Top tips for running a Facebook competition

Running a Facebook competition can be a great way to help meet your marketing objectives. Here’s everything you need to know before you get started.

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Social media competitions provide a relatively quick and easy way to increase engagement on your page and further increase awareness and interest of your brand. Competitions provide the opportunity to boost exposure, collect customer data, or promote a new product or service, ultimately helping you to further build your business and achieve your marketing goals.

We have previously outlined our 7 top tips for running a competition on social media. In this blog post, I am going to build upon these tips and take a more focused look at running a competition specifically on Facebook.

Why Facebook? Simply, because it’s by far the most popular social media platform, with over 2.2 billion monthly users, so if you are looking to increase brand awareness, it’s a good place to start. However, before jumping straight into running a Facebook promotion there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Facebook’s competition rules and guidelines

Before diving into your first Facebook competition, it’s vital to ensure you are aware of Facebook’s promotion guidelines (Section III, E). Here are the key points you need to know:

  • You must include all rules of the competition including what you are offering and any eligibility requirements.
  • Competitions must include a complete release of Facebook stating “the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook”.
  • Promotion entries cannot impact personal Timelines – for example, “share this post on your timeline” or “tag your friends in this post” are not allowed to be used as entry requirements. This is because of Facebook’s privacy policy.

So once you’ve decided Facebook is the best channel for your competition and you have read up on the guidelines, it’s time to get started. Hold your horses, first, there are a few important decisions you need to make to help ensure the process is a success.

Set your goals

As is the case with any marketing efforts, it is vital that you have clear goals set out before you begin. What are you aiming to get out of the promotion? How will running a competition benefit your business? These are key questions you need to have an answer to as it will have an impact on the type of competition you choose to run. Are you looking to increase your reach and raise brand awareness, or are you looking to increase sales leads? Once you have an idea of what you are aiming to achieve from this promotion it’s time to decide what type of competition is best suited.

What type of competition is best?

1. Like / comment

A Facebook “Like” or “Comment” competition is potentially the easiest to run and the easiest for your customers to get involved with. All you are asking from your followers is that they like the competition post and leave a comment on it. From here, you will pick a winner at random – it is important to remember it has to be random. These competitions are great for driving engagement and increasing awareness, as there are very few barriers to entry.

Although it is against the rules to force people into sharing the post or liking your page to enter your competition, you are allowed to politely ask them to consider it. By saying something along the lines of “share this competition with your friends if you think they will be interested” or “like our page to make sure you don’t miss out on our next competition”, you are leaving the decision up to them. By doing this you are not making the page like or share an entry mechanism, you are simply asking people to do so if they wish.

facebook like

2. User-generated content

Another competition idea is to ask your followers to share their own content, usually a photo or comment, and the best one will be the winner.  This can be a great opportunity for businesses to build their brand through their customers. For example, a restaurant might ask customers to share their favourite dish or best foodie experiences which will hopefully lead to people writing good reviews of the restaurant.

One negative of this type of competition is that choosing the winner can a difficult task. If you end up getting loads of entries you will have to take the time to go through them all and pick your favourite.

3. Ask a question

This can be completed in a similar way to the above, however, you can throw a slight twist on it. One way to run a question competition would be to offer a monetary prize, either a voucher or discount code, and ask your followers what they would spend it on.

Alternatively, you can test your customers and ask them a trivia question. This could either be related to the prize or to help gauge their awareness of your company. By doing this, you will judge who your loyal customers are. However, a downside is the fact that people who don’t know the answer may just comment the most popular response, hoping it is right. Similarly, to the like and comment competitions, these are very easy to run and the winner can be selected easily.

4. Collaborations

Another way to help increase the reach of your competition, and ultimately your brand, is to collaborate with another company. By running a competition together you are accessing two different audiences which will benefit both sides. This type of competition is very easy to run if you already work closely with another brand.

It is important to remember that if you’re going to run this type of contest the business you partner with should be related to yours, but not a direct competitor. For example, if a sports brand was to team up with a fast food chain then there is a clear difference in the business, and potentially within their customers as well.

5. Cross-promotional

This blog post is all about running a post on Facebook but that doesn’t mean it cannot be shared across your other social media accounts. Sharing your Facebook competition across various social media networks will help to increase your reach and further boost awareness or your competition and company.

Picking the right prize

Now that you’ve decided what type of content you want to run it’s time to pick a prize to attract your audience. It’s important to offer a prize that will entice your audience, not just a generic one that will appeal to everyone. This will help target the competition at existing or potential new customers who are interested in your goods or services. When deciding upon a prize for your competition it can be easy to think that the value of the prize is the most important thing, however, this is not the case at all. Offering a prize that your customers are actually interested in and excited by will result in a far more successful promotion.  

Announcing the winner

Once your competition has finished and you have picked your winner, whether it was a random selection or judged, you must notify them as soon as possible. A quick and simple way to do this is to write a new post revealing who the winner is and tagging them in the post. This will quickly notify the lucky individual and also show to all the other entrants that the competition was legit and that a winner has been selected. From here, you can ask the winner to get in touch either through your Facebook page or via your preferred method so you can get their prize sent out straight away  – it’s important to make sure you don’t leave them waiting for ages for their prize as that can leave a sour taste for future competitions you may run.

Facebook competition winner

Time to do it all again

Facebook competitions are a great way to get to know your audience and increase customer loyalty. Each time you run a Facebook competition, the insights will allow you to find out a bit more about your customers to help you fine-tune your efforts for the next time you host a contest.

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