  • Expand your e — mail list
  • Get testimonials
  • Analyze your audience opinion about your brand
Defining goals is an essential part of every project and you can’t have a successful contest without getting clear on what you are trying to achieve.

3. Define Facebook contest type

If you have set up your goals it will be easy to determine what will work best for you. There are a lot of Facebook contest types you can use depending on your objectives and we will talk about that in details further down this posts.

Bear in mind that you need to keep it as simple as you can.

Respect your fans time.

You don’t want to make it too difficult or complicated for people to enter.

If you overcomplicate things most likely your contest will fail.

You can choose to:

  • Run a contest on your timeline
  • Use a third party — software

If you’ve decided that your goal is to grow your e-mail list or collect some other personal information then you’ll have to use a third party software. For driving engagement timeline contest will work fine.

However I recommend using a software for your Facebook contest.


Because it looks more professional and it’s simpler to execute. Let’s say you need to pick a random winner. The software does the job for you and you don’t need to get involved in the decision process. This is both easy and fair.

Below you can find the pros and cons of using both timeline and software contest.

Pros & Cons of Running a Timeline Contest

Timeline Contest Pros

  • Timeline contests are easy to set. All you have to do is create a post and share it on your page.
  • The set up is completely free. You don’t have to have a budget to conduct a timeline contest. If you have some advertising money you can simply boost the post.
  • Perfect for engaging with your current followers
  • They have low entry barrier. This makes it easier for fans to participate. Everything happens right there on the wall they don’t need to leave the page
  • It can be accessed from all devices mobile, desktop, tablet.
  • It’s perfect if you want to expose your page to more people quickly.
  • Perfect if you’re trying to get raise engagement level on your page.
  • If you chose to use voting as a condition to enter or as a method for selecting the winner, fans can vote with a single click.
  • Participants are not required to share their personal info in order to enter. This opens the doors to a broader audience. Not all are willing to give their info for a chance to win a prize

Timeline Contest Cons

  • You can’t gain new followers. Facebook contest rules are very strict. It’s forbidden to ask people to like your page in order to enter the contest
  • People that don’t follow your page can enter.
  • Sharing a post as a method for entering the contest is not allowed
  • Tagging a friend is also forbidden in the Facebook Contest Rules Guide
  • It’s difficult to promote the contest on your page. If you share it more than once it can be confusing for followers they might not know where to live their comments or likes. Best you can do is pin it on the top of your page
  • It’s impossible to be completely fair when picking the winner. Usually, in this types of contests the winner is randomly selected, and when there’s no third party involved you pick the winner yourself. There’s nothing random about that.
  • It’s hard to contact the winner. You have to send a personal message and tag the person. Then you have to ask for their info in order to send the prize. If you chose a winner that doesn’t follow you it’s even more complicated
  • You won’t gather leads, so there’s no potential for future contact or Up-sale!

Pros & Cons of Running a Software Contest

Third Party App Contest Pros

  • Perfect for gathering leads. Third Party Contest allows you to ask followers to leave their emails or other personal info in order to enter
  • Entrants can share the contest on their timelines. This gives you the opportunity to reach their friends and get more followers.
  • When you use a third party app you can ask people to like your page to enter the competition.
  • Third party contest apps allow setting multiple entering methods. Entrants can choose the way to participate. Every method brings different amount of points
  • You can offer bonus points for those who chose to take more than one action ( Like + Share + leave email…)
  • Spread across other platforms — offer bonus points for sharing on other platforms.
  • You’ll get access to detailed analytics so you can see what worked good and improve your strategy for the next content
  • Easy and fair winner selection
  • It’s easy to contact the winner.

Third Party App Contest Cons

  • It’s not free. You have pay to use the app for your contest.
  • It’s harder for visitors to enter. Usually, they need to share personal info and more engagement is required
  • It’s more time consuming than timeline contest. Takes more time to plan and set up
  • Not all third-party apps are mobile friendly
  • You won’t get a lot of engagement on your Fb page. Participants need to leave your page in order to enter.

Here are the top 5 third party apps for setting Facebook contest.

Think about your audience and their interests before you decide on your prize.It doesn’t have to break the bank, I’ve seen a lot of successful contests with a reward worth $50, but the contest needs to be very attractive.

You can offer your products or your services, just choose something of value to your audience. Something that will motivate them to do that extra effort and enter.

Giving away something big and shiny that’s not related to your brand (like a phone, trip, etc.) just for the sake of attracting attention is not a good idea.

Yes, you’ll have more entries, but that does not necessarily mean that you’ve gained real followers. They are only interested in the prize not in your brand and it’s highly unlikely that they’ll become fans or customers

Offer something of value.

Be very clear about the contest rules. By choosing the contest type, you’ve already decided what they need to do in order to enter. Once again I will emphasize how important is to keep things simple. Don’t torture people by giving them a real ride that will see them give up mid-way through the entry process.

Now, in order to keep things as clear as possible you need to:

  • Create a time frame — time is a very relevant factor. Think carefully before you set the time frame. Creating urgency is another way to go. Look how Black Fridays are driving people crazy. You can run it for a day, for just a few hours, you can organize weekly giveaways or let it run for a month.
  • Determine criteria for choosing the winner — people need to know how the winner will be chosen. The truth is there is so much deception around us that we’re all a little bit suspicious. Don’t miss to include this rule in all your post and promotions

We’re all well aware of the importance of using hashtags for social media posts.

Creating a contest hashtag will make it easier for you to promote the contest on other sm platforms. Here are some basic tips for choosing a hashtag

  • Keep it short
  • Choose something easy to remember
  • Create unique hashtag
  • Should reflect your brand
  • Should reflect the campaign’s message

I can’t stress enough how important is the image design.

There are some out there that would disagree, but this image will represent your brand so you want to make it compelling. After all the image is the first thing that catches your attention when you’re scrolling down the newsfeed.

You can use a picture of the prize or some other image. Include your company colors, your logo, and a headline. Just remember if you’re planning to advertise your contest Facebook does not allow more than 20% text on the image, so stick with what’s most important when crafting your image message.

8. Optimize your contest for mobile devices

More and more social media users are turning to mobile. In fact Facebook is slowly becoming a mobile app. Majority of users access FB on mobile and tablet devices. That’s why you need to ensure that your contest is mobile friendly.

You’ve finally created your Facebook contest.

If you like your contest to be successful you need to promote it. If you’re not using software pin the post to the top of your page. Update your profile and invite people to check the contest. Cross promote to all social platforms. Announce the contest on your website.

If you have a budget you can use FB ads — great way to target a specific audience and to jump start engagement.

Make this publicly on your page. Design another contest image to congratulate the lucky winner. If you have the opportunity tag the winner.

To do this you must tag the winner in the comments, so it’s not a bad idea to announce that you’ll publish the winner on your page and in the comment section of the content post itself.

11. Say thanks to all who participated in the contest

Publicly thanks everyone for making an effort to enter and make the contest a success. If you asked for email submissions as a way to enter send a thank you mail to all participants.

It’s a good to reward everyone for their participation. That way you’ll encourage people to enter your next contest. Just remember it’s consolation prize, so don’t go too far. Offering a discount code is a good idea.

12. Analyze the contest performance

  • Check the results and see if you managed to achieve your goals.
  • In-depth data analyzes will give you an idea of what has worked and what needs to be improved for your next contest. There is no one golden rule in marketing. You have to experiment and see what works and more important understand why it did.
  • It’s not enough to just go through the results. Think why they turned the way they did? How to go give people motivation to engage?!

Learn from your experience, make adjustments and go at it again.

Originally published at www.onlinesalesinstitute.com.