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The Art of Facebook Giveaway Contests


Weslie Oeftering
The Art of Facebook Giveaway Contests

Facebook contests are a great way to engage your followers, attract new ones, and start building an email list. The easiest, most straightforward type of Facebook contest is none other than the giveaway.

But First: Contest Rules

Before we can get started with all the great advice, you need to be aware that there are legal, and illegal, ways to run contests on Facebook. The most common issue is running a lottery, rather than a contest, which is subject to tons of regulations in most states and can run afoul of the law if you don’t pay very close attention to the rules.

A good way to avoid this is ensuring that your contest is free to participate in. Lotteries, by definition, require people to pay to play, whereas contests are free.

Other things that are not necessarily illegal but still go against Facebook’s contest rules are:

  • Asking users to share the post to their timeline
  • Requesting that users tag their friends
  • Asking users to share the post to their friends’ timelines

It is completely fair to wonder why these rules about sharing exist. Here’s the thing: when enough people in a network of friends start sharing and tagging contests, it quickly turns into spam.

One minute your Facebook feed is filled with pictures of your friends’ engagement photos, puppies and other wholesomeness and the next minute it’s filled with all your friends sharing the same exact contest. In other words, the more Facebook user’s associate the platform with spam, the less likely they are to use it, so it is bad for Facebook’s bottom line.

Don’t let all these new rules discourage you, though. If your contest is enticing enough then people will share it all on their own.

OK, now that you know the boring (but important) legalities of Facebook contests, we can get to the good stuff.

An Ode to the Giveaway

The easiest, most tried and true Facebook contest is the giveaway. Any company with a Facebook page and some extra product lying around can do it, hence the popularity. The idea here is that if you give people something desirable, then they will come.

The ‘Like to Win’ Giveaway Format (World’s Easiest Facebook Contest)

A simple example of this format is what I like to call the “Like to Win” contest. You simply ask users to like (not share!) the post for a chance to win whatever you are giving away. Then, once the contest has closed, randomly pick someone that liked the post as the winner.

There you have it. The World’s Easiest Facebook Contest!

The issue with Like to Win contests, however, is that they don’t collect data on anyone who participates. A Facebook user just liking a post gives you absolutely zero access to the information that will help you grow your business beyond this single contest. In other words, it’s purely a brand awareness play and not something that will create potential leads.

Let’s Talk Landing Pages

Gathering email addresses lets you contact a user again after the contest is completed. You can send them newsletters, coupons, and other marketing content –- whether or not the user actually liked your Facebook page as a result of the contest.

Demographic information, like age, gender and location, tells you who wants your product, and therefore who you should try to sell it to both on and off Facebook.

If you want to capture those emails and demographic info then you will have to put in slightly more work…and maybe a little bit of money, too.

That’s where landing pages come in.

Some examples of companies that provide landing page tools include, but are by no means limited to, ShortStack, WishPond, Woobox, and Heyo.

What’s a landing page, you ask?

Sometimes, whenever you click on a company’s Facebook post advertising a contest, it re-directs you to a form powered by one of these contest app tools. The form often requires you to provide certain information (name, email, etc.) to enter the contest. It’s called a landing page because it’s where you “land” after clicking a link.

Super simple, right?

Here is a landing page template from ShortStack to give you a better idea:

As you can see, it’s a well-designed, easy to use form that makes the contest, and therefore your company, look more credible.

Like I said, Facebook contests have a knack for becoming spammy. Anything you can do to professionalize the optics of the campaign is almost always worthwhile.

After a participant clicks “submit” their contact information is added to a list curated by the contest app. Some of these apps, like Wishpond, even connect to email marketing apps like MailChimp and ConstantContact, making the transition to your company’s email list even smoother.

What’s more, this is just a very basic template. All of these apps are extremely customizable and allow you to collect other pertinent information about entrants as well.

So what are you waiting for? Get giving!

Soon enough, your email list will be filled with lots of potential customers.

About Weslie Oeftering: Weslie is a student at The University of Texas at Austin and Swyft’s resident PR and marketing intern. She supports clients with social media, blogging, and tech PR activities. Swyft is a digital marketing agency in Denver with offices in Austin, Houston, and Antwerp that provides digital marketing services and trade show lead gen support for tech companies around the world. Some of their services include media relations, content and inbound marketing, CPC campaigns, and marketing automation consulting.

Featured Image: Tanya Patrikeyeva via Unsplash

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