More American adults use Facebook than any other social media platform. However, the larger Facebook gets—nearly 2.3 billion active users monthly, as of 2019—the more brands struggle to earn attention.
As engagement drops and the number of posts rise, marketers need related, interactive content that rises above the noise. Like, for instance, a Facebook contest.
Running a contest is an inexpensive—and sometimes even simple—method to achieve measurable outcomes for your Facebook marketing goals. We have gathered some nice Fb contest examples to encourage you.
That said, there are also lots of methods—from obnoxious to outright illegal—that Facebook contests shouldn’t be run.
Here we layout plan and execute a Facebook contest that will thrill your audience and your analytics both.
Facebook contest ideas and examples
So, if our purpose is to cut the crap and give the people what they want so that they love us, what do great contests really look like?
It relies on your business targets. Do you want to improve engagement with likes and shares? Or awareness with impressions? Or maybe you wish to drive traffic to your site?
Certain kinds of contests could pull double-duty. That’s, they could concentrate on one of the above targets, and also collect user-generated content for your social media calendar, or crowdsource opinions, or collect high-quality leads for your sales team.
Consider the following species of the contest, and select one that helps your targets.
Giveaways & sweepstakes
Arguably the easiest contest to run is a giveaway.
People are wowed by a fascinating prize, and so they perform an action of your selection. The action could be as easy as liking the post or as complicated as producing a video.
Absolut gave away an all-expenses-paid Coachella weekend to followers in the UK. This probably felt like an ideal prize, at least until the calls to boycott the festival started.
Still, this UK contest was so successful that Absolut ran an identical giveaway for American residents a month later.
Meanwhile, to achieve a barely more particular demographic, this hunting store gave away a bunch—like really an unusually massive number—of plastic geese.
Unfortunately, as you could see below, they broke Fb’s timeline rule by asking people to share the contest post. Consider it like this: if your goose full bodies are alluring enough, people will wish to share the news on their own without you asking.
Add a twist to your giveaway by stretching it into a multi-day event. Not only will it make winning seem more likely, returning to your Page several times will improve audience retention so that people will keep in mind all these positive new opinions about your brand.
To celebrate Chipmas, Kettle Brand did giveaways daily for 4 days. They asked people to comment naming their favorite flavor, and each day a winner was randomly chosen to receive either a case of their favorite flavor or, on the fourth day, a year’s supply.
Note that while Kettle Brand asks participants to @ a friend (Fb particularly prohibits this!) they get away with it because it’s written in verse it’s a suggestion, not a requirement.
Based on Maxwell PR, the campaign’s creators, the giveaway earned Kettle Brand 340,000 impressions (that’s around 18.9 % reach when the average organic reach for a Facebook post is 6.4 %) and an impressive average engagement rate of 5.1 %.
Likewise, Rex Specs did a similar holiday countdown. (I’ve nothing to add here, except that those dogs are very handsome boys.)
You know what people like in this day and age? Feeling good.
Trivia, skill-testing questions, puzzles, quizzes. Anything that’ll make a complicated world feel coherent for one satisfying second.
By combining a prize with that feeling of accomplishment, your contest becomes deeply clickable. (And in some cases perhaps you could even skip the prize.)
For example, National Geographic asked a pretty tough query to feed excitement for the second season of its show Genius. Followers had to pay attention over 5 days to determine the clues, which required knowledge of architecture, art history and European history. In return, Nat Geo gave an appropriately lavish—however nerdily particular—reward: a heavily-scheduled week in Spain (guided tour of the Alhambra and private flamenco lessons, anybody?).
Photo contests are prevalent for good reason. Not only do they increase activity on your Page, with the right agreements in place, but you also get to tap into a source of user-generated content for your marketing calendar.
Johnson’s Myanmar received a ton of baby photos—most of which came already came branded in the firm’s custom Fb Frame—in return for some customized tins.
Meanwhile, Kellogg’s ran a contest in 2014 where they asked for customers’ creative Eggo recipes, taking this “versatile canvas” of foods beyond breakfast. We are classifying this as a picture contest because what others utilize would the company have for the submitted recipes? (Did they make a cookbook? No, they didn’t.)
While Kellogg’s definitely got the social activity—and probably the sales, given the size of the cash prize—they were looking for, if we were in charge of this contest today we’d like to solicit images that can be utilized in our social feeds down the line. Because what they got was not always, um, pretty.
On the opposite end of the scale, Skies Magazine does not even offer a prize beyond public recognition.
The Canadian publisher knows it could depend on the passion of amateur aviation photographers to offer a steady stream of quality pictures. Skies hold weekly contests on their Fb page, and followers vote on their favorite picture. The winner is featured in their free e-newsletter everyday.
Creative crowdsourcing contests
It is a missed chance:
However what should my comment say, Demi?
When you have already convinced people to make the effort to write a word or two, why not ask them to make these words mean? Collect insight into your business targets by asking for feedback on a new product name or ideas for improvement. Feed two birds with one scone!
Even when you do not have any burning questions for your customers (come on, yes you do) asking your audience to think creatively is more fun for them. They wish to write a humorous caption for that picture, fill in the blanks, or tell you their deepest desire vis-à-vis their scheduling software needs.
And if you could find a method to add an image of a baby animal, we highly encourage that.
It is a subspecies of a Facebook contest which offers the power to the people, rather than relying on random.org to select the winner. It’s particularly helpful if the contest is at all creative: people could vote for their favorite submission by Liking the related comment, picture, or post.
The benefit here is that it encourages sharing without explicitly requiring it. For example: if I want that duckling to be named Cage Pooper, I’m going to have to tell all my friends to take a look at that post and vote for my comment that says the duckling needs to be named Cage Pooper.