How to Create a Facebook Contest that Actually Works

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Fb lately handed 2 billion month-to-month customers.

Nobody within the historical past of humanity has ever had the means to speak on to so many individuals.

We’d like a brand new phrase for behemoth!

However predictably, with one thing so massive comes a amount of content material that can be remarkable. And it’s rising quick.

You may really feel tempted to purchase followers. Don’t.

Yow will discover far more practical (and moral) methods to construct your Fb model organically.

Regardless of sizzling competitors from the likes of Instagram and the messaging apps like Whatsapp, Fb remains to be on one other stage — each when it comes to dimension and attain but additionally when it comes to performance.

The flexibility to host numerous campaigns inside Fb makes it the perfect platform for operating contests.

I can hear you groaning from again there.

“Contests are the oldest trick within the e book!”

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This ticket from an Irish hospital sweepstakes in 1937 appears to bear that out!

It’s true that there have been plenty of completely different contests on Fb through the years.

You most likely have participated in fairly a couple of your self.

And that’s the factor. Contests may be a dime a dozen, however when you end up taking part in a single, there must be a purpose why.

Good contests truly do work. That’s why everybody retains operating them!

As you’ll be able to guess, there’s a massive distinction between an everyday previous contest and a good contest. That is true in execution, however particularly when it comes to surpassing your small business targets.

In an effort to create a Fb contest that really works, there are 4 main factors you must handle.

  1. Begin with why. What are you attempting to realize along with your Fb contest?
  2. Strike the best stability.
  3. Execute the competition flawlessly.
  4. Measure the outcomes and enhance upon them.

And proper earlier than we get began, I extremely advocate that you simply test the Fb web page promotions phrases. Contests on Fb have modified quite a bit through the years. Just remember to’re not going to search out your self lower off earlier than you start!

Now, let’s dive in!

First, begin with why

If you happen to’re operating a contest, you have to outline your main objective. That is how you’ll measure your contest’s outcomes!

There are various kinds of targets, however they mostly fall into one of many two following classes:

  • Model or product consciousness
  • Information assortment

Model or product consciousness

Probably the greatest components of social networks is the way in which that every one in all us can share one thing with our networks.

The viral impact is when individuals share content material that catches many individuals’s consideration, inflicting it to be reshared at lightning pace.

From a advertising and marketing perspective, that is priceless. The community makes your content material attain individuals past your viewers — without cost!

For a contest to have an opportunity to tip the scales and attain exterior of your instant community, it must harness the social forces that hold Fb turning.

The largest of these forces boils right down to sharing footage and movies of ourselves. In truth, individuals take over 1 million mixed selfies per day.

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Subsequently, in case you are searching for model or product consciousness, you need to think about asking individuals to create content material that features themselves.

The content material can come in numerous kinds.

You’ll be able to ask individuals to take footage of themselves doing one thing.

You’ll be able to ask individuals to make movies, normally of themselves performing a activity.

That is known as UGC, or user-generated content material.

UGC is tremendous efficient. By some estimates, it could generate 6.9x larger engagement than brand-generated content material.


As a result of individuals care about their buddies.

Once you see somebody put up one thing unrelated to themselves, you tend to skip over that content material.

However while you see your mates’ faces in photos and movies, your thumb stops scrolling.

Keep in mind the ice bucket problem?

In a method, it’s not even actually a contest, since there was no “winner” for taking part.

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Nevertheless it did drive an unbelievable quantity of consciousness. Plus, it generated $115 million in donations for the ALS Affiliation.

It was pushed significantly by the tagging methodology, which was probably the greatest methods to unfold consciousness a few contest. Every participant turns into an envoy, spreading the content material to their networks.

I say was since you are not in a position to require individuals to tag their buddies with a purpose to try to win one thing on Fb.

You’ll be able to definitely push individuals to share contests with their buddies — and to tag different individuals — however you’ll be able to’t make it a requirement for a participant to win your prize.

The bottom line is to search out one thing for individuals to do this reinforces your model or enterprise, however that breaks out from the norm in order that it attracts the eye of different individuals.

Then, as soon as individuals have created content material, you’ll be able to supply to characteristic the very best content material in your social channel.

This generally is a surprisingly sturdy motivator. The publicity and proximity to a model might be sufficient to get individuals to take part.

It additionally doesn’t price you something.

Nevertheless it received’t all the time work, particularly when you’ve got a smaller attain in your social channel and your model isn’t actually recognized.

On this case, compensate for these deficiencies by making the motion or problem enjoyable and revolutionary.

Gathering information and boosting CRM

Information assortment operations are probably the greatest makes use of of contests.

They’ve been round since eternally!

It’s the basic “enter to win” format.

Folks enter their contact info for an opportunity to win the prize.

Then you’ll be able to contact these individuals once more while you’re able to promote to them.

On this case, you wouldn’t ask individuals to take footage of themselves or to create UGC for the reason that motion of handing over their electronic mail addresses and different info is already needed.

You’ll be able to up the stakes with trivia questions or by operating a photograph caption contest.

However while you need to accumulate details about individuals, don’t put too many steps in between them and your information assortment.

I’ll get into the small print somewhat later, however there are some nice apps on Fb that provide you with a type so as to add contacts on to your database.

The instrument you select is determined by how a lot info you’re searching for.

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That is an instance of asking for lots of data. Your kinds might be longer relying on how a lot info you need to get well. However do remember that, statistically talking, the extra info you request, the less individuals will fill out your type.

Are you attempting to get individuals to love your web page?

Ah, that is the place it will get difficult.

Fb not permits what it calls “like-gating.”

Like-gating is making somebody like your web page to ensure that them to take part in a contest that you simply’re operating.

This was normal apply for recruiting followers.

Right this moment, it’s not attainable.

In truth, it’s essential to notice that, in sure international locations, there are legal guidelines towards forcing individuals to enter their contact info earlier than taking part in a recreation or contest.

Regardless of the goal of your contest, some issues stay fixed.

For a contest to be efficient, it has to strike the right stability between a lot of various factors.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at these balances.

Second, strike the best balances

There have to be a stability between the frequency of winners and the dimensions of the prize.

You will need to think about the worth that somebody may connect to the prize, the potential for successful the prize, and the steps that a contestant has to absorb order to have the ability to win the prize.

Usually talking, there’s an inverse relationship between absolutely the worth of the prize and the frequency with which somebody can win it.

Is smart.

You’ll be able to’t give away a tropical trip plus $10,000 money on daily basis for a month (until your enterprise is absolutely going effectively!)

If the prize is an attention grabbing factor that’s designed to draw everybody, it can most likely be one thing that’s received on the finish of the competitors.

If the prize is smaller —say, one in all your merchandise that you simply’ve valued round $30 — you may construction your contest so that there’s a winner on daily basis throughout the competition.

The truth that a participant may win right this moment provides a way of urgency.

Generally, enormous prizes appear too good to be true, and so they typically are. The probabilities of successful turn out to be too small.

That may flip individuals away from taking part within the first place.

A standard prize that works effectively is an iPhone or iPad. It’s simply large enough to attract individuals in, since everybody loves free tech, with out the massive price ticket of sending two individuals to Acapulco.

In truth, based on HubSpot, the common worth of a social media contest prize is $369.

The issue with the iPhone or iPad present? You’re most likely not working for Apple, in order that kind of generic prize most likely has little to do along with your core enterprise.

The stability between the prize and model

The beauty of contests on Fb is that they are often shared immediately by individuals, typically as part of the mechanism for an opportunity to win.

This opens up the marvels of the vitality of content material.

Nevertheless it additionally attracts all types of individuals, many who will not be in your goal group.

Additionally they need to win an iPhone or $10,000. It doesn’t matter who you’re or what your organization does. They’ll take part for an opportunity to win.

Contributors like this water down the standard of your information assortment and erode your conversions after the actual fact.

A fantastic contest is one that gives a prize that’s in keeping with the spirit of the model.

It reaffirms the model DNA.

The related prize may even do your screening for you, as a heli-ski journey to a mountain will solely enchantment to individuals who need to try this.

That’s precisely what Sherpas Cinema did to advertise their new movie Into the Thoughts. Although such a contest is not permissible on Fb, it exhibits how the prize ought to qualify the varieties of individuals who take part.

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The stability between the variety of issues that individuals need to do to try to win versus the dimensions of the prize additionally issues.

Consider every step that you really want your individuals to take.

  • Would you like them to take a picture of themselves and share it?
  • Would you like them to make a video?
  • Would you like them to make a video and tag their closest buddies?

Every time you add complexity to the participation, the dimensions of the prize ought to replicate that.

Folks count on it. If the prize is a flight in a non-public jet with a celeb they love, they are going to be ready to finish a number of steps to try to make it a actuality.

If the prize is a espresso mug, it’s uncertain that individuals will movie themselves doing something (besides perhaps ingesting espresso).

The bottom line is to make the most of Fb’s performance to maximise the impact of the participation.

Sharing must be necessary.

Tagging others is the way in which to go viral, so recommend very strongly that individuals tag a buddy (with out requiring it).

Ask individuals to ship you non-public messages. This will create a one-on-one relationship that basically brings individuals nearer to the corporate or model.

If you happen to can achieve galvanizing your individuals across the contest, they turn out to be ambassadors.

If you happen to’re operating a UGC contest, you can also make a remaining choice and ask the group of individuals to vote for the ultimate winner.

It offers additional incentive for the highest three individuals to get the phrase out. It additionally supplies additional visibility to your firm earlier than the competition is formally over.

Promotion price range versus ROI

After all, simply making a contest on Fb and sharing it along with your group doesn’t assure that you should have a number of individuals.

In truth, based on Socialbakers, natural attain for model content material is just 2% on Fb.

That implies that hardly anybody will see your first put up while you begin selling your contest.

The fact of Fb right this moment implies that you have to have a advertising and marketing price range to advertise your contest posts.

The trick is discovering the best stability between your promotion price range and your contest’s ROI.

Take into accout the truth that your prize prices cash, too.

The prize itself just isn’t sufficient if individuals don’t find out about their likelihood to win.

The great factor is that Fb permits put up concentrating on, which suggests which you could attain your viewers, buddies of your viewers, or focused curiosity segments.

You’ll be able to even retarget individuals who have seen your content material or visited your web page.

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And on Fb, selling content material just isn’t very costly. It might begin as little as a couple of dollars, relying on how many individuals you need to attain, and it goes up from there.

Take a look at the Fb Promoting Assist Heart for extra detailed info.

Third, execute flawlessly

Alright, now you’ve obtained the idea down. You realize your goal, you’ve chosen the prize, and also you’ve discovered your balances.

Now it’s time to exit and do it.

Regardless of the technique or objective of your Fb contest, there are basically two approaches you’ll be able to take: go it alone or work with a associate.

Going it alone

When the objective of your Fb contest is to achieve consciousness for a model or product, the mechanisms for Fb are typically ok that you simply don’t essentially want a third-party app that will help you get it carried out.

What you have to develop is a horny artistic that may catch individuals’s consideration: both a photograph or video that pops out and will get individuals to take part.

You’ll have to animate your contest, posting new and recent content material on daily basis to stimulate participation.

If you happen to’re operating a UGC contest, you’ll be able to put up the most recent entries to your web page together with a transparent “Take part Now!” name to motion.

The bottom line is having an energetic group supervisor who can encourage individuals, hold the competition shifting, and preserve a excessive stage of power up till the very finish.

Utilizing a associate answer

There are various Fb apps which might be devoted to operating contests, and they could be a slick choice to get you up and operating shortly.

Particularly in case your contest goal is to gather information and prospects, third-party apps that work on Fb present pre-formatted kinds which might be responsive on cell.

One other advantage of utilizing a associate is their experience. Contest apps typically assist you to fill in your authorized phrases in addition to optimize the size of your contest.

Many even have nice extras, comparable to a countdown to the top of the competition or artistic materials which you could schedule to alter as the competition goes on.

If you happen to’re not a developer, it’s very difficult to make such a factor your self. And even in case you are a developer, the chance price of creating an app your self might be not value it.

Listed below are a couple of contest apps that I like to recommend:


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Kontest is greater than a easy contest app, it additionally provides a gaming stage. By way of the app, you’ll be able to customise the expertise and optimize it to your targets. It syncs information seize for all main databases, like Salesforce and MySQL.

A part of its pitch is to make use of Kontest to energise your viewers at off-peak moments, which might hold them engaged all year long.


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Wishpond makes it straightforward to run a Fb contest by breaking down your choices into completely different classes like picture contests, picture caption contests, sweepstakes, and even essay contests.

The app might be added on to your Fb web page, and it’s optimized for cell and pill codecs, as effectively.


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Heyo payments itself as a lead-generation instrument for your small business, and it’s significantly helpful for contests. It has pre-made templates, automated countdown timers, and completely different plans for various ranges of viewers engagement.

No matter whether or not or not you employ a associate answer, there are two steps that stay completely vital to the success of your Fb contest.

Step 1: Create crystal-clear directions

First, there are the directions on the way to take part. These directions must be tremendous easy and direct in order that there isn’t a confusion.

If you happen to learn them and there’s any query about what must be carried out to take part, you have to edit, revise, and check out once more.

Right here is an instance:

  • Submit an image of you with blue paint overlaying your face
  • Write why you’re feeling Blue within the caption
  • Tag the Blue Man Group web page within the caption

Separate from the directions are the phrases and situations.

The phrases and situations will not be one thing to fiddle with.

Phrases and situations shield your small business from individuals who may attempt to exploit your contest.

There are alternative ways to strategy the phrases and situations.

You can create a devoted web page in your web site that explains the principles, then hyperlink to that web page within the About part in your Fb web page.

Or you may add a authorized disclaimer immediately within the Story a part of your Fb Web page.

Alternatively, you may add it in as a remark to the put up that you simply’re utilizing to advertise your contest.

Usually talking, the phrases and situations shall be too lengthy to put up on to your Fb web page.

They should embrace such particular issues as who can win, how the winner shall be chosen, and actions that may exclude individuals from successful.

For instance, in our Blue Man Group instance, you wouldn’t need individuals taking footage of themselves in compromising conditions. Your phrases and situations ought to clearly define what that may be.

Moreover, if the prize is oriented in the direction of adults, be sure you specify the minimal age to take part.

Operating a neighborhood contest? Be sure to specify that individuals want to come back from a sure space to qualify to win.

Step 2: Optimize for cell

Is it cell pleasant? Are you able to simply take part by way of a cell phone?

This isn’t an afterthought. The majority of web visitors within the US has been cell since 2014, and it’s solely rising:

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Like I discussed earlier, you must seize consideration instantly.

The mobile-first pattern factors to the truth that nearly all of your future individuals will uncover your contest on cell.

Ensure that your artistic belongings are tailored. Right here’s an instance of what responsive content material versus non-responsive content material seems like:

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Ensure that the data-capture type is straightforward to function on cell.

How will you be certain?

Check it!

Fourth, measure the outcomes and optimize

As your contest is operating, try to be monitoring the outcomes. In case your contest just isn’t performing in addition to you want to, you’re accountable for making it higher.

Thankfully, there are few issues you are able to do as you go alongside to ensure your contest is successful.

What’s the response fee?

The response fee is the ratio of the individuals in your contest versus the full quantity of people that see your contest on Fb.

In case your response fee may be very low, perhaps the competition is just too difficult. Or perhaps you’re attempting to gather an excessive amount of information.

Both method, drop a couple of of the boundaries to make it simpler for individuals to take part.

Maybe the prize is just too humble to inspire individuals. Perhaps the artistic that you simply’re utilizing to entice individuals just isn’t efficient sufficient. If you happen to assume that’s the case, don’t waste any extra time.

Swap out the artistic and check out a distinct strategy.

Are sufficient individuals seeing the competition?

This one is straightforward to repair. If not sufficient individuals are seeing your contest, throw some cash behind it.

Like I defined above, natural attain on Fb just isn’t dependable sufficient to get many contests off the bottom. Calculate your required ROI and begin boosting posts.

It is best to have the ability to discover the candy spot between not spending an excessive amount of and nonetheless reaching a big sufficient variety of potential individuals.


The competition format — when executed correctly — can nonetheless be an effective way to realize your small business targets.

Create a objective to your contest, select a prize, develop a robust artistic, and begin selling your contest. Use third-party apps to spice up participation and consciousness.

Don’t neglect to trace your metrics. As your contest evolves, take note of engagement ranges, share charges, and different metrics.

Fb shall be eternally altering because it continues to develop together with our social media habits, however one factor won’t ever change: our fundamental human want to win issues!

Particularly issues from our favourite manufacturers.

So even for those who aren’t 100% satisfied, adopting a stable technique to your Fb contest can go a good distance towards attaining your small business targets.

What are your experiences with operating contests on Fb?

Consulting with Neil Patel

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