How to run a Facebook Competition

Free promotion for your company can sometimes seem like a bad idea that’s going to be pointless and gain you nothing at all, but when you think about it simple and easy to manage and with the millions of people using it you’d be daft not to give it a go.

Why Facebook?

With many social media platforms why would you choose Facebook?

  • On Facebook you can run a variety of different competitions meaning you can find which one works the best.
  • Increase visibility and engagement.
  • Keep track of progress using Facebook Insights.
  • Facebook has the most users globally.
  • You can customize the competition to your company and what they do.
  • Promote the competition across a number of platforms to direct them to Facebook.
  • Build up your page likes.
  • Your customers can find valuable information about your company.
  • Create a Facebook app for your competition.


What’s the purpose of the blog? Any type of social media competition should increase visibility and engagement but you could be running this competition to get noticed by a certain Facebook page, increase page likes or engagement, either way you need a plan.

Measuring how well your competition is going can be done through Facebook insights, this way you can check how you’re doing in order to make improvements next time. If you set goals along the way in your competition you can look at these specific points and see how you got on.

Decide what competition

First-things-first get your spider diagrams out and summarise a whole range of competitions. Depending on your company you could adapt the competition to suit what you do, which will work the best. Most Facebook competitions consist of Sweepstakes, spot the difference photos, or caption contests, you should assess a few to see if you think they will work depending on your target audience.

Make sure you read the Facebook guidelines on promotions, they have some rules on what can and cannot be done and if you do not abide by these rules your company page could be taken off Facebook altogether.

Photo contests are known for gaining the most interaction from the audience, you can make caption, design or “send in your..” contests which will allow the audience to take over, leaving you to enjoy looking at all the entrants.


Creating a third party Facebook app will make things easier for you, you can provide a ‘sign up’ feature for data capturing purposes. Make sure the form is simple and aim for just ‘Name’ and ‘Email Address’ if you can this way you can easily contact the winner.

Promoting on Facebook provides a cost and so creating an app for your competition is a less costly way to run your competition. Two app builders that you could use are ShortStack and Thunderpenny which could save you from extensive promotion costs.

T’s and C’s

Make sure you outline your Terms and Conditions, Facebook makes it clear that you must provide these to let the audience understand what is provided and what isn’t in this competition. They don’t have to be lengthy but enough to fully explain the rules and responsibilities of the competition, for example stating the age and closing date.

Build up

Before starting your competition you want to build up a hype about it and get everyone excited about what they will expect providing hints and a date to when the contest opens. This way you have people waiting to get involved before the competition even starts.

Date and Time

You should decide on a date and time for the competition to end, this way the entries have enough time to prepare whatever they need and get all their friends to join in. To add to it you could also have a countdown clock just to get your competition entries heads ticking.


Make sure you’re reminding your audience of the competition whilst it’s taking place, daily posts on how you’re up to with entries and photographs of the office getting involved will build up the excitement to the final day.

You don’t want to annoy your Facebook audience with reams and reams of posts, just once or twice a day depending on how big the update is, will do, just a short reminder to hopefully provide shares will get the competition spreading. Get your friends and colleagues to share the competition across their social platforms to get ball rolling. Paid promotion on Facebook is one way to boost your posts, especially posts that will create large attention.

Another way to promote is Facebook Ads which allows you to target the relevant people, although this comes at a budget so think wisely and explore the cost. Not only will you attract a competition audience but this will also able you to grow your page audience too. Be sure to visit our past blog on How to Run Foolproof Facebook Promotions


Engage with your audience, no doubt they’ll have questions about possibly entering the competition so make sure you respond to them and offer help in your posts. Making conversation with them will make them want to join in and also tell people about the competition.

The Prize

The winner will need some sort of prize, again depending on the competition you may want to offer some work experience or maybe even get your clients involved to donate a prize, that way you can build up some promotion for them too which they’ll love. Maybe your competition is based on theme that you could relate to the prize, you basically need to pick up the phone and have a chat with a few people, their side of the deal will be some promotion from your social accounts and make sure they get enough too.

Choosing the winner

There’s two un-biased ways of picking a winner. The first would be if you were running a competition in which people had to send in their entries to be judged, the office would then pick the “best” one to win, this would be done with photographs in order to prove that it’s not a fix or that the judges weren’t setting it up, also by providing photographs the entries feel part of the whole process.

The second would be the good ole’ pick someone out of a hat, in which all the entries would be crumpled up into little paper balls and picked at random from the hat. Again, photographs would be taken to make sure that there’s no trickery going on behind scenes.

Make sure you notify the winner directly, aim to notify them by email or depending on the contest you can Facebook Message them to let them know. After contacting them you can ask for their permission to create a post with their name in, in order to let the world know of the official winner.


Collecting statistics from the competition is useful for not only yourself but for the next time you have a competition, you can justify to your existing clients to whom you may want to get the prize off, why they should take part and what they will gain from giving away a prize.

Statistics are one of the most important exercises to a competition, they back up why you’re creating one and why it will help your business.

Creating competitions are the fun part of promotion, you can engage with your audience and build up a whole new side to your company that your target audience wouldn’t see. Make sure you provide photographs along the way and get as many people as you can involved.

Keep your eyes out for our competitions too!

Sian Clifford
  • Written by on 2nd October 2013 at 16:48
  • “Sian Clifford is a marketing assistant at Fluid Creativity.”
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