Thinking About Running a Contest on Facebook? Here’s What You Need to Know.
With over 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook continues to be the biggest social network worldwide, despite the growing popularity of other platforms, such as Instagram. Factors like Facebook’s ongoing growth and algorithm changes are certainly making it difficult for brands to gain attention, but there are ways to continue to stay relevant!
One great way to engage with your current audience and attract new followers is by running a contest or sweepstakes. This type of initiative is interactive and engaging and is sure to help you hit your Facebook marketing goals. If you’ve ever been curious about doing something of this nature for your brand, know that it is an idea worth exploring!
Running a Facebook contest, however, is not as simple as posting a photo and asking followers to take an action for a chance to win. There are certain strategic steps you need to take first, as well as platform rules that must be followed. We’ve outlined everything you need to know below.
Step 1: Familiarize yourself with Facebook’s guidelines
Before you do anything, it’s important to understand Facebook’s rules regarding contests. Per the platform:
If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including
- The official rules;
- Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
- Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).
For the full list, please refer to their Pages, Groups and Events Policies.
Step 2: Select your contest goal
Like any other piece of content or campaign you’d run on social media, you should have a main goal you want to accomplish by running a contest. The goal you decide on will influence all of the other factors that go into planning your contest, thus making the entire process easier, as your plan of action will be clearer.
Some example goals include:
- Gain new Facebook followers
- Drive traffic to your website
- Collect email addresses for future marketing campaigns
- Collect user-generated content for future content calendars and campaigns
- Increase awareness around a specific product or your brand as a whole
Step 3: Decide on an entry method
There are numerous ways you can ask users to enter the contest, but the option you go with should align with your overall goal. Great options include posting a unique photo or video and tagging your business, or filling out a form on a landing page or via a Facebook app.
NOTE: Facebook does NOT allow “share on your Timeline to enter”, “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, or “tag your friends in this post to enter.”
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that you want participants to invest a few minutes of their time to enter your contest, but not so much that they feel overwhelmed or frustrated by the number of actions they need to take.
Step 4: Determine the prize
When thinking about what type of prize you want to offer, remember that your contest should seek to attract people who fall in the target demographic for your brand, not people who like large generic prizes, such as an Apple Watch.
More often than not, your own products or services are the best prizes to offer! Users who enter to win will be people who are interested in your brand. Sure, they might prefer to receive your product for free, but once they’ve imagined winning it, they’ll appreciate it more and be inspired to buy.
Additionally, the prize needs to be valuable enough that people will stop scrolling and take the time to enter your contest. Consider giving away an item or service that is one of the most expensive things you offer.
Step 5: Iron out the additional details
Once you have a goal, entry method, and prize solidified, go over all of the other details that need to be worked out to make this contest successful.
For example, if you’re looking to collect emails for future promotions, make sure that you’re creating a form that includes a spot to enter an email address. Additionally, if you’re collecting emails, think about whether or not you want to send a promo code to all entrants as a thank you for participating. If yes, that’s additional content that needs to be created and ready to go.
In short, make sure all of your ducks are in a row before launch!
Step 6: Craft your official rules
In terms of your official contest rules, make sure you clearly outline the below:
- Your company info (location, website, etc.)
- Contest start and end dates
- How the winner will be selected
- How the winner will be notified
- What the the prize is and what its value is
- Minimum age, number of times users can enter, eligible countries to win, cases that will result in disqualification, etc.
We know this step can feel overwhelming, as you want to make sure you are completely covered. Wishpond is a service that offers a free Contest Rules Generator that can simplify this process for you!
Step 7: Launch and promote your contest
Your contest is finally ready to go! To help gain the traction you need, make sure you leverage your other social media networks and marketing outlets. Be sure to post about it, mention it in your email blasts, etc. to get as many people involved as possible.
Depending on your goal, it could be worth boosting your contest as a paid post. For example, if you’re looking to generate leads, you can create a Lead Ad and gather user information without needing to build a separate landing page!
Step 8: Determine a winner and notify them
Depending on the type of contest you’re running, you will either be choosing a random winner, or selecting someone who best met the requirements for the contest.
If you’re running a sweepstakes, a winner must be chosen at random, as it’s inherently up to chance. For assistance with selecting someone, Woobox is a great service that offers a free “winner picker” tool.
If you’re holding a photo or video submission contest, you can select a winner based on the entry that best fits the requirements you provided. We recommend explaining why you chose the selected winner so that other entrants don’t become upset that they did not win. Alternatively, you can have your social media community vote on the winner vs. selecting one yourself.
Once you have your winner, make sure you notify them privately, whether that be via email or Facebook message. With their permission, be sure to post about it and congratulate them on their victory!
There you have it! If you follow all of the steps outlined here, you’ll be a contest-holding rockstar in no time.
Interested in running a successful Facebook contest? Call, DM, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss giveaway options. We would love to help make your ideas a reality!