10 tips for running successful competitions on Facebook
10 tips for running
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Facebook has undoubtedly become the largest social
network in the world. With over 1.23 billion of users - 945
millions are mobile users* - it has to be integrated in the
existing promotion efforts.
This windfall of users makes it an excellent choice for
deploying various promotional strategies, including
promotions and contests.
Including the user in a game mechanic is a great way
to develop an intention. An intention to buy, enquire,
* Facebook datas - December 2013
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It will make you brand switch from a traditional
strategy to a relational strategy. Brands that offer the
best experience will not only attract attention but also
transform their customers into fans likely to share and
viralize their message
Brands are also using promotional apps to collect
a qualified database of clients and prospects that
allows them to improve the intelligence of their future
Why ?Viralize Entertain
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I have a Fan page, what’s next ?
Many brands, companies and artists have a Facebook
fan page and promote their new products to their
communities called «Fans».
Today, if you have a fan page it’s important to try to
understand who your fans are, how they have heard
about you, why they decided to become fan and how to
interact effectively with them.
While it’s obvious that having a Facebook page with
fans is not an end in itself, we can also apply the same
idea to promotional applications. The promotion should
not be viewed simply as a unique event with no links
to your other marketing efforts. It should be integrated
into a whole strategy of community management and
data gathering that you need to plan and carry out
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1 / Follow Facebook
terms and conditions
Facebook often updates its terms and conditions,
especially the promotion guidelines which aims to
frame the sweepstakes and contests on the platform.
It is essential to follow those rules if you want your
campaigns to be smooth.
Facebook is not in charge of the contest
A contest hosted on Facebook should contain the
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or
administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are
providing your information to [disclose recipient(s) of
information] and not to Facebook. The information you
provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan
to use the user’s information]. By entering this contest, each
participant approves a complete release of Facebook.
It should also be noted in the contest’s Official Rules
that Facebook does not support and can’t be held
responsible if something goes wrong.
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From now on page administrators are allowed to run
contests on their page timeline and Facebook no longer
requires the use of third-party applications.
What are the main new changes?
It is authorized:
• Users can participate in a contest by posting,
commenting or liking a Page post.
• Users can participate in a contest by sending a private
message to the Page.
• Businesses can now utilize likes as a voting
It is still not possible to use personal Timelines to
administer promotions and to participate in a contest by
• to tag themselves in the picture of a new product.
• to share a post with their friends.
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Can I still use Page tabs and apps to
administer a promotion?
Yes, of course. The Facebook promotion guidelines
state explicitly that Page administrators have the
option whether they use a dedicated application or the
Newsfeed to run promotions.
In order to help, here is an infographic which summarize
pros and cons of each model.
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purpose of this page is to define:
• The nature of the information collected
• Their future use.
• How you intend to allow users to delete or update
their personal data.
In addition to comply with the law in place in every
countries where the promotion takes place, you must
comply with the promotion guidelines of Facebook.
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You can hold the contest in a fan page tab
To maximize the effectiveness of a contest, you must use
an application. This will appear in a dedicated tab.
Participations may therefore be processed within the
tab without having to leave the page or use a dedicated
application (the tab being an application), which will
greatly facilitate and encourage participation in your
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You can restrict the contest to fans only
Facebook allows you to condition the participation of
a user with the following features: liking the fan page,
checking in to a place, or connecting to your app. You
can ask the user to click on «Like» to enter the contest
and this feature is now also available on mobile devices.
Since 2013, Facebook no longer specifies conditions to
follow for notifying or annoncing the winners.
The best solution remains to contact them directly
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2 / Comply with any
legal obligation in
The law and various legal obligations (if any) tend to vary
a lot from one country to another or even from one state
In the US, some states require that sweepstakes are
registered when offering a certain amount of prizes.
In the UK, according to the Gambling Act 2005,
competitions are allowed if no payment is required
to enter OR skill is highly involved in determining the
winner. Otherwise, it would be considered as an illegal
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3 / Come up with a
The apparence of a competition is an aspect often
neglected. Yet it can provide a very interesting exposure
for your brand or product you want to promote. So use
this space to remind users about the context of your
competition, who you are and what you do.
However, on Facebook you’ll face an important
limitation: the width. In a Facebook page the content
of a tab can’t exceed 810 pixels wide. The height is less
limited, but keep it as short as possible.
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4 / Encourage users
to become fans first
Try to get them to Like your page first so that you get
a way to reach out to them afterwards with status
This advice is especially important if increasing the
number of fans is one of the main goals of your
Try to remind them at different stages of the
participation - if you can’t enforce it - to become a fan of
Don’t let new users leave after entering the
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5 / Offer an exciting
Try, when possible, to spend your budget mainly on the
1st prize. Most of the participants are here for the 1st
prize and not the other ones.
Offer different prizes to attract a diverse range of
participants. For example you can offer a trip or a high-
tech product or gift vouchers as a first prize. This way
you address a large target and don’t extend your budget
since you will only provide what prize the player picks.
Boost participation with attractive prizes
Choosing the prize is a highly strategic step and
therefore it should be done before the project even
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6 / Tell your fans
To create excitement and enthusiasm around your
operation, you need to announce it before it happens,
using different channels of communication.
One status a day for a week, a newsletter, a press
release... or anything else to make sure your competition
is a success.
It’s also noteworthy that the peak of attention on
Facebook is during the week at 3 PM. But it may vary
depending on your activity : take a look at your “Insights”
to find the time frame when your fans are more engaged
on your page.
Use this information to give your page updates more
Also note that if the attention of your fans is important,
it’s also quickly lost. Try not to announce your contest
too early and not to make it last too long (no more than
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7 / Maximize your
You can now include in your cover as many informations
as you want: price, discount, address, email, website…
Ensure maximum exposure for your contest by using an
attractive Facebook Cover highlighting the tab of your
promotion. Thus, each person visiting your Facebook fan
page will directly see your contest, whatever tab he is on.
A Call to Action on you cover could be a good incentive to
like your page or to enter the game. This will significantly
increase the participation rate and the efficiency of your
Facebook rules about cover :
Keep in mind that covers can’t be deceptive, misleading,
or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not
encourage people to upload your cover to their personal
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8 / Invest in a
If the viral aspect and the word of mouth of a
competition is particularly important - and even more on
Facebook - it’s often not enough. Investing in a Facebook
Ads campaign is an excellent way to promote your
The Adverts Manager or the Power Editor platform will
guide you to create targeted campaign ads : choose
a goal (to promote your contest, we advise you to
sponsorize a post with the game url in it), display your
ad to a really precise audience (country, age, language,
If you already have an intern database, you can target
this audience by creating a custom audience in the
Power Editor. And then you only need to edit the
message and to define a budget.
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Once validated, your ad will be online and the number of
participants should dramatically increase.
If you are interested in investing in a campaign
and have a significant budget feel free to
contact us and we’ll forward you to someone in
Facebook’s advertising team.
9 / Collect data
If you want to reuse them later, you must first ensure
that you collect the data you really need.
The data must be properly formatted and stored in
a database or a spreadsheet to be easily processed
You must ensure that processing the collected data will
be scalable and ROI-friendly.
Make sure you collect date relevant for the use you’re
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going to make of it. For example as a video game editor
you could ask: “What gaming console do you own?”
Nonetheless, try to keep the number of requested fields
at a minimum.
10 / Calculate your
Once your promotion is over, you should try to leverage
the data collected by sending relevant promotions to
users who checked your Opt-in box. Try to Use the
collected data to target the follow-up emails.
Use the data collected correctly
Non-targeted email campaigns tend not to be effective
and are easily considered as spam, which will eventually
harm you in the long run.
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You got it, promotions can be a efficient marketing tool if
you take some time to think about it and if you manage
it smartly. Here are to three things you need to launch
the perfect campaign:
1. Triangle of success
Leverage your brand
Build awesome contest and promotion apps for
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