As of March 2020, Facebook boasted a huge 44.85 million UK users - that’s two-thirds of the population - solidifying its title as king of social media.
It’s little wonder then that businesses are looking to cash in on the popularity of the platform, competing for consumers’ attention, and always looking for new and innovative ways to do so.
It can be tricky to stand out in such a noisy environment, so creating relevant and interactive content that catches users’ attention and stands out from the crowd is key - and running competitions is one such tactic.
Top tip: check out our guide to getting more followers on your business Facebook page.
Running a Facebook competition could help you achieve measurable benefits including more followers, higher engagement, increased sales, and boosted consumer loyalty.
Competitions are also an inexpensive method of getting your hands on these perks, and if done right can also be pretty simple. Sold? Then let’s dive into how to nail it.
First things first get to grips with Facebook’s rules for running competitions on the platform - if you don’t you could end up red-faced and penalised, potentially doing significant reputational damage.
We know as a business owner you’re super busy, so we’ve broken down everything you need to know.
When running a competition on Facebook, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that competition, this includes:
Any competition on Facebook must include:
As of fairly recently, this rule has changed, so be careful not to get caught out. You are no longer allowed to ask your followers to tag their friends in your comments to enter.
You’re also not allowed to ask entrants to share your competition to their timeline, story, or friend’s timeline, in exchange for entry.
You are allowed to ask entrants to:
Top tip: asking entrants to like your page can be a bit of a grey area, it’s not against the rules but it’s tricky to track who’s done so. If you’re looking to up your follower numbers with your competition, ask entrants to follow your page and then comment on your post to keep things simple.
Okay so now you know the dos and don’ts, it’s time to get cracking on creating an engaging and effective contest. Here are our six top tips for creating a killer competition.
What do you want to achieve with your Facebook competition? It could be to:
Once you know exactly what you want to get out of your competition it’ll be much easier to create it effectively, target the right outcomes, and measure its success.
There’s a rule in the world of marketing called the ‘don’t give away iPads rule’ - why? Because competitions giving away something everyone will want, like an iPad or large cash prize, will attract the wrong kind of participants, aka, anyone and everyone.
The purpose of a business competition on Facebook is to attract your target audience, people who will like what you offer and become customers, not just people who’ll enter to get their hands on your prize and never associate with your business again.
So, think about a prize that will appeal to your target customer - your best-sellers are likely a good place to start - and cut the wheat from the chaff. For help working out what to give away, ask yourself:
Top tip: if your giveaway is restricted by location, e.g. a meal in a restaurant, consider geotagging your competition so you don’t irritate any followers who aren’t eligible.
As we’ve seen in the rules there are several dos and don’ts for how your participants can enter your competition, so you need to work out exactly what your entry criteria will be.
If the aim of your competition is to get more followers on your Facebook page then a simple follow and comment formula should do it:
“To be in with a chance of winning a three-course meal for two all you need to do is follow us and comment on this post telling us what your favourite dish on our menu is!”
If your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, then your entry criteria might involve heading to your site and filling in a form:
“We’re giving away a hamper packed full of our most popular goodies! To enter all you need to do is head to our website and click the ‘enter now’ button. Good luck!”
Will your competition run for a day, a week, all month? Work out how long you want it to last and make this crystal clear to your participants to avoid confusion.
There’s no hard and fast rule for how long your competition should run, but bear in mind shorter time scales might incentivise consumers to enter immediately for fear of missing the deadline, whereas more drawn out competitions might lead to an ‘oh I’ll do that later’ attitude.
While we’re on the subject of clarity, be sure to let your entrants know how you’ll announce the winner in your post too, here’s an example:
“We’re giving away five free bottles of prosecco to five lucky winners! To be in with a chance of winning simply follow our Facebook page and comment on this post telling us why you’d love a glass of bubbly. Closing date for entry is DD/MM/YY at midnight, we’ll contact the five lucky winners by direct message so don’t forget to check your inbox. Good luck!”
Studies show that different audiences engage more on social media at different times, so for your competition to be as effective as possible it’s a good idea to work our your target customer’s sweet spot.
There are two ways you might go about doing this:
To ensure your competition is a success, make use of all the marketing tools at your disposal to reach as wide an audience as possible, this includes:
Whatever the aim of your competition is, the more people that see it the more people will participate and the more likely you are to smash your goals.
We mentioned that Facebook competitions are an inexpensive tool, but if your purse strings allow it and you’re in a hurry to hit your targets then consider paying to promote your contest by boosting your post, e.g. paying to get your competition seen by more people.
Let’s finish off by getting your creative juices flowing - Facebook competitions aren’t limited to your traditional ‘like to be in with a chance of winning’, in fact, there are loads of novel and interesting ways you can run a contest. Here’s a rundown of our favourites:
Ready and rearing to go? You can find loads more useful resources designed especially to help small businesses succeed over on our jam-packed blog.