Learn How to Run a Contest On Facebook

In this article, we’ll show you how to run a contest on Facebook. Facebook is a great platform to promote your business through contests as long as you do it right. 🙌

Let’s start by mentioning Facebook’s size. As the largest social media network, it has roughly 2.85 billion monthly active users. That means greater opportunities to get right in front of your target audience.

One engaging tactic that’s proven to make you stand out in a crowded social media space is running contests. Contests help you reach goals that scale your business. They can go viral and they’re more cost-effective than ads.

By reading until the end, you’ll learn:

  • The top reasons to run a Facebook contest
  • How to run a Facebook giveaway
  • Some Facebook contest ideas and examples to inspire you

Jump in.

Why Should You Run a Facebook Contest?

Everyone loves winning free stuff.

But keep in mind that it’s not as simple as posting, “We’re giving away this freebie” and then hoping that your contest gets results. A successful contest requires careful planning and execution.

Just like creating a lead generation funnel, you must understand your audience, select the right offer, and provide value at all times. By being strategic, a Facebook contest will help you:

  • Increase your brand exposure
  • Generate not just more leads continuously
  • Grow your social media following
  • Boost your sales
  • Build your business’s credibility

Wondering how to plan your contest so you can achieve one or more of these? Check out the steps below.

11 Steps On How to Run a Contest on Facebook

Do the following to finally launch your first Facebook contest.

1. Know the goals of your contest.

You’ve probably heard this piece of advice many times: Set goals. By defining your outcomes, you’ll know how to set up the contest. And when the contest ends, you’ll be able to measure its success.

These are some of the contest goals you can set:

  • More brand awareness
  • Email list growth
  • Get more social media followers
  • Promote a product/service and generate sales
  • Collect user-generated content
  • Learn more about your target audience

Most of our users at UpViral have reached these goals. For example, Saastronautics did a one-month giveaway on a Black Friday that generated over 7,000 leads.

2. Choose the best platform.

The next step is to select the platform where you set up the contest from start to finish. Make sure that the platform has the important features and functions you need. It should:

  • Provide a variety of templates to choose from
  • Help you build custom landing pages easily
  • Let you send emails to your participants automatically
  • Detect contest fraud and whitelist/blacklist people
  • Show your full campaign stats

Don’t just go for any platform you see on the internet. Do your research to find out if a platform is worth your time.

3. Define and analyze your target market.

You’ll want to attract potential customers – not random people who want nothing to do with you when your Facebook contest ends.

By knowing your target audience well, you can create a contest that particularly appeals to them. You’ll be able to pick the right incentive, speak their language, and reach out to them at the right time.

You can create separate contests if your business serves different groups.

Or you could also run the same contest for the same audience but from different geographical locations. In this case, all you need to do is tweak your message and post on Facebook when both audiences are active.

David Fraser did this in his second UpViral contest. Notice that he calls out his audience from different locations – Ontario and British Columbia.

The main takeaway here is that knowing your audience is key to optimizing your Facebook contest. It makes a big difference.

4. Know what prize to give away.

The best prize to offer to your audience is something that’s related to your business. It could be:

  • Your own product or service.
  • An item from Amazon if you don’t have a product yet.

Let’s say you sell women’s clothing. You could then give away your best-selling clothes as the prize.

For an Amazon prize, choose from the best-selling items in your market. And again, it has to be relevant to your business. Rachel Ollen did this in her toddler contest where she ordered the top-rated toys on Amazon and put them together as a prize pack.

Also, your prize doesn’t have to be expensive to attract participants.

5. Decide how your participants will enter and win.

There is no one best way to structure your contest. It can be as simple or as advanced as you want it to be. Your goals will be the basis for your contest structure. In a nutshell, the more goals you have, the more advanced the structure.

Here’s what I mean. Consider these two scenarios:

Scenario A: Goals – Boost brand awareness and get more email subscribers.

 In this case, you can simply have a contest where people enter their name and email, and then refer more friends for more chances of winning.

Scenario B: Goals – Get more leads, increase product sales, grow your YouTube channel, and gather more audience data.

In this case, you can implement the steps in scenario A, plus require your participants to take more actions such as following you on YouTube or taking a survey.

Make sure to incentivize these actions with more points to motivate people to complete them. You can do this inside UpViral using our Custom Actions feature.

💡Tip: Just starting out? Keep things simple!

6. Decide how long your campaign will run.

How long should a contest or giveaway last? Here are some key differences to help you decide:

  • Shorter contests that last for a week usually work if you want your audience to act quickly. Also, this works best for already popular brands because people already know and trust them – so they don’t want to miss out.
  • 1-month contests are great for seasonal events or special occasions such as Black Friday, Summer, or Valentine’s Day. This duration gives your contest enough time to reach as many people as possible while maintaining engagement until the big day. 
  • Longer contests that last over a month are ideal if you have more goals and want to give participants more time to take action. They work too if you’re going to add or remove some elements in your contest along the way like certain Custom Actions, for example.
  • Evergreen contests run continuously. They’re best suited for brands that already have a product or service they can readily give away. Such contests do not only bring a steady stream of leads, but also potential customers.

7. Build your contest opt-in page and share page.

The next step is to create a dedicated landing page or opt-in where people can enter their name and email.

A landing page features the details of your contest. It should include important elements such as a headline, lead capture form, the image of the prize, and call-to-action button.

Here’s an example of a landing page created by Corey Richard for his UpViral contest:

After the landing page, you create a share page where they can share the contest with their friends and complete certain actions.

You don’t need to have coding experience to be able to create these pages. UpViral provides different templates for you to choose from and easily customize.

8. Share your Facebook contest.

After setting up your contest pages, check that everything is working properly. Then promote it on Facebook and other social media channels. UpViral also gives you the option to let your contest be shared via email.

I would suggest pinning that post on top of your Facebook page to make sure that anyone who visits your page will see it.

💡Tip: While this is completely optional, you might want to consider running a Facebook ad to reach a wider audience! Carefully follow Facebook’s advertising policies so that you don’t violate anything.

9. Announce the winner.

You’ll want to let everyone know that the “winner announcement day” is fast approaching. Send them an email update, text message, and post social media updates. Go live on Facebook to build more hype, answer their questions, and even encourage them to keep on sharing!

Here’s how you should notify your contest winner/s:

  • Email the winner/s and ask for their address so you can send the prize.
  • Email everyone else who didn’t win and thank them for joining. Some brands send a discount coupon as a way of expressing their gratitude.
  • Announce the winner/s on your Facebook page and other channels. You can even go live and make it a big event!

If you’re planning to run a contest soon, now would be a perfect time to announce it. Tell them to stay tuned. 🎉

10. Follow-up with your new leads.

By now, your Facebook contest is officially complete. You might think that your work is done, but the truth is, it has just started. What good is your list of new leads if you can’t even convert them?

You need a post-contest follow-up strategy.

But first, I highly suggest cleaning up your email list as a best practice for email management. People may be highly engaged in your contest, but after the contest, some may decide not to stay connected with you.

So, in your first email right after the contest, give them the option to unsubscribe or manage their preferences through a preference center.

For those leads that decide to stay on your list, start building a relationship with them. Drive them further down your funnel by providing helpful content and relevant offers.

11. Know what worked (and what didn’t).

Did you meet the goals you’ve set at the beginning of your Facebook contest? Depending on the results, think about what you can repeat or do differently next time.

Keep on exploring ways to improve your Facebook contests! Feel free to browse through our collection of case studies.

Facebook Contest Ideas and Examples

Need amazing Facebook contest examples? I hope these examples will give you ideas to create an awesome campaign. Dig in.

1. Eline van Maanen’s Evergreen “Holiday with Your Dog” Campaign

Eline recently shared her success with UpViral. If you want to learn how to run a contest on Facebook indefinitely, this is the best case study to follow. She runs a holiday resort for dogs and dog owners. Notice that Eline pinned the contest to the top of her FB business page.

The prize: A free weekend stay with their dogs at one of their chalets.

Contest duration: Evergreen (it has been running for 2 years now).

Mechanics: Enter your name and email and share the contest link with other dog owners on Facebook.

Read the full case study.

2. Diamond Candles “Win Another $100, $1000, or $5000 Ring” Campaign

Diamond Candles runs giveaways on Facebook weekly. They offer their scented candles with gorgeous fashion rings as prizes. To boost their reach, each post includes relevant and branded hashtags such as #diamondcandles #ringreveal #jewelrycandles #win.

The prize: Scented candles with a fashion ring inside.

Contest duration: Evergreen.

Mechanics: Purchase a candle, reveal a beautiful ring, and get a chance to win another ring worth $100, $1000, or $5000.

3. David Fraser’s “Bunkie Contest” Campaign

David Fraser has run 2 successful contests where he gets tens to hundreds of thousands of leads. He goes live on Facebook often to keep his participants engaged. The screenshot above shows David doing a Q&A about his contest and sharing the story of his bunkie business.

The prize: One of his bunkies.

Contest duration: 26 days.

Mechanics: Sign-up for the contest, refer your friends, and complete different actions (such as watching the live streams, answering a survey, etc.) to collect more points.

Read the full case study.

Final Thoughts

We hope this blog post has provided you with valuable tips on how to run a Facebook contest. Know your audience, set goals, and structure your contest around those goals. Last but not least, nurture your contest leads!

If you’re interested in using UpViral to create and run contests, you can get started right now for only $1. 🔥Check it out here.