How to Make Your Facebook Contests Stand Out

social media how toDo you run contests on Facebook?

Would you like to make your next Facebook contest stand out?

This article will give you 4 ideas to improve your next Facebook contest.

Why Facebook Contests?

Facebook contests are a popular way for you to get your audience engaged and excited about your brand. More and more companies have adopted the use of Facebook contests to better track participation and engagement.

facebook promo app

Contests are a popular marketing tactic for businesses on Facebook.

With so many companies using contests, even if you’ve read 9 Tips for Running Successful Facebook Contests, it can be hard to differentiate yourself. Your Facebook fans are pummeled with tons of advertisements and other promotions. So it’s important to stand out against your competitors.

Simply giving out a free iPad or a gift card isn’t enough to attract the attention of social followers.

Here are 4 ways to make your next Facebook contest unique so it gets the attention and engagement you are looking for.

#1: Connect Your Facebook Contest to Other Social Platforms

When you plan your next Facebook contest, consider all the other channels you could use as part of the contest. Don’t limit your promotions to just Facebook, and don’t limit the activities for the contest just to Facebook.

HuHot Mongolian Grill held an annual contest where fans submitted their favorite recipes. A winner from each location was selected, and then they competed nationally against the other franchises.

The contest was published to their corporate Facebook Page.

Then HuHot decided to promote the contest by creating a Pinterest board dedicated to the recipe contest showing prizes, how to enter and past winning recipes.

huhot pinterest board

HuHot’s Pinterest board.

By using multiple social media platforms, you will be able to reach a much larger audience. Utilize the strengths of different social channels and you will have higher engagement and reach more people.

For example, Pinterest is a great place to incorporate pictures into your contest. Twitter is a great way to give quick, short updates about the contest.

#2: Use Location-Based Services in Your Contest

One feature that is often underutilized by brand Pages is the ability to check into a location on Facebook.

However, using this feature for a contest can ensure that people are not only thinking about your brand, they are also physically going to a location to interact directly with your brand.

If you are able to convince your followers that your company is worthy of them taking their time to go to your location, you are closer to converting them into a customer.

Southwest Airlines hosted a promotion where they asked their fans to check into their physical locations at airports, and they would donate $1 per check-in to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Not only did they make a lot of money for a charitable cause, they also increased the number of followers of their Facebook Page from 991,200 to 1.2 million.

southwest airline contest

Southwest Airlines’ Facebook contest.

Not everyone incorporates location-based services into their Facebook campaigns. However, using them can differentiate your company and the contest from all of the other Facebook contests.

Even if it isn’t incorporating check-ins into your contest, think about ways to get your followers to directly engage with your brand. Location-based services are a great option, but there are others out there to explore.

#3: Include Your Followers When Choosing the Winner

Interactive contests are vital to maintain engagement and keep your followers coming back for more.

When you have a contest where one person is randomly selected for liking your photo, it doesn’t give your followers a reason to keep checking back on your Page.

On the other hand, when you run a contest based on what your fans want, this will give people a bigger reason to keep checking your Facebook Page to see who wins.

When Zipcar hosts contests, they typically involve their social media followers to help pick the winner.

Last June, they hosted the Ultimate Ziptrip contest, inviting members of their social media community to tell them in under 750 characters why they wanted to take a vacation to one of Zipcar’s cities.

Zipcar narrowed down the entries to 50 people who were then asked to create a video about why they wanted to take a trip. The finalists were posted to Zipcar’s Facebook Page where 1,000 fan votes chose the ultimate winner.

During the contest, the Facebook contest Page was viewed over 53,000 times and shared by over 2,500 people. Zipcar also gained 9,200 more Facebook likes.

zipcar contest

Zipcar’s Ultimate Ziptrip contest.

When hosting a contest on Facebook, including your Facebook fans is important. If you have a community on a social platform, you’ll want to consider making your contest part of the social experience.

When you include your fans as a core part of the contest, it leads to increased engagement, because your fans will feel an attachment to the person they vote for.

#4: Use Other Parts of Facebook to Promote Your Contest

Editor’s note: We have removed portions of this section that are not in compliance with Facebook promotional guidelines.

You can promote contests creatively within Facebook.  Please make sure you follow Facebook Guidelines.

Some companies host contests by asking viewers to upload pictures of themselves interacting with the brand or company to become eligible to win prizes (using a third-party app). Other contests may be promoted through Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, whether within the news feed or in the sidebar.

When creating your contest, think about how it can spread on Facebook, whether by posting on others’ walls or seeing it in your news feed.

By using other Facebook features, you are promoting the Facebook contest throughout the entire Facebook experience. Users who are comfortable with Facebook and not other platforms may find it easier to participate in the contest by using the Facebook tools they are already familiar with.

Takeaway for Your Next Contest

The next time you are considering hosting a social media contest, think about ways to stand out. Instead of choosing winners based on the number of likes, consider having your followers select the winner.

Instead of creating your own promotional videos, ask the people involved in the contest to create them.

Instead of uploading your own pictures to Facebook, create a Pinterest board.

There are many ways you can think outside the box with Facebook contests, and these contests stand out more to your followers than others.

Consider what you know about your audience, and use the part of Facebook that you know your followers are the most comfortable with. The participation in your contest can be higher as a result, and you may see the results you are looking for.

What do you think? What other unique ways could you use Facebook contests? How have you seen other companies or brands use them? Please share your ideas and comments below.

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About the Author, Rachel Sprung

Rachel Sprung is a Product Marketing Associate at HubSpot. Her responsibilities include working on product launches and product adoption. Other posts by »




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