1. Is the prize right?

It seems like common sense, but you should be offering something that your target audience wants. It’s always surprising how many Facebook contests fall short this way.

Every Facebook contest should begin with a visit to Facebook Insights to gain a deeper understanding of your target. The more often you use it, the more apt you’ll be at staying ahead of the trend.


2. Can you offer a sharable grand prize?

The unfortunate catch-22 of Facebook contests is that more entries means less chance of winning. This makes getting contestants to recruit others a harder sell. It also makes it less likely that new people will spend time registering for something they have no perceivable chance of winning.

One way to mitigate this is to offer a sharable prize; this could be anything from a trip for two to a catered office lunch to a piece of factory equipment. If the prize is desirable enough, people will eagerly recruit others for a better chance of winning, essentially becoming brand ambassadors for you.

Giving away smaller weekly prizes over the duration of your contest is a good way to keep awareness high, especially if participants are allowed to enter more than once. And these don’t necessarily have to be sharable – the act of entering will still show up in their friends’ tickers and news feeds.


3. Is it easy to enter?

You want to use your contest to gain insight, but asking too much of people is a turnoff no matter how appealing the prize is. You’ll engage more people with a few questions than with a request for an original video.

Design-wise, the contest page should be user friendly and simple to navigate. Share buttons should be highly visible in every view, and the prize should be front and centre.

Speaking of the Facebook contest page, you should post consistently (but not excessively) on your timeline to keep the contest top-of-mind. If you expect heavy traffic from these posts, be sure to have the proper hosting in place to accommodate a bump in page views.


4. Is your Facebook contest legal?

You have to comply with Facebook’s Page Guidelines, but you must also adhere to your local contest laws. Some of the basics will include:

  • having entrants agree to the official rules of your Facebook contest upon entry
  • making entrants affirm their age of majority
  • qualifying winners with a skill testing question so it’s not deemed a lottery


5. Do you have a third-party developer?

Facebook has mandated that all contests have to be run in a third-party application, and they’re pretty strict about it. For example, you are NEVER allowed to use Facebook’s functionality as an entry mechanism or to notify winners, or you risk your page being deleted.

If you’re thinking of building your fan base through contesting, iSM Contest Marketing can get you started with prizing consultation, page design and a template or custom iSM App.