Have you been considering running a contest for your business on social media? Promoting a contest or giveaway on Facebook is a great way to increase engagement and exposure for your brand. When it comes to executing a successful campaign, there are a few important things to consider.


  1. What is the goal of this promotion?

The first step to ANY Facebook promotion is to decide on a plan and set some goals. Your contest design should reflect your ultimate goal. If the goal is sales oriented, a lead generation contest should be implemented. The focus with this should be on collecting consumer information such as names and emails by using a landing page so you can email them later on. If the goal is increasing engagement and followers, a timeline contest will be more effective. The main goal of a promotion will indicate which strategy is right for you and your business.


Engagement Contest Example:

Contest Blog - Kaboost Timeline Contest

Lead Generation Contest Example:

Contest Blog - Kaboost Landing Page

  1. What will my promotion offer potential customers?

Deciding on a prize is a crucial part of a Facebook contest. Will your prize value be $20? $200? The more valuable the prize, the higher the barrier-to-entry can be for your contest. If you are looking to gather a large number of valuable emails and contact information, consider a prize that is worth a considerable amount. Giving away a $10 prize and asking entrants to provide their name, phone number, email address and birthday is not an even trade off. Conversely, if you are going to give away a car, you could ask people for their name, phone, email, address, address, date of birth and whatever else you wanted because the prize value is so high. A smaller prize should typically be advertised through a timeline promotion. These typically require an entrant to “Like” the post and comment to enter the contest. A larger prize is typically run through a landing page so you can collect information (Name, phone, email) for a valid contest entry.


  1. What will my contest look like?

The language used in a contest post is important. Be sure to include an appropriate call to action within the first or second sentence of your timeline post that lines up with the type of contest you are running. Something as straightforward as “Like this post for a chance to win!” or “Comment to Enter!” with the details outlined below are effective.

Always include a photo! Use a photo that features your giveaway prize in a bright and eye-catching setting and, whenever possible, use an image with a person engaged with the product. Facebook posts with photos are much more likely to receive engagement than text-only posts.

Something even more valuable than just likes and comments on a contest post is user generated content. For your contest, ask users to comment with a photo for a chance to win a prize from your business. Photos can be shared later on Facebook as featured fan posts or can be shared on other social profiles, like Instagram and Pinterest.

To drive a ton of engagement and entries for your engagement contest, make sure you either run a page post engagement (PPE) Facebook advertisement or if you are looking to keep it simple, just use the boosted post feature on Facebook, which is a less advanced way to create a PPE Facebook advertisement. 


social media contests

  1. What about gathering contact information?

If you are looking to grow your business’s mailing list or even generate leads, try a contest run on a landing page where entrants must include their name & email address and any other information you wish to gather. As stated before, make sure the barrier-to-entry lines up with the value of the prize. Offering a $500 tool kit as an incentive to get construction professionals to enter their information will result in an impressive amount of qualified entrants.

This landing page URL can be posted on your Facebook’s timeline, or more effectively, in a Clicks-to-Website Facebook Advertisement through your business’s Facebook Advertising Account.


Facebook Advertisement (Step 1):

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 5.07.16 PM

Contest Landing Page Mobile Version (Step 2):

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  1. Who wins?

Everyone wants to know they have a fair chance at winning. Make sure to follow your own contest rules when selecting a winner. If a photo, comment and “like” are required to enter, make sure your winner has fulfilled all requirements. Otherwise, make sure to select a random winner. Many websites offer random contest entry pickers that allow you to input requirements to win, such as

Make sure you contact your winner as well! For a timeline contest, it is easiest to “reply” directly to your winner’s comment on the contest post. Because entrants should be providing their email or phone number (or both) on a landing page contest, they should be contacted directly through either of these forms of contact.

Announce your winner and congratulate them on Facebook! You should also encourage your winner to submit a photo with their prize, if it is a tangible item, to use for future contests or content on your page.

Contest Blog - ZAO Winner Announcement


To make sure your contest follows all Facebook rules and regulations, check out

We’d love to hear about any contests you have run for your business!

Do you plan to host a contest in the future using these strategies? Do you want to gather data, engage with fans, or both?

Let us know in the comments!


About Melanie Ryan

Melanie Ryan is an Account Executive at Social Vantage. She works closely with her wide range of clients to create effective, customized ads and engaging content that consistently provide impressive results. Melanie graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunication Production and enjoys editing video in her spare time. When she is not in the office, Melanie can be hard to find, as she is constantly travelling across the US and abroad. She has visited every state in the continental US, and hopes to reach Hawaii and Alaska sometime soon!