How to launch a successful Facebook competition

Shall we talk about Facebook Competitions?

I’m sure we’ve all, at some point, been tagged in a post by a friend who’s trying to win a competition promoted on Facebook! Yes?… I’m sure this has left you wondering if competitions *actually* work and if so – if it’s a good idea to run one for your business…

So… I thought I’d take the time to share with you my thoughts, strategies and insights into running competitions on Facebook.

Firstly, there is NO doubt that Facebook is the perfect platform to run a competition… Because we all love free stuff right?

Facebook competitions are FUN & value-packed – which makes for great engagement & participation! 

But (the big BUT)…


What’s in it for you? As the business owner.


This should always be your first question when launching a Facebook competition, just like any other advertising you will do for your business.

A Facebook competition is not just about giving away free stuff, in return for likes, comments, and shares. When running a competition you need to have a clear objective, like:


  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate social interaction & engagement
  • Gather high-quality leads
  • Increase website traffic
  • Make more sales!!


So what’s the best way to make SURE you don’t just attract the freeloaders? You know – the people who just want the freebie, but will never actually buy anything from you?


It’s all about the STRATEGY


Here’s what you need to consider before launching a Facebook competition:


What’s your objective? Why are you running this competition? What are you hoping to achieve? What’s in it for you?

Who’s your target audience? Who do you really want to enter your competition? Hint: having people tag a friend might not attract dream customers and clients…

What’s your prize? What can you give away that will attract ONLY your target audience?

What’s your runner-up prize? What can you offer to ALL entrants after you announce the winner as an incentive to purchase from you?

What will people need to do to enter? Think about the best way you can meet your objective. Is that through driving social engagement & brand awareness or through generating leads?

How will you pick your winner? How will you keep track of entries (particularly for engagement campaigns) and decide on your winner?

What’s your follow up strategy? Do you have a plan to help convert your entrants into customers & clients? What platform will you use to follow-up? Eg – MailChimp for email or ManyChat for direct messaging.

How will you measure your ROI? What can you do to measure the success of this competition?


Answering these questions will hopefully help you to set your INTENTIONS for the campaign, which will help you get the best possible results.


Engagement Competitions


Did you know that Like, Comment & Share competitions are against Facebook’s guidelines?

Yep – that’s right! A lot of businesses do this… and these competitions really do generate great engagement…  but OFFICIALLY they are against Facebook’s Page Guidelines and therefore you run the risk of getting your page shut down!

So just to make it crystal clear, let’s run through what IS allowed and what is NOT allowed when it comes to engagement competitions on Facebook…


You can…

Ask people to comment on your post to enter your competition. Eg. Caption this photo or comment a particular word (which can automatically trigger an auto direct message via messenger 😏) 

Ask people to like a post to enter your competition.

But you can’t…

Ask people to SHARE a post to their timeline

Ask people to TAG a friend in your post to enter


You can read all the guidelines here.

So, with these rules in mind – I recommend my clients weigh up the risks v rewards!

It’s unlikely Facebook will catch you running a ‘like & share competition’ and everyone else IS doing it… but if Facebook does catch you out – and if they decide to delete your Facebook Page… How will that impact you and your business? 

For this reason, I often encourage my clients to create a lead generation competition.


Lead Generation Competitions


A lead generation competition involves making people opt-in with their name & email address in order to win your prize.

These competitions are more beneficial in my opinion, because:


  • You can create a landing page to promote your prize, including all the benefits of your product &/or service
  • After people have entered the competition you can encourage them to ‘like your page’ where you’ll be announcing the winner LIVE… (this is NOT against Facebook’s guidelines)
  • You’re capturing names and email addresses, which is more valuable than social likes and shares
  • You can directly communicate with your leads via email, post-competition


You might be thinking *this sounds hard!*…

But I’m here to tell you that it’s worth it, and you’ll likely see a significant ROI.

These competitions don’t ONLY work for product-based businesses either – they’re PERFECT for any service-based business looking to increase their client-base.


Promoting the Facebook competition


First, I recommend promoting the competition organically on your Business Page. Once you’ve generated engagement, you can start using Facebook Ads to increase your reach and make the most of your competition.

My theory is – if you’re giving away something for free… you want AS MANY people as possible to enter the competition – because that will increase your long-term ROI, and make the competition worth your time and investment.

A simple engagement campaign using the existing post on your page is PERFECT – because your organic social proof will flow through to your Ads and help increase your opt-in rates.


Final words


Are competitions worth it? HELL YEAH!

Just make sure, like with anything – you take the time to do it well and make SURE you follow up with your leads post-competition.

I hope this helps & good luck with your next competition!

Jess xx

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