Making the most of Facebook competitions

Facebook, love it or hate it, it’s here to stay and, with around 1 billion users worldwide, many businesses are recognising how they can get the most out of this popular social media channel. Facebook competitions are a great place to start. A great example of a well-thought out Facebook competition was by Warner Brothers, as part of the film release ‘Man of Steel’. The company chose one person per week (from the public, voted by the public) to be superman on the official fan page. This meant that the brand went viral just in time for the release of the film, creating some excellent publicity and excitement leading up to the launch.

Here we share our top tips for getting your Facebook competition off to a great start.

Tip 1. Get familiar and set the rules

Facebook quite often changes the rules and regulations of holding competitions online so it’s a good idea to read the terms and conditions first, so you know what you can and can’t do. A couple of the rules relating to offers include:  

  1. Facebook offers must be available for a limited amount of time.
  2. You may only run an offer if you are the merchant for or the manufacturer of the product or service you are promoting.

To see full terms and conditions go to  

Although not everyone reads the rules of a competition, they are a necessity. All competitions need terms and conditions, at the very least concerning details of the prize, the date of the competition end and the location of winners. It is also a good idea to include a date when the winner will be chosen, but this will vary depending on the length and type of competition.  

Tip 2. Always set a target

Every competition should have set targets, so you can monitor its success and outcomes. Typical targets are an increase in Likes to a Facebook page, a significant number of hits to a website, or goal for the number of entries you’d like to receive.  Whatever the target is, make sure it is measurable in some way.

Tip 3. A prize that will appeal to your audience

OK, so there are people who spend their whole lives doing little else but entering Facebook and other competitions and you’re never going to get away from them, whatever your prize.  But on the whole, you need a strong, appealing prize to get people interested.  Carefully consider your audience, their profile and what type of prize would appeal.  Where you can, offer something with a high perceived value (maybe something you produce) or alternatively, something that’s seen as ‘money can’t buy’, such as tickets in the executive box of a popular show, one of the most appealing prizes is a hamper (especially at Christmas!)

Tip 4.Choosing the right format.

There are many options when running a Facebook competition, with a number of different formats available e.g. Photo-vote (people have to send in a photo to win), video-vote (entrants send in a video to win), and sweepstakes (select an image or caption to win). Sweepstakes are the easiest type of competition to enter, so that would mean more entries. 

Tip 5. Decide how long your competition will run for and let your audience know.

Companies offering valuable prizes, like a trip to Paris for two, tend to let competitions run for longer periods of time than those offering smaller or local prizes. Depending on the size of the company some even do a weekly or monthly giveaway. If you’re giving away one of your own products, our social media team suggest running the competition for 2 weeks, as its just long enough for people to find out about it but not too long that people forget again. However, if you decide to do a competition every month you should only run each one for a week as it can get a little repetitive and could lose you followers.

Tip 6. Share your competition widely on social media

Make sure you share your competition straight away on social media and promote it continually throughout the offer period.  A great way to get some extra traction to your Facebook page is to create a hashtag. Hashtags help get the competition off to a terrific start. Using hashtags to promote a competition means that other people are more likely to get involved and join the trend.  Leaving a link to the competition and the hashtag in a share box makes it easier for people to share with each other.

For more help with running Facebook competitions, or running social media campaigns, get in touch to find out how we can help. Visit our website, call us on 01709 300130 or email

Call us on: 0114 349 5341