How to Run a Facebook Contest


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A Facebook Contest is an easy way to engage Fans and convert them into email signups by enticing them with a prize. There are many different types of Facebook Contests from the most basic “random draw” sweepstakes to highly involved video contests with a full panel of judges to decide a winner. Each has different benefits. Each is most useful for different businesses and different marketing campaigns.

A Facebook Contest is a great way to achieve your goals in social media. One Facebook contest can give you the same return on investment as hundreds of pieces of content, saving you hours. For small business owners and small marketing teams, this time-savings is invaluable. In this article you’ll learn how to run a Facebook Contest to achieve specific goals and grow your business.

Published in: Business, Technology, Art & Photos

How to Run a Facebook Contest

  1. 1. How to Run a Facebook Contest
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1 Choose a Prize and Entry Method Build your Contest Page2 3 Promote & Share your Contest 4 Monitor your Contest 5 Post-Contest Follow-up & Promotion 6 Understanding Facebook Promotions Guidelines
  3. 3. Choose a Prize and Entry Method 1
  4. 4. Choose a Prize A great prize is a gift card for your business. Why? Two reasons: A gift card is enticing to all of your potential customers – it’s the prize that is the most enticing to the largest group of people. If you give away a certain product or service, you will only get entries from people interested in that specific product. With a gift card though, you will attract entries from those who are interested in the products you sell. It will only attract people who are interested in your products, which is what you want! If you give away an ipad you will get a ton of entries, but those people will only be interested in ipads, not your products. This will make it almost impossible to convert these users into actual sales for your business. Giving away a gift card ensures that entrants have an interest in your products, which makes it easy to convert them into sales. 1 2
  5. 5. Choose an Entry Method Next, decide what do users have to do to enter. Do they need to submit a photo? Or just enter their email address? What you ask for at the time of entry depends on your goals. Here are 3 entry methods to consider: Contact Details: This method requires people to enter their email address, name, phone number, etc. to enter. For this method you should ask for the smallest amount of data you need to be able to contact entrants with follow-up emails to convert them into sales. Contact Details + User-generated content: This method allows you to ask users to enter photos, videos and text to enter. It provides you with great user-generated content to use in future marketing, and allows you run contests in which users vote on their favorite entries to win. Contact Details + Friend Referral: To boost 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. 1 2 3
  6. 6. Build your Contest Page 2
  7. 7. Build your Contest Page I The contest entry page needs to be simple and exciting. It must get people excited about the contest and prize, and make it easy to enter. Here are the 5 elements of an entry page for a contest on Facebook: Attention-Grabbing Title: A short title phrased as a call-to-action is the best way to maximize entries. For examples, “Enter to Win a $50 Gift Card from Diamond Candles!” is both simple and informative – it tells visitors what they can do on this page, what the prize is and who is running the contest. It contains the essential information a person needs to feel informed enough to enter the contest. Graphic of Your Prize: An image of your prize is a great way to entice people to want to win it. If you’re giving away a gift card (recommended), include an image with the gift card value in text and a product that people can buy with the gift card. 1 2
  8. 8. Build your Contest Page II 3 4 Entry & Prize Info: Include a short paragraph with info about the prize, how to enter and any rules or restrictions for your contest. You can easily add a link to an outside rules & restrictions page using our HTML Text Editor to keep from overcrowding your contest page. Entry Submission Form: An entry form for a Facebook contest consists of an email address signup box and an “Enter Sweepstakes” button. For contests that require entrants to submit photos, videos or text entries, it can include a file upload field or text area. It can also include custom fields like city, age, etc. to capture more personal details. Share Buttons & Facebook Comments: Make it easy for entrants to share your contest with friends by including share buttons directly on the contest page. Wishpond’s Facebook Contest Apps includes built-in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest share buttons. They also include Facebook Comments to boost interaction on the contest page. 5
  9. 9. Promote & Share your Contest 3
  10. 10. Build Trust with a Behind-the-scenes look at your product Apart from the fact that there’s free wine - people love going on winery tours to learn about how the wine is made. When a person has a better understanding for the materials and processes used in the refining of a product they appreciate it more. It’s just like when you appreciate a colleague more when you see how much work they put into their projects. Anthropologie introduced a new collection with an interview with the founder. Founder interviews are great. They allow you to get a look at: - why they started the business, - what their inspiration is for their products - how they choose which products to make.
  11. 11. Promote & Share your Contest I 1 Send an email blast: Email your customer email lists – they will be the most likely to enter and share with friends to help jump-start your contest. Promote your contest on social networks: Share on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you have a social presence. This is a great way to introduce users from other networks to your Twitter and get them hooked more into your brand. 2 With your contest set up, it’s time to promote it. There will be organic growth from entrants sharing with friends, but you will need a few boosts in the beginning to create the initial seed. Here are 5 methods to promote your contest:
  12. 12. Promote & Share your Contest II 3 Add a banner on your website home page: If you’re an online business, you get the most traffic to your website, not your social network accounts. Capitalize on this traffic by including a banner on your homepage that links to your contest entry page. Create a Facebook Ad:This is a great way to reach new customers outside of your current community. These ads can be very targeted to reach your demographic. List your Contest on popular contesting websites: There are a ton of contesting websites that allow for free submissions. These are a great way to get access to new communities of customers. Check out our list of 19 websites to post your contest to. 5 4
  13. 13. Monitor your Contest4
  14. 14. Monitor your Contest Depending on your contest goals, you may be interested in tracking entries, shares or new Fans. Here are 3 methods for monitor metrics of your Facebook contest. Facebook Page Insights: These will allow you to track the number of shares, likes and comments your contests posts receive, and the number of new Fans your Page received during the run of your contest. Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of your contest across the entire web. Wishpond Campaign Reporting: Wishpond’s Facebook Contest Apps includes real-time campaign reporting, which allows you to track view, entries and bounce rates in real-time. This allows you to update your contest in real-time as it is running. 1 2 3
  15. 15. Post-Contest Follow-up & Promotion 4
  16. 16. Post-Contest Follow-up & Promotion Even after your contest is over, you can use it to promote your Facebook Page further. Here are a few suggestions on how to leverage your contest and keep your entrants engaged with your business: Profile winner(s) on your blog and share on Facebook and other social networks. Create a video showing you choosing the winner to create excitement. Send a follow-up email to contest entrants to convert them into sales. Share your plans for future contests on Facebook to keep your followers hooked. All of these activities keep the momentum going and will prime followers for future posts from your Facebook Page. 1 2 3 4
  17. 17. Monitor your Contest4
  18. 18. Understanding Facebook Promotions Guidelines Facebook has several explicit guidelines to follow when running a contest. When you use a 3rd party app like Wishpond’s, the app will include all of the necessary pieces and disclaimers, so you don’t have to worry about them. Let’s take a look at a few of the major guidelines: You must have a written disclaimer stating that the contest is in no way associated with Facebook. You cannot use a Facebook feature as an entry method – so even if the contest is housed inside of an app, you cannot have a person click a Facebook Like button to enter. Facebook contests must be housed within a tab or app. You cannot, for instance, run a contest in which people must write something on your Facebook Page’s wall, comment on your status update or Like a picture. They must enter inside of an app. 1 2 3
  19. 19. Thank you for viewing! Check out for more! Wishpond makes it easy to run social media marketing campaigns. Learn more at
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