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Your Guide to Hosting an Effective Contest on Facebook



Facebook contest

Apr 18, 2019

Your Guide to Hosting an Effective Contest on Facebook

Digital marketing is becoming the way of the future. Even local businesses aren’t just local anymore. The advent of the internet has made it possible for every business, no matter how big or small, to have a powerful web presence. So now you’re wondering how to leverage social media with a Facebook contest?

The more you can get your brand out there and noticed, the wider your customer base. Social media as a platform for marketing has become incredibly popular for brands of all sizes. Social media is extremely influential and almost everyone in every age group engages on one or more social media platforms.

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform and gives businesses the opportunity to promote their company through the use of business pages. Staying active on Facebook keeps your brand in front of current and potential customers. Posting updates, blogs, and new products are common ways to stay active. Another great option is hosting a Facebook contest, which can be a great way to get your brand noticed and increase your following. This is your guide to hosting an effective contest on Facebook.

Why Host a Facebook Contest?

Why is it beneficial to your business to hold a Facebook contest? When you think of giving a product away or offering discounts, you need to look at it as a promotional tool in your marketing toolbox. Let’s take a look at how to host a Facebook contest and what the benefits are.


You want both customers and potential customers to engage with your brand. Those who are engaging, are sharing, liking, and commenting on your posts. This means that their friends are seeing their actions and will then take a look at what their friends find so intriguing about your brand.

You can see how this can quickly snowball and before you know it, your brand has been exposed to thousands of people. Word of mouth, so to speak, is still the most powerful marketing tool and this is the 21st-century method. Most people are much more likely to purchase a product based off of the recommendation of a friend or family member. The more opportunities you give your followers to engage, the larger your customer base.

Build Your Email List

Email marketing allows you to send out newsletters, current promotions, and the release of new products to subscribers. Hosting a Facebook contest and having contestants sign up using their email is a great way to expand your subscriber list and even catch additional data about your target audience that you can use in further marketing endeavours.

Infuse Your Brand Personality into Your Facebook Contest

People like to follow brands that are fun and social. We always say ‘it’s called social media, not sales media’. Give people a reason to follow your brand. A Facebook contest with a valuable prize for the winner will have current and new followers anxious to sign up for a chance to win such a great prize. It will also have your followers checking out what other products you have and keeping up with the latest news on your brand.

Here’s a tip on prizes:

  • The prize needs to be valuable enough to generate interest
  • Prizes need to be relevant to your target audience first and foremost

How to Host a Facebook Contest

When hosting a Facebook contest it is important to understand Facebook’s rules and regulations. In the past, Facebook only allowed contest hosting through third-party apps, but now businesses can run contests directly on the platform.

It is up to each business to make sure their contests are not fraudulent, deceptive, or illegal in any way. Let’s take a look at the basic rules for hosting a Facebook contest.

Make Sure You Aren’t Running a Lottery

In most cases, lotteries are not allowed and you don’t want to accidentally run a lottery as opposed to a contest or sweepstakes. Facebook does not have parameters in place to prevent brands from accidentally running a lottery. To clarify, a lottery is where participants must buy something or pay money in order to enter and then the winner is decided at random. Check out AGLC lottery rules and regulations for more information on what constitutes a lottery. 

Both contests and sweepstakes are acceptable on Facebook. Sweepstakes are where participants enter for free and all entries have an equal chance to win. Contestants normally retire participants to do something in particular in order to win.

Release Facebook of Liability

Even though Facebook allows businesses to host contests on the platforms, it has to be stated that the contest is in no way associated with or endorsed by Facebook. They do not help businesses or promote contests in any way and you must also notify participants of Facebook’s lack of involvement and require participants to release Facebook of all liability as well.

Collection of Data

If you decide to collect data from the participants of your contest, there are certain rules you must follow. You must make sure contestants know that it is your company collecting the data and not Facebook. You are responsible for making sure you gain all permissions necessary to obtain and use contestants’ information.

One of the most critical components of running a contest is to make sure you have a privacy policy on your website and that you have the contest rules and regulations (or at the very least the short rules) available for people to view.

Tagging and Sharing Posts

Facebook doesn’t permit the requirement of connecting with friends to enter a contest. Requiring participants to tag a friend or share a post aren’t allowed methods of entry… and part of that is because you won’t even be able to see all the ‘share’ entries because of personal privacy settings. You can, however, ask people to like and comment on your page or post.

Stand Out & Brand Out

Having a solid marketing plan is more than just a good business decision it’s a necessity in increasingly competitive markets.

With everyone online these days, the creative expert team at Octopus Creative understands the power of digital marketing and the use of social media to enhance your brand and increase your customer base. Download our social media checklist or contact us for a FREE contest planning template

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