Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge sucker for Facebook giveaways and contests. You want me to tag a friend to win a gift card? I’m in. Share a post for a chance to get a discount on my next purchase? It’s done.
Facebook giveaways not only give you a great way to find new followers and customers, keep your existing ones engaged, and improve your organic reach, but they can help you turn your social media audience into brand ambassadors.
But, how do you run a contest on Facebook? In this post, we’ll explore,
- Why you should invest in Facebook giveaways and contests.
- How to successfully run a Facebook giveaway.
- What to do once your Facebook contest is over.
Why Run a Facebook Giveaway or Contest?
There are many reasons you might consider running a Facebook contest, and you can orient your contest around different marketing goals and objectives.
Some common reasons businesses run Facebook giveaways is to:
- Get new followers on Facebook.
- Increase engagement with their existing audience.
- Promote their Facebook business page.
- Increase awareness for a new product or service.
(We’ll get into more specific Facebook contest goals below.)
Although other social media sites like Instagram support contests, Facebook giveaways are a good bet because Facebook is the most popular social media platform out there.
If this is your first time running a Facebook giveaway or you’re trying to reach the most people, Facebook is your best option. But that doesn’t mean Instagram giveaways aren’t effective – they’re super effective, and there are opportunities to run your giveaways and contests on both channels.
How to Run a Contest or Giveaway on Facebook
Once you decide to run a contest on Facebook, there are some simple steps you can follow to make sure it’s a huge success.
Step 1: Decide the Goal of Your Facebook Contest
Like any marketing activity that you’re going to sink some time (and resources) into, your Facebook contest should have a goal. Decide what social media marketing goal you want to accomplish with the contest.
Examples of goals driven by Facebook contests include:
Grow your email list.
Make the goal of your Facebook contest to get people to sign up for your business’s email marketing blast or newsletter. Structure your contest so that people must provide an email address to enter. Email address collection is at the core of just about any lead generation strategy.
Get new customers.
Find and capture new customers with a Facebook contest by offering a new customer discount or promotion to new customers who enter the contest. You can also have your existing customers tag their friends and family (AKA new customers) as part of their entry to attract a new crop of customers.
Get more followers.
You can require entrants to like your business page or even your Instagram profile to get more followers on those profiles.
Host a class or event.
A Facebook contest is an effective way to increase awareness for a class or event you’re hosting. And it’s an easy way to determine a prize – the winner can receive free event admission. This type of Facebook contest helps you fill your event with attendees by spreading the word about it. Follow up after the contest with a special discount code or the event details to those who entered but didn’t win.
Promote a sale or promotion.
Use a Facebook contest to get the word out about a sale or promotion that you’re offering for your business. The prize for the contest can be a giveaway of the product or service that’s on sale.
Facebook Contest Tip: It’s okay to want to get more followers and likes. However, make sure that these follows and likes are coming from the right people. Your ultimate Facebook contest goal is to grow your business through new clients, customers, and sales. If you’re getting 1,000 new page likes from people who probably won’t become customers, your Facebook contest isn’t going to help your business.
Step 2: Determine Your Facebook Giveaway Prize
A great contest prize is what entices all the potential customers. Use the tips below to come up with a prize that will ensure a successful Facebook contest.
Invest in the Prize
Although you may initially be hesitant to invest in contest prizes, it’s important to think about the return on investment you’ll generate from your Facebook giveaway. In order to run a successful Facebook contest, you need a good prize. Offer something that will entice users to take your desired action.
Offer a Relevant Prize
The prize should also be something relevant to your business. For example, many businesses will give away something like a free iPad. Although most people would love to have a free iPad, this prize attracts too many people, many of whom may have no interest in your business whatsoever. Your prize should be relevant to your target audience.
Select the Prize from Your Existing Offerings
Offering a prize relevant to your business ensures that you’ll attract the right people for your contest goal. You only want to target people that are interested in your product or service. By picking a prize relevant to your business, like a free personal training session, free cake at your bakery, or a free gift basket of spa products, your contest will attract people who are interested in your business. You may even consider giving away your product or service for free!
Step 3: Identify Facebook Contest Entry Method
There are a number of different instructions or requirements you can lay out for your participants to enter the contest. Here are some examples of entry requirements.
You might require one or more of the following:
- Share a photo.
- Tag your business in a Facebook status.
- Tag a friend.
- Check-in at your business location.
- Like your business’s Facebook page.
- Like the business page of the business you’re partnering with for the contest.
- Fill out a form on a landing page.
Facebook Contest Tip: You want to find a good balance here, so that participants are required to invest a little bit of time signing up, but not so much that they’re going to become discouraged or frustrated. Also, make sure to be as explicit as possible in your directions so there’s no room for confusion
Step 4: Make Sure You Can Contact the Winner
While you’ll be able to contact Facebook contest entrants through their Facebook profile, you might also want to require email addresses with your entries. This will allow you to contact the winner more formally and will also add all of the participants to your email list! Now you have a channel to keep in touch with people who are interested in your products or services.
Step 5: Create the Contest or Giveaway Post
Now’s the fun part: letting people know about your contest!
Design the Post
Pin the Post
The next step in the contest is to set up the post for the Facebook contest. Facebook makes it easy to create a post and “pin” it to the top of your business’s Facebook page. (Use these steps to pin your post.)
Double Check Contest Rules
When setting up a contest, follow the Facebook Contest Rules to make sure that your promotion doesn’t violate any of Facebook’s rules, such as “Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”
Make sure that your contest post includes ALL of the information, including:
- What you can win.
- How to enter the contest (most important!).
- Who can participate.
- Duration of the contest/entry deadlines.
- Method of winner selection.
- Date and method of winner announcement.
Facebook Contest Tip: Facebook posts for contests will generally be longer than typical posts since there’s a lot of information to cover. Try to be as succinct as possible, and make sure the directions are super clear (you may even ask a few employees or friends to read over your post to make sure it makes sense).
Step 6: Promote Your Facebook Contest or Giveaway
Facebook contests have the potential to reach a plethora of new customers. And since Facebook is the most popular social media site out there, don’t let this opportunity go to waste!
Here are some ways to promote your Facebook contest:
- Other Social Media Sites: Use other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat to let your followers know about your Facebook contest. If users use one social media platform, there’s a good chance they use Facebook too.
- Blog: Write a blog post about the contest, giving details about the prizes, motivation for the contest, rules, etc.
- Additional Entries for Sharing: Incentivize the contest further by giving more entries to people who share the contest on social media.
- Custom Hashtag for the Contest: If you’re promoting your Facebook contest on Twitter or Instagram, create a custom hashtag.
- Email List: Make sure to send out an email to your email subscribers, as these are your most loyal followers.
- Video: You can also easily create a video that you can share on Facebook as well as YouTube, Twitter, and other social sites directing users to your Facebook giveaway.
Step 7: Choose the Contest Winner
Facebook contests are exciting, but you can’t forget about the contest itself and that you have to pick a winner. Depending on the type of contest, you’re either going to choose a random winner or the person who best met the requirements for the contest (e.g. best photo, most referrals, etc.).
Random Winner Selection
For the majority of Facebook contests, it’s a good idea to pick a random winner because it’s the most impartial way. Instead of blindly choosing a name, you can use a tool like the Random Name Picker.
Best Candidate Selection
If you had certain stipulations to your contest such as submitting a photo, make sure to explain why you chose the winner so that nobody cries foul.
Step 8: Announce the Facebook Contest Winner
After selecting your winner, make sure to announce it on your business’s Facebook page and elsewhere so that people can see the contest has clearly ended. Create a post with the winner’s name on it and tag them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make sure they know they won.
If you collected their contact information like an email address, send them an email.
What to Do After Your Facebook Contest Ends
Your Facebook contest has ended – now what? Don’t lose out on the momentum you built from running your Facebook giveaway. Use these three tips to keep your Facebook contest strategy moving.
1. Create a Thank You Post
Make sure to craft a post sincerely thanking everyone for participating and invite them to check out your business’s product or service, as that was the goal from the get-go. If you have future Facebook giveaways coming up, you can also tease those so they have more reasons to come back to your Facebook business page in the future.
2. Do Some Follow Up Work
There are a few different ways you can follow up after your Facebook giveaway ends. If you collected email addresses, follow up via email and thank them for participating. You can even send them a discount code so they become a customer.
Another way to follow up after your Facebook contest is to write a blog post on your site about the recent contest. If your contest prize was a new product or service, writing a blog post about the contest and the winner is a good way to get more information about it on your website.
Follow up with the winner and include quotes or pictures of the winner and their prize on social media. Make sure to tag that person on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to increase engagement!
3. Measure the Success of Your Facebook Contest
After the contest, take a look at your success. Did the contest work to achieve the goals that you set? If you found that the participation surpassed your expectations and it generated a lot of excitement, then there’s no reason you can’t hold more contests. In fact, you may be so pleased with the results of your Facebook contest that you’ll plan another one in the near future.
Run Your Own Facebook Giveaway
Running regular Facebook contests is a great idea, and the return on investment can be quite high for little effort. There’s no reason that your business can’t create one today — just follow these simple steps and get to giving away!