Running A Facebook Competition
Facebook competitions are incredibly popular. Over the last 12 months the number of promotions running competitions has increased dramatically. By using prize incentives promoters are able to engage with fans and also attract new followers very quickly.
Before embarking on a Facebook competition it's important that you do check Facebook's Guidelines. There are a number of things you're not supposed to do. For example you're not supposed to encourage users to "like a post" to enter a competition. However, many promoters ignore these guidelines! Our advice is follow them as best you can.
Typical Facebook Competitions
- Prize when x000 Likes has been achieved
- Prize draw for all followers on Specific Date
- Leave a comment to enter a prize draw.
- Tag A Photo to enter a draw.
- Share a post/invite friends to page to enter.
- Entry via an app (e.g. game, picture upload, free prize draw)
The beauty of Facebook is that you can run all kinds of competitions - from the simple prize draw right through to photography competitions. Whatever you choose to do then these should be run via an app or an iframe. In other words Facebook doesn't want you using it's tools - this means things like "tag it to win it" and "leave a comment" type competitions are in theory not allowed.
The problem is that it's easier (and cheaper) for some to flaunt the guidelines than to follow them. This is because the tools on offer to follow the guidelines aren't always free.
Some tools that you might want to consider include Binkd, Easypromo and Wildfire. Note that these cost money so you may prefer to create your own competition form and then host it using thre Facebook iFrame Apps. This method is ideal as you can also collect the data and also run the competition on your site too (for those who dislike Facebook).
If you're technically minded then Social Mouths explains how to build a Facebook landing page - perfect for hosting your competition!
Using an app to collect data is important because if you're adhering to the Facebook guidelines then you're not allowed to contact winners via the FB system!
Most of our tips within this guide can be applied to Facebook competitions, but there are somethings that are specific to look out for on Facebook.
Despite FB's guidelines to the contrary people do have multiple accounts. Do not assume that it's impossible for people to cheat. This isn't so vital on a simple prize draw, but when it comes down to things like voting competitions or referring friends to your pages then there's scope for cheating.
In fact, you should avoid voting competitions and refer friends (e.g. post to the wall XYZ sent me) type competitions full stop.
Also avoid "why should you win" competition questions. A lot of Facebook promoters do this and are inundated with sob stories - some which may be true, some which get regurgitated every competition. Try and keep your comping questions upbeat and at a sensible level!
- Be familiar with the Facebook guidelines... follow them if you can!
- Make sure you have terms and rules.
- Use a third party app or iframe for your competition if possible.
- Be wary of cheating and avoid silly competition mechanics.
- If a user complains on your wall - listen to them!