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Contests on Facebook are constantly being done incorrectly. Part of the problem is that people simply do not know the rules for running a contest on Facebook, and part of it is that some people just don’t care if they are breaking the rules because Facebook does a crappy job at consistently cracking down on violators. But they do crack down and if you get caught by big brother you may end up in Facebook jail or worse yet, you might just have to kiss your business page goodbye.  And before I go any further, let me just point out that getting ahold of someone at Facebook ESPECIALLY for the purpose of reinstating a suspended page is nearly impossible. Unless you know someone over there you might be S.O.L. So instead of taking the risk, it is important that you run your contests right. So today we are going to dive into the rules and I will share with you some best practices and some great tools to make it easy!


My name is Kelly Noble Mirabella, this is Business as Unusual, and today’s Facebook contest episode is sponsored by my affiliate partners in crime (or maybe just amazing social media superpowers) Social Media Marketing World. This killer conference is THE place for marketers and businesses to learn about social media marketing at the highest level and the most cutting edge. Taking place in San Diego between February 28 to March 2nd this conference has single-handedly changed my life and my business. I will be there! Will you? Learn more at http://stellar247.media/smmw18


Now onward to today’s show!


Ah, Facebook contest. The proverbial ninja tool for crowing a page, eliciting engagement, encouraging email sign-ups and so much more. A contest can be super easy like “Like this post and we will select a random winner” too much more complex where contestants have to submit things. The key thing to remember the more you want from your participants the more you will need to budget and the more you will need to give as a reward.  


Before we get too caught up in the various types of contests and best practices, let’s spend some time on rules. You know Facebook is not going to let you do whatever you want. They have a reputation to uphold and having your contest tied to their brand is not on their must-do list.


Okay let’s start with what you CAN and SHOULD do when running a contest on Facebook:

  • Include a disclaimer and contest rules. These can also be linked to a website that has more detailed rules if needed.
  • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
  • Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  • Host your contest on a 3rd party app or right on your Facebook business page.
  • You can ask participants to like a post on your page to enter
  • Ask participants to comment on a post on your page to enter
  • Ask participants to message the page to enter
  • Have people enter via a 3rd party app where you capture participants contact info.


And now for what you can’t do:

  • Ask participants to like your page to enter
  • Ask participants to share with friends to enter
  • Ask participants to share on their friend’s Timeline to get additional entries
  • Ask participants to tag themselves or their friends in this post to enter
  • Host a contest on your personal profile.


Seems pretty straightforward right? Okay so now you might be thinking, what is the easiest way to get a contest launched on your page. Let’s discuss 3 tools you can use. Keep in mind you can do contests without these tools, but they make it significantly easier and help you stay compliant.



I love Woobox. It is by far my favorite tool for creating all kinds of contests across various social media and digital media platforms including Pinterest (not just Facebook). It is SUPER affordable (starting at $30 per month and cancel anytime), super easy to use and offers a large array of tools that all integrate with all kinds of other tools (like MailChimp for instants). They even offer a couple of free tools. Check them out for your next social contents and you won’t be disappointed.



Alternatively, if you want to simplify things and try something for free, Agorapulse offers free Facebook contest tools. You can do a sweepstake, a quiz or a photo contest. They don’t have as much to offer as Woobox but it might be a decent place to start if free is what you are after.



Finally, another popular contest tool is called Shortstack. Very easy to use, also very affordable and offering free options as well. Shortstack integrates with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so you can run cross-platform contest which is cool.


So if you I had to choose my favorite tool it would be Woobox. Honestly, I have tried the others and I always go back to Woobox. They just have so much to offer, it will really blow your mind how many options you have to work with.


So what now?

Well, let’s explore three of different types of Facebook contest you can launch.



The like this post or comment type contests are SUPER easy, typically perform really well because you are requesting participants to perform a simple task, plus they bring in a TON of engagement for your page. This is good because you will help bring up the value of all your content in the news feed. You know, spread that love around. I am a big fan of the “like this post” type contest too because I can go back and invite everyone who liked the post to like my page too after the fact.  So if increasing engagement and growing a following on your page is your goal AND you don’t have a ton of money to invest in ads or prizes, this is the contest for you.



Okay, the stakes are higher here. You will be asking participants for more in return for an entry so your prize better reflect that. You will also need an ad budget and probably a cross-marketing strategy (ahem email) to get this to succeed. Basically you will collect entries using one of the tools I talked about above (my suggestion is Woobox), incentivise participants to share your contest helping you gain more reach (this works differently than you might think so it stays within the TOS for running contest on Facebook), and select random winners all with your 3rd party tool. This is a great sweepstakes for capturing contact info and growing your email list. Also for growing your brand reach.



Let your participants fill out brackets, then score them and show leaderboards. Create brackets of 4 to 64 choices your audience can complete in one or more rounds. You can also score your bracket entries and display leaderboards. With the Woobox too, you have four types of brackets you can perform.

  1. Predictive:  Get your brand in on the action of the biggest sporting events across the calendar
  2. Voting: Extend your campaign by having each level completed as a separate voting round where the winners advance.
  3. Score brackets & leaderboards: Keep customers engaged with the built in leaderboard so your audience knows where they stand round by round.
  4. Custom display: Select from 4 to 64 options and fully customize the way it looks to match your brand


Of course you can also host quizzes, have hashtag contest, post polls and so much more. All are great ways to engage your audience and build more people into your funnel. Just always remember to follow the TOS of Contest on the platform you are using AND keep in mind the more you ask from your audience the better your prize should be. And lastly, don’t over complicate it. Most contest that I see fail ask far too much from their audience. Back in my college days we called it KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid. Yeah, do that.


I hope you have enjoyed today’s broadcast. If you have seen a contest you think is doing awesome please share it with me. I can be reached on Twitter @stellar247


I would love to hear from you! If you are listening via Anchor please comment or call in with your thoughts and questions. If you are listening via my podcast tweet to me @stellar247. I would also love to have you join me in my Facebook group where I answer questions, break social media news and give bonus trainings and insights. Check it out at http://stellar247.media/FBGroup


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