A Facebook contest can be simple.
Forget the third party applications — just run a simple contest through a status update on your Facebook timeline.
The goal is to increase the engagement and reach of your business on Facebook by encouraging activity. When people LIKE, Share and Comment on your Facebook updates, you’ll get exposure to their Facebook network and increase the likelihood of showing up in their timeline in the future.
You can also use a simple Facebook contest to grow your email list. We’ll talk about this strategy last.
If you find yourself wanting to hold a more complex contest than the below, consider using one of the third party apps I mention at the end of this article.
Facebook does have Terms of Service around contests and you can review the official Facebook promotion guidelines here.
You can have any of the six contests below running in minutes.
1 – Like to win
It doesn’t get simpler than this. Find an incentive to give away and ask people to LIKE your page to enter.
The goal here is simply to increase the number of people that LIKE your page so that you can continue to engage with them.
If possible, use an image of the prize in the post.
2 – Comment to win
This is super easy. Ask your Fans to comment on your post. The comment is their entry into the contest.
Here’s a classic fill-in-the-blank example that encourages comments,
My favorite travel destination is ________ because _______. Post your favorite vacation spot to enter to win [PRIZE]! We’ll pick a winner from the comments at 5 pm on Wednesday!
Here’s how Sierra Tierra Marketing used a simple Comment to Win contest.
3 – Solve to win
This is just a twist on the Comment to Win contest.
Contest entries will still be registered through comments but, in this case, you’re asking them to solve a puzzle or answer a trivia question.
Here’s a couple of classic examples,
Guess how many jelly beans are in this jar. The closest guess will win [PRIZE]. Winner will be announced at 6 pm on Easter Sunday on our Facebook page.
– or –
The first person to correctly rearrange these letters and answer the question will win a chance to win [PRIZE]. Watch for a new question every day in December. Here is today’s question: Who runs the best blog on the Internet?
L T I D I A G R T A K M E E R
The LoansbyChris Facebook page posted a series of trivia questions over several days that ultimately culminated in a single winner.
Notice that the trivia questions are relevant to his mortgage lending business,
4 – Upload pictures to win
When your Fans are uploading images you can get a frenzy of activity going on your Facebook page. Fans will be uploading their own content on your page and other Fans will share, Like and comment on those images.
Here’s an example,
Did you attend our National Paper Towel Association (NPTA) conference in Hoboken this weekend? Share a photo that you took of your weekend activities in the comments – if your photo gets the most ‘Likes’ you will win [PRIZE]. Contest winner will be announced Monday at 11am ET.
Monster Energy Drinks ran this contest to win a $2,500 prize!
5 – Caption to win
This is another twist on the Comment to Win contest and this contest type can get a LOT of activity going on your Facebook page.
If you have the wrong image, this contest will fall flat so be careful with your image choice.
But if you have a good image that is relevant to your Fans interests, this contest will generate a lot of comments, Likes and shares.
Tauck, a travel tour agency, ran this contest on their page for a Canon digital camera.
6 – Join the email list to win
At Digital Marketer, we like to grow our email list. Yes, it’s great to increase engagement on Facebook but we know that, in order to make money, we need to move people into our email program.
This is a simple Facebook contest that will get Facebook engagement AND grow your email list.
On Free Digital Reads, one of our properties in the Kindle book niche, we ran this simple contest on our Facebook timeline. We picked up 250+ email subscribers running a contest for a $25 Amazon gift card. That’s 10 cents per subscriber. That’ll do.
We also asked that people Like the post (568 people did) which increased engagement on our page as well.
Third Party Contest Applications
Don’t want to run a simple contest? If you want to run a more complex Facebook contest here are some third party applications we recommend: