Facebook Competitions

Facebook Competitions

So, you want to run a Facebook competition to grow your social audience and get your product or service seen by some new people. A competition seems fun, easy and foolproof, right?

Find out if a Facebook competition really is the best way to meet your objectives, the alternatives that might work better and if you determine that a Facebook competition is the right thing to do, how to do it by the book (pun intended!).

Have an objective in mind

Whenever someone suggests running a Facebook competition we always ask a series of simple questions starting with what are you trying to achieve – are you trying to get more Facebook followers? Get new followers? More signups for a newsletter? Increase your brand awareness? Sell more products or services?

Who are you talking to?

Running a competition to increase Facebook followers only really works if the right people end up following you. And while running a giveaway that rewards your existing followers is lovely – are there other ways to reward your loyal followers? Key audience questions to ask are: Is your audience online or offline? Who do you want to engage with – people who already like your Facebook page or new people? And as far as your marketing goes, how effective is Facebook in relation to your other marketing channels?

What to giveaway

So, you’ve determined Facebook is the right channel and it will help you reach the right people. Now, what to giveaway. Ideally, you give a prize that aligns with your business. That will make sense to your customers and is usually low cost for you to implement, as opposed to buying something off the shelf from someone else (and inadvertently promoting their brand).  The exception to that rule is showing support to another business, perhaps a client or complimentary service … who knows, they may even share your post and their audience will see your post too.

Giveaway value

We also challenge our clients on the value of their giveaway – too cheap and it’s not motivating enough for people to enter and too high and it pushes up the cost per entry on your bottom line. Beware too of high-value prizes devaluing your products or services: “oh they can afford to give that away, it can’t be much chop”.


Even though you see it happening all the time, Facebook rules say you cannot

❌Ask people to like your page to enter
❌Tag a friend to enter
❌Share this post to enter

You can ask people to:

✅Caption this
✅Ask for ideas of names for a new service
✅Count how many times I said ‘Um’ in this video
✅Share a picture of…

Remember to outline the parameters of the competition (like when the competition ends) and make it clear that your competition is not part of any partnership with Facebook.

To get those likes you can say something like: “Remember to follow our page to ensure you don’t miss out on finding out the lucky winner!”

How to draw the winner

We recommend competitions that have a random draw – it helps avoid people questioning your decision and any potential negative engagement. The actual act of “pulling a name out of a hat’ has many online alternatives now – google “how to pick a winner for social media competitions” and take your pick of the online tools to keep winner selection anonymous and easy.

Analysing the results

The joy of Facebook is the analytics, you can see exactly who did what and when. Look at the numbers, do the maths and compare this competition to other campaigns (ads, competitions, posts, etc) that you’ve done. If it is your first promotion use it as a benchmark for others. You might like to divide the costs (prize value, time, artwork, etc) by the number of entries (actual or predicted) to work out the cost of the promotion – eg A $500 prize with 100 entries works out to be $5 per entry, how does that compare with other promotions you run? Then say you got 20 more followers – at a cost of $25 per follower, does that seem steep to you or a fair price for the right people?

Other ideas

You might find that investing in creating content that is valuable to your audience or running a series of Facebook ads may generate the same results for a similar cost. You might decide that having the right Facebook audience is better than a large following of the wrong people. Whatever you decide, just make sure you define your objective, consider your audience and follow the rules to create a successful Facebook competition.