For a while we were all trained by Facebook that contest and giveaways had to be done via a third party app on Facebook. Now that those contest rules are more relaxed, promotions can be done right on your page’s Facebook timeline. Facebook Timeline Contests are quick, easy, and inexpensive to administer since you can just post a status update (and a custom image – here’s how to make one) right in the news feed. Compared to a regular post in the news feed, a promotion will most likely get more engagement. But there are still some rules to follow for Facebook timeline contests.
Facebook Timeline Contest No-No’s
Here are a couple guidelines to follow when doing a Facebook Timeline Contest. For complete Facebook Page rules, be sure to read the Facebook Page Guidelines.
- You cannot encourage people to innacurately tag a photo that they are not in.
- You cannot require someone to “LIKE” a page in order to enter the contest.
- Personal timelines cannot be used to administer promotions. This means you cannot require your fans to “SHARE” the post (i.e. you can not say “share on your timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter”). You probably see Pages doing this all the time, but it is against the rules (read more on this from Beth).
Make the Prize Worthy to your Fans
Both extravagant contests and simple giveaways can be successful when done right. When doing a Facebook timeline contest or promotion, there needs an incentive that will get your fans to participate. This could be a cross-promotional gift (for instance if you sell cars, you give away a free car wash), or if possible a gift from your business (a discounted service, free trial, product sample). The givewaway could also be as simple as a gift card or a branded t-shirt or coffee mug. Another approach is to giveway something that may typically go to waste at your business, for instance, display models or last year’s edition.
Below are some ideas for Facebook posts for Timeline Contests that you can adapt for your business. Make sure to also indicate how the winner will be chosen, when the contest or giveaway ends, and/or how and when the winner will be announced. To pick a random winner, I like to use Woobox. You can use the free version to pick a random winner from of your Facebook posts likes, comments, or a combination. You can also export the comments or manually choose a winner.
- We would love to get to know you as well as (your mom, best friend, etc.) knows you! Leave a comment below by attaching a photo of you and (person) for a chance to win 2 prizes (one for you, and one for your friend). We will pick a random winner on date/time.
- How much do you love (product/company)? Tell us about it in the comments below! On date/time, we will choose our biggest fan to win (prize).
- Do you know someone that would love (enter company or product)? Tag them in the comments below for a chance for both of you to win! We will randomly choose a winner (and their friend) on date/time.
- Click on this picture and comment with a caption this photo for your chance to win (prize)! The caption with the most likes win! Caption entries must be made on the original photo/thread.
- Comment on this post with what you love most about (product/company). The last person to comment on this post when we decide to take a screenshot, will win a (prize)!
- Show us your (product/company) pride! In the comments below, post a picture of you using your (product/service). The photo with the most likes by date/time will win (prize)!
- We appreciate our customers and referrals too! For a chance to win (prize) for you and a friend, tag a friend in the comments below. A random winner (and their friend) will be selected on (date/time).
- Trivia: (Insert interesting trivia question about your business, products, or industry here) Comment below with your guess for a chance to win ____________. Only people with the correct answer will qualify. Winner will be announced (date/time).
- For every new “LIKE” on our Facebook page in the month of November, we will donate (dollar amount per like such as $1 or $2) to (charity of your choice) up to (dollar limit that you are willing to donate). Please share with your friends so we can raise $XXX for (name of charity)!
- Fill-in-the-blank: The best way to feel healthy is ________(or another question related to your business with a fill-in-the-blank). Comment below for your chance to win (prize) .
Boosting your Facebook Timeline Contest
To get your contest seen more in peoples’ newsfeed’s, you may choose to use Facebook Advertising to “boost” the post. Even for just $20, this can be a worthwhile way to get the promotion in front of more of your fans or non-fans if you wish. One tip to remember, if you plan on boosting the post, is not to make the image more than 20% text, as Facebook will reject the ad if the graphic is too text heavy. Also, if you want the post to be promoted to your fans only (not friends of fans) you can tweak those setting in the Power Editor (here is more on Facebook Advertising)
Planning on running a contest on Facebook? Here is a checklist to help you run more smoothly.
Are you interested in learning more about Facebook Timeline Contests or social media marketing in general? Did you know that Vivid Image has staff that can help you create a social media marketing strategy, and even help you implement and manage it, if needed? Contact us if you would like to learn more!