Running a contest or giveaway on Facebook is an outstanding way to grow your presence on the platform by engaging your audience and exposing your brand to new, relevant users.
There are lots of different ways you can go about running a contest on Facebook.
Under Facebook's Promotion Guidelines, you cannot require users to share posts, post on people's timelines, tag people in posts or change their cover photo in order to enter.
What you can do is require users to like or comment on your post, or even post on your timeline. Whatever option you ultimately choose it's vital that you have a system in place to collect entries and choose winners, and we're going to take you through all the best ways you can do this.
Picking Winners From Page Likes
A great approach you can take to running Facebook contests is picking a random winner from the users who have liked your Facebook page. This can be a great way to reward your current following and encourage new users to like your page.
This type of contest seems very straightforward, but since Facebook prohibits 3rd party apps from incentivising page likes you will need to manually draw a winner which can be surprisingly challenging.
There are two main ways you can go about manually drawing winners from page likes.
Random List Pickers
The obvious downside of this approach is that manually recording every entry is absurdly time consuming and not worth the effort when compared to other approaches you can take.
Random Number Generators
Another approach you can take to drawing winners from page likes is using a random number generator to pick a winner.
What you'll need to do is randomly generate a number between 1 and the total number of people who like your page and count down your list of page likes until you reach the randomly generated number. That's your winner.
If you want users to complete multiple actions (e.g. liking your page and commenting on/liking your contest post) you can draw a random user from the likes, manually check if they've completed the other required actions, and determine if their win is valid based on that.
This approach is a lot quicker than manually recording entries yourself, but you will still be limited to driving a select number of actions and unable to take full advantage of the truly awesome opportunities that giveaways present.
Just keep in mind that you can only see people who have publicly liked your page, so you will only be able to draw winners from these users.
Picking Winners From Post Likes
Another type of Facebook contest you can easily run is one which tasks users with simply liking a post to enter.
Like picking winners from page likes, this approach will require you to manually pick winners with list pickers or random number generators, with using a random number generator being the quicker and easier option.
Picking Winners From Comments
Facebook prohibits all 3rd party apps from incentivising users to Like or Share Facebook posts and pages, but when you run a Facebook contest where users can simply comment on a contest post to enter you will be able to use online tools to automatically draw random winners without having to manually record every entry yourself.
You can use tools like Comment Picker to randomly choose a winner. All you have to do is log into your Facebook account, select your giveaway post and click Start. You can even choose whether or not you want to allow users to enter multiple times with multiple comments.
This tool is very quick and easy to use, but it isn't without its own limitations. These include an inability to validate entries, which is important if you want user's comments to follow guidelines, and difficulties maintaining a record of your entry collection and winner drawing process.
Plus, you'll only be able to encourage comments with this type of contest, whereas other winner generator tools will give you the opportunity to drive a wide array of powerful actions (but we'll get to that soon).
Running Comment Contests With Gleam
The best thing you can do to make collecting entries and drawing winners significantly more manageable is using a 3rd party platform such as Gleam's Competitions app.
With Gleam's powerful import actions you can set up a campaign that automatically awards entries to anyone who comments on a designated post or photo. You can allow users to complete a single, daily, weekly or unlimited entries and even filter entries by hashtags or words to ensure entrants are following your contest guidelines.
You can then use Gleam to instantly draw a random winner from the comments. You'll also be able to validate entries so you can ensure that your winner has met your comment requirements.
You'll be able to collect entries and find a winner without users ever having to leave Facebook. All you need to do is make a post which asks users to comment below for their chance to win and watch the entries roll in.
You can even ask users to like your post and page for good measure, just make it clear that this isn't required for entry.
Driving Powerful Actions With Opt-In Contests
The best way you can go about running your Facebook contest is by using a 3rd party app like Gleam to run an opt-in contest and drive an array of powerful actions.
With Gleam you can create awesome campaigns that allow you to drive a huge selection of meaningful actions that will help you build exposure, cross-pollinate your online following and more.
You can award entries to users who visit your Facebook or Instagram profile, follow or retweet you on Twitter, sign up to your newsletter, check out your website, share your giveaway with friends and so much more. Plus, when it's time to wrap things up you can instantly draw your random winner.
Take a look at this demo to get an idea of what your own campaign could look like with Gleam:
The more actions users complete, the more likely they are to win, and when it's all done you can use Gleam to instantly select a random winner.
Due to Facebook's promotion guidelines you can't use 3rd party apps to incentivise page or post likes, but all the other actions you can drive more than makes up for this, especially since you can still easily ask entrants to optionally like your page in your contest posts or with Gleam's user details forms.
This presents you with a fantastic opportunity to drive traffic to your contest through all of your online channels including Facebook as well as Twitter, Instagram, email and more. This is an awesome way to maximise participation and make sure that you're getting as much value as possible from your contest.
Want More Facebook Tips?
- More Ways To Generate Winners For Your Contest
- How to Run a Giveaway On Facebook
- Ultimate List of Facebook Marketing Ideas
- How to Drive Real Engagement on Facebook
- 40+ Awesome Giveaway Ideas
- How to Promote a Contest on Facebook
- Running Facebook Comment Contests
- Picking Winners For Twitter Giveaways
- How to Run a Successful Hashtag Campaign