A question we get asked regularly by our clients is, “Should I  run a competition on Facebook?”. Facebook competitions can be a great way to boost engagement and grow your audience if done correctly. If done incorrectly though, competitions on Facebook can be a waste of time and can result in your Facebook page being penalised.

Here’s our guide to running a competition on Facebook and some key items you should consider before getting started.

Follow Facebook  pages terms and conditions

A very important consideration to start off with is Facebook’s Terms and Conditions for Promotions on Facebook Pages.

Ensure you familiarise yourself with these or run the risk of your competition and potentially your Facebook Page being shut down.

At the time of writing this blog post, Facebook’s rules for promotion stipulate the contest T&Cs must include:

  • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant;
  • acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook;
  • promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).

View the full Facebook Page Terms here: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

 Have an objective for the contest 

Consider why you are running the competition and what you want to achieve from it. There are lots of benefits from running competitions on Facebook. A popular reason people do so is to increase their Page Likes. Whilst a contest can be a good strategy for this, we would advise caution in using ‘like-gating’ strategies. You may have great success in getting people to ‘Like’ your page but you also run the risk that these people will unfollow your page after the competition is over.

Success on social media is not determined by the number of followers or ‘page likes’ you have. Having 10,000 unengaged followers on Facebook isn’t of value to anyone.

Your goal should be to have engaged followers who interact with your content regularly and ultimately do business with you or refer you to someone who will.

Consider an ‘action-gating’ objective where you competition encourages an action rather than just a ‘Like’:

  • Increase Page engagement
  • Generate leads
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Increase Page reach
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Collect email addresses – build your database
  • Increase or lengthen video or Facebook live views
  • Gaining insight into your target audience
  • Gather user-generated content
  • Promote a new product or service

Focus on one to two goals for your Facebook contest. Ensure you have a metric or a few to measure results and track this throughout and after the contest.

Include terms and conditions

Ensure that you clearly stipulate the terms and conditions of your competition somewhere, perhaps in a link back to your website. Stipulate how the winner will be chosen and state your rights as the competition runner to exclude any parties deemed to be fraudulent, include any conditions of entry such as competition end dates clearly here as well.

Depending on the type of competition you are running, the prize on offer and which state you operate from, you may be required to apply for a government permit or risk receiving a fine. Check with your state government for the relevant rules on trade promotions and games of chance.

Consider your prize carefully 

It’s very important to offer a prize that is highly relevant to your business and desirable by your audience. If your target audience is a niche, for example, if they reside in a specific suburb or area, then consider offering a voucher or product from a well known local business. Offering a broad prize like an iPad may attract people outside of your niche that are not part of your target audience who will enter with the hope of winning a free iPad. Your prize will also depend on the objective of your competition too.

Make it easy to enter

Whatever type of contest you decide on, ensure you make it easy and seamless for the entrant. Test your campaign on multiple platforms, especially mobile as most Facebook usage is via the Facebook App. Check that your imagery is clear, your copy grabs attentions and the means to entry is easy to use and quick.

Here is some way you can ask entrants to enter your competition:

  • Q&A
  • Fill in the blank
  • Caption a photo
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Voting
  • Submit their email address
  • Submit a video or photo

Most competitions can be facilitated in Facebook with an image, some copy and asking people to comment on your post (ask them to use emojis for a creative approach). Facebook lead generation ads are a great option to collect email addresses and leads or try using a third party app to facilitate your content like Shortstack or Agora Pulse.

Promote your contest 

Even the best contest in the world needs a plan to get it out to the right people. Try running a Facebook ad to a targeted audience, blast out an email to your database, promote the contest in store or on your premises (if you have one), on your other social media channels, your website and in blog articles.

Choose your winner and reward all the entrants

Once your competition ends, ensure you contact and congratulate your winner, if possible see if you can get a photo with the winner and their prize to share on your social media.

If you have collected email addresses a great way to reward entrants who haven’t won is to offer them a special discount or free giveaway – this could be something that encourages them to interact with your business again, like a free industry report, e-book guide or free delivery or small discount on their next purchase.

Need help with your digital marketing?

Chronicle Republic Communications is a boutique Sydney marketing consultancy for real estate, property and interiors professionals. We specialise in social media, content marketing, email marketing, blogging, search engine optimisation, social media advertising and much more!

We help our clients tell their brand’s story through engaging and meaningful marketing that captures attention.