Let’s face it: Whether using Facebook or any other lead generation platform, the entire point of any strategic marketing activity is to generate positive and active leads for your business. This applies to everything from print advertising to SMS and email campaigns and social media marketing.
One great way to engage with consumers and trigger them to not only take action but to also become lead generators for your business is to run a contest. And Facebook provides the perfect platform to do so.
Why use Facebook for contests?
In the past, contests had to be run using third-party apps, such as ShortStack, Heyo, and others. This was, at best, inconvenient. Now, however, Facebook contest rules have been altered and, with new rules in place, contests can be run on Facebook simple and quickly using a normal post on your news feed.
The benefits of this are enormous. Fans can enter contests by simply liking the post, commenting on the post, sharing the post with others, posting a photo, or by a combination of these.
Facebook contest rules
There are some specific rules to follow when running any kind of contest on Facebook. Facebook contest rules were revised last year, and here are some things you need to know in order to run a legal contest:
- You can host promotions on your business page’s timeline, or on a custom Facebook Page app or campaign.
- You MUST NOT host a contest on a personal profile.
- You may request that people enter a contest by:
- Liking a post
- Commenting on a post
- Posting on your page
- Messaging your page
- Suggest names for a new product
- Liking to vote
- Like a page for access to competition entry form
- You MUST NOT require that people do the following to enter a contest:
- Like a Page
- Share a Page
- Share a post
- Tag themselves in pictures or a post
- Share a contest on a friend’s timeline
- Load a cover photo promoting a product, event or page
It’s important to note that while you are not permitted to require fans to like or share your page as the only means for contest entry, you can require them to do so for access to an entry form. You can also encourage them to share a post or a page – but it must not be a requirement for entry to the competition.
All promotions and contests on Facebook must clearly include the official rules of the promotion, as well as clear statements of terms and eligibility to enter.
You must also clearly state that the contest or promotion is not endorsed, sponsored, or administered by Facebook in any way. You must also ensure that it is clear that Facebook is in no way liable for any aspect of the promotion, and that local laws are complied with.
When you compose your contest rules, be sure that you:
- Adhere to local legislation relating to businesses and prize giveaways.
- Clearly identify the sponsor of the contest.
- Specify residency and age restrictions of the contest.
- Tell fans how to enter the contest.
- Clearly state the period of entry for the contest and when it will be finalised.
- Clearly explain the selection process for the winner.
- Provide information on the prize and how it will be delivered.
- Provide disclaimers against adjustment or closing of the contest, as well as your right to investigate tampering.
- Nominate if and how fans’ personal information will be used.
Once your contest has been completed, how should you contact winners?
Legally, you can do so by announcing it on your website or blog, sending the winner a tweet, sending the winner an email, posting a status update to announce the winner, or by commenting on the competition post.
For more information, see and follow the Facebook Guidelines available on the platform.
Facebook contest ideas
The key to a successful, lead generating promotion is to think creatively when you seek to come up with Facebook contest ideas. When you think outside the box, you can run regular contests that are all a little different from the last.
Here are just a few suggestions for Facebook contest ideas that will engage consumers and generate new leads for your business:
- Like to win – the simplest of all contests, fans need do nothing but simply like a particular post to be in the running for a random draw. You can use a status, image, video, or link as your promotional post.
This method of running a contest is easy and you will attain a lot of likes. The prize must appeal to your target audience so that your reach and lead generation is going to be optimally effective in the longer term.
- Comment to win – either by leaving a generic comment on the promotional post, or by answering a specific question.
For example, “Fill in the blank” and randomly select the winner – as there is no correct or incorrect answer for this type of question. Make sure the “blank” relates to your business in some way.
You could also ask commenters to share an experience with your brand for a chance to win – it will also give you a pool of testimonials to use later.
- Like and comment to win – asking for a greater level of engagement.
- Like and tell us why you should win – for high engagement and to attract meaningful comments about your brand.
- Photo contest – ask fans to share a photo of how your product enhances their life, how they use your product, or of themselves at your location or event. Engaging and free publicity for your merchandise! This is fantastic for restaurants and hotels or resorts, as well as online retailers who sell their own brand.
- Caption contest – let others be creative! These contests are popular and fun. You can choose the winner randomly, base it on the best answer, or let the caption with the most likes be the winner.
- Q&A contest – How well do you know our product? What is your favourite feature of our product? What do you love about our brand? This will engage true fans and customers and showcase your business.
- Crowdsource contest – use your fans as a source of ideas for your business. Get them to help you decide on things like a new logo design, a book cover design, a new clothing line to run, or any other decision you need to make for your business. The winner will be your favourite suggestion (or randomly chosen from those who suggested the same thing).
- Guessing game – how many jellybeans in the jar? Where was this photo taken? Who is this? It’s fun and people will play.
These are just a few ideas – others may include asking fans to share their favourite quotes, favourite books, favourite movies, best tips – you are only limited by your imagination!
People almost universally love to get “something for nothing”, and the opportunity to “win” is very enticing.
With Facebook contests, the steps needed to be in the running could not be simpler – hence the appeal of entering these contests. It’s of benefit to consumers, and of enormous benefit to your business – so why not run a regular contest on your Facebook business page?
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