Our 6 Step Guide to Running a Successful Facebook Contest

By Tim Burd - October 18, 2017 5214 Views
By Tim Burd - October 18, 2017 5215 Views

Are you considering running a Facebook Contest or Giveaway?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re going to go through all the effort of putting together a Facebook Contest you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re doing things by the book. Otherwise, all that effort could be a lost cause.

Contests and Giveaways have always been a topic of debate when advertising on Facebook, and we figured we would put together a quick guide for all of you to use as a reference.

In this article, we will provide you with the 6 main steps to executing a successful Facebook Promotion: understanding Facebook’s promotional guidelines, determining your contest goals, creating a promotional timeline, creating your contest rules, promoting your contest, & announcing the winner.

#1 – Understanding Facebook’s Contest Guidelines

Facebook does a really good job of updating these contest rules regularly so please be sure to check their guidelines page before planning out your next contest.

Release Statement Example:

“This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.”

You will need a disclaimer like that on your landing page. If you have the budget it is recommended that you consult an attorney for specific verbiage.

Another common misconception about the guidelines of a content is that you can’t ask people to like or comment on your post as a means of entry. That is a MYTH. Here it is direct from 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).”

SO, you can ask for someone to like or comment, just not share or tag!

PRO TIP: You can use an app like woobox to simplify a lot of the next steps and make your contest really stand out and run smooth!

Alright, now that you’re all caught up on Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines, let’s talk about the next steps…

#2 – Determining Your Contest Goals

When running a contest it is important to know your end goal and how you’ll achieve it. So, before ever starting a contest, you’ll want to be sure you plan things out accordingly. Are you trying to build up an e-mail list? Promote a new product or service? Or, are you trying to build up your existing fan base on your Social Media pages? If you clearly define what you want to achieve through the contest, you will find that the planning process is much easier.

Pro Tip: Be sure to pick a prize relevant to your audience and include a great picture or video describing the prize. A well designed/produced contest image or video can really assist with participation and help your audience understand what they’ll be winning.

#3 – Creating a Contest Timeline

Creating a timeline for your contest will really help you determine what targets you need to hit while running the promotion. Are you running a long contest? A short one? Will you have enough time to properly promote your contest? These are all valid questions to ask yourself when creating your timeline. Putting in a little extra effort in this portion of the planning stages can really help save you from potential issues while running the campaign so be sure to prepare a timeline for all of your Facebook Promotions.

#4 – Creating Your Facebook Contest Rules

Probably one of the most important parts of running a Facebook contest is clearly outlining how the contest works. Setting clear expectations and defining the rules of the contest for your participants will really help users understand; how to enter, how long the contest will run, who is eligible, and how the winner will eventually claim the prize.

While the rules are really important, they can also prevent folks from entering if they are unable to make sense of how things work. So, try your best to strike a good balance between being clear and concise, and keeping them short, sweet, and to the point. The last thing you want to do is write 10 pages of rules and deter anyone from entering.

#5 – Promoting Your Facebook Contest

It feels good to create an amazing contest that just has you bursting at the seams with excitement. But, what good is all that effort if nobody sees it? Unfortunately, no matter how good you might think your contest is, it won’t go anywhere unless you’re promoting the hell out of it. The most effective way of going about getting your promotion some attention would be to throw some money at promoting it. There are several objectives that would work well for picking up some momentum and we think this should be your first option, the ability to target people who you know are more likely to interact with your campaign is amazing, and if done right can be fairly inexpensive.

#6 – Announcing the Winner

Finding a clever way to announce the winner is a really important piece of this puzzle. The last thing we want to do is build up an audience only to alienate them by saying they lost the contest. What we recommend is finding a way to make everyone involved feel like they have won. You could provide all entries a special coupon code, exclusive guide, or something as simple as a thank you e-mail can go a long way to making everyone feel satisfied with the outcome of the Facebook contest.


Facebook promotion and contests are an amazing way to reward your customers and fans. It is also a great way to gain exposure for your products/services. When done correctly a contest can really help give you a nice boost in the social proof department, and a lift in sales for a new product or service that you might be rolling out.

With that said, it is also very important to follow Facebook’s Guidelines to avoid putting yourself and your business at risk. If you break the rules Facebook will not hesitate to pull out the ban hammer and suspend your accounts. So, be sure to plan accordingly and you’ll reap the rewards of a well planned out Facebook contest.

Leave a Reply