Facebook has been aggressive in enticing small and medium business to use their ad platform for quite some time now. However, Facebook has also urged business owners to create an app if they want to promote a contest to avoid posting it directly on their timeline. Fans weren't allowed to Like or Share the contest post at all, but now their changing the page terms to enable business owners to create promotions.

Business owners and marketing consultants have more options on how they can run a contest just by posting a photo and telling people how the contest works! Businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the page or comment/like a page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the page
  • Utilize number of Likes as a voting mechanism


Can It Work for your Business?

It's how you create a seamless procedure on how to make the contest work. Don't make it complicated, and as long as you adhere to Facebook's new rules the promotion will reach your target audience. It's a matter of determining where your contest content will appear, if it's directly on your timeline or a sponsored ad then you'll reach your target audience aside from your current followers.

Keep in mind that you can encourage fans to Like or Share your contest post but won't be allowed to make it compulsory. Some third-party apps used to give extra entries for sharing a contest but Facebook has strictly prohibited such practice.

So are you ready to create a Facebook contest? Let's get started!

Creating a Facebook Contest

First you need to choose what type of contest to run. With a variety of options available, it requires a meticulous understanding of which contest can complement your business and enhance product awareness on Facebook. After all, you're creating this contest to increase online PR and reach potential customers.

Always keep these two pointers in mind:

  1. Create a Facebook timeline contest that gives quick and instant engagement
  2. Make a Facebook app contest that will enable you to acquire a list of email addresses


Next, you should determine what contest to run: Timeline or App?


Running a Facebook Timeline Contest


  • Increases engagement and People are Talking About This (PTAT) score
  • Timeline contests are more mobile-friendly
  • No budget required
  • Gets people to join instantly


  • Requires posting the rules of the contest in accordance with Facebook's terms and regulations
  • You won't acquire an email address with every entry
  • Reshares will be limited
  • Difficult to validate if entry requires both a Like and a Comment


Running a Facebook AP Contest


  • Acquire email addresses for lead generation purposes
  • Easily customize the contest proper
  • Like-gate the entry to increase Likes
  • Resharing is unlimited to promote contest multiple times
  • Metrics can determine demographics of people joining


  • Requires a specific budget
  • Few contest apps work on mobile devices
  • Barrier to entry is higher


What are some Contest Best Practices?

After you create your Facebook contest, it's a situation where you'll get to discover what works and what doesn't in terms of engagement. This will help you assess what content is being liked, shared and commented by your followers. Aside from creating a seamless approach in content marketing in creating contests, here are some best practices that you can apply already:

  • Pin your latest posts on top to be more visible
  • Always make the rules clear and precise. It helps that you come up with a list of FAQs and share it on your wall.
  • Create great graphics that will help you describe better the mechanics of your contest. People tend to share content like pictures, quotes, and infographics.
  • Include a Call-To-Action in promoting your contest. This will create engagement as well!
  • Use an app if one of your goals is to create a mailing list and acquire emails during the contest. A Facebook contest can also be a lead generation strategy.

For more guidelines in creating Facebook contests, here's Facebook's complete guide in PDF.