Why You Should Run Facebook Contests

The most important responsibility of a Facebook marketer is to increase engagement. If you aren’t actively increasing your engagement, then you’re better off spending your time and resources on other marketing platforms. The problem, though, is that it is getting more difficult for small business to capitalize on engagement—there is too many noisy algorithm changes and policy updates. What worked like gangbusters two years ago may not work today.  It’s a frustrating and different marketing climate that is constantly shifting.


Facebook isn’t impossible, however—quite the opposite. It just means that you will have to use what works to your full advantage. Facebook contests fit the bill, if only because they actively increase engagement with your fans. Where some of Facebook’s regulations have gotten more suffocating, it can be argued that their rules for contests have only gotten more relaxed in the past year. Businesses can now run contests on their Timeline, without the use of third-party apps.

The fact is that fans will prefer a contest over a simple post, because it is more stimulating and more rewarding. That fact that you can now post contests on your Timeline should be very enticing, as you will not have to rely on third-party apps that can be tricky to use if you’re not a technologically-inclined business owner.

How to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest

One of the first things that you will have to determine is how you will select the winner. This is flexible, as there are several ways to select a winner:

  • A user can post a photo on your page, and you can use the amount of ‘likes’ as the determining factor. Likewise, someone can post a comment and the amount of likes will decide who wins.
  • You can use the trivia format, where you ask a question, and the first person to answer correctly will be the winner.
  • As an alternative, you can select the winners randomly. The participants will post a comment or a photo, and you will select the winner randomly.

Don’t cross the line

This means that you should know the rules and make sure you don’t encroach upon them. Here are some of the rules for Facebook contest promotions:

  • You cannot ask the participants to tag themselves in photos they are not in.
  • You cannot ask your participants to share your content on their profiles or pages.
  • If you have any rules or requirements for your contests, you must let your participants know about them upfront.
  • You cannot say that Facebook is responsible for the contest—meaning that they are not endorsing or sponsoring the contest. Facebook is not legally liable.

Determine the prize

The prize that you offer will have a direct effect on the magnitude and importance of the contest. If you give away a highly valuable prize (worth at least $100), then you can expect the contest to perform well. That’s not to say that all of you contests should feature high-end prizes. You should balance out your contests with several types of prizes (high value and inexpensive items).

When you actually post the contest on your page, you need to use the right language. This means that your call-to-action must be assertive and it must entice the user to participate in the contest. Some ideas:

LIKE this comment for a chance to receive a 30% percent discount on all purchases for the next month.

Post a photo with a bouquet of flowers for the chance to win a $100 coupon for our floral arrangements. This photo with the most LIKES wins!

What year was our company founded? The first person to give the correct answer will receive a free bouquet of flowers!

You get the idea. Contest ideas like those will incite participation and engagement with your fans.

The objective of any Facebook contest is to engage your fans and to actively get them involved with your promotions and marketing.

Engagement is king on Facebook. Ask yourself if you are doing enough to engage your fanbase. If not, contests may be the answer.