How to Run Facebook Contests Without an Application

Mariam Noronha
New Update
Facebook contest ideas

Facebook announced a big change to its promotion guidelines. Businesses and brands can now host contests and promotions straight from their Timelines, without third-party applications. This does have some limitations, and apps are still useful, especially for gathering and organizing data that are useful for marketing, and for consistent branding efforts. The change however is particularly exciting for small business owners who want to run simple Timeline contests without the necessity of apps and dedicated tabs.

Here are some Facebook contest ideas you can host on your Timeline:

How to Get Comment Entries

If you are planning to launch a new product, use a Facebook Timeline contest to get feedback (or first impressions) prior to launch. A good way to do this would be to share a photo of your soon-to-be-released product and ask users to share their thoughts in a comment as a way to win a prize.

This way you will be able to drive several comment entries and get valuable feedback about your products from your fans. This might also help you to make some beneficial changes to the products before you finally launch them in the market.

How to Get Like Entries

If you want to keep the contest simple then skip open ended questions seeking feedback or opinions, opt for a yes-or-no question. For instance, you can ask, “Who’s excited about Diwali at home this year? Like this post for a chance to win an awesome prize!”

The key is to keep it simple without getting users to think too much — all they have to do is click “like,” and they’re in the contest. Another positive about this kind of Timeline contest is that if you use a tool such as ShortStack’s new Comment/Like Importer feature to collect Facebook IDs, you will be able to build a large custom audience, and then run highly targeted ads on Facebook.

How to Use Comment and Like Entries

This one is great if you want to promote an in-store sale or promotional event. Simply upload a photo that gives details about your deal or promotion (for example, you’re launching a limited edition collection of silverware for Diwali). Next, ask users to like and comment on your post to enter to win. A good prize would be a gift coupon to your store. This way you will engage people on social media and increase footfalls at your physical store.

Data Collection

This idea is great if you want to grow your mailing list before the festive season begins. Host a Timeline contest and build a complementary contest app with an entry form. On your Timeline, drive users to your Facebook app by sharing a link to it. Give them an incentive to go to your app like users who enter into your contest via your app can submit more than one entry, giving them a better chance to win the prize on offer.

How to Encourage Contest Sharing, More Entries and Page Likes

According to Facebook’s new promotion guidelines, pages cannot ask fans to share to be entered into their Timeline contests — only likes and comments can be used as entries. The best way to do this is to use a Facebook app that has sharing features.

Pages cannot require users to like their page in order to enter contests — only status updates. This means that people who are not fans and can see Timeline contests in their News Feeds can also enter.

Hence the only way to really drive page likes with a Facebook contest or promotion is to host it using a fan-gated app.

Additionally you can:

  • Collect entries by letting users post on the wall or messaging the admin.
  • Use Likes as a voting mechanism
  • Collect entries by letting users post on the wall or messaging the admin.
  • Use Likes as a voting mechanism
  • Fill in the blank contests/ Quizzes/ Q and A/ Trivia
  • Leave a comment below. The best answer will win
  • Upload photo contest
  • Host a Crowdsourced contest/ Campaign – you can ask fans to give ideas
  • Ask for feedback. The person who gives the best feedback wins
  • Free gift for The 100th or 1000th like.
  • The first person to guess the answer or figure out a riddle right wins.
  • Craft your posts with 1. Call to action, 2. Incentive 3. Deadline 4. Rules

So go ahead and host that Timeline contest.  For some creative contest ideas for Facebook read my post here.

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