How to run a competition on Facebook

How many times have you seen offers on Facebook telling fans to share a post to win a weekend away? Or tag your best mate to win a prize pack?

Chances are you’ve seen them and have been tempted to a) Enter it, or b) post a similar one to your business page.

If you have, we’re not mad…we’re just disappointed. The thing is, running a competition in a method like that is technically against Facebook’s terms of service. All of those competitions run the risk of getting their page shut down by Facebook, no questions asked.

Since losing your page and all your loyal fans would be a nightmare, there are plenty of ways to run a competition to increase your likes or engagement.

But first! We’re here to pose the question, why do you want do you want a run a competition like that in the first place?

Sure, you might get a short spike in likes from new fans but are they fans that will stick around and purchase or are they just there for your prize?

The other catch of running a ‘like’ competition is other than Facebook you have no other method to contact them directly.

Wouldn’t it be much easier to get their name and contact details? You’re giving up a prize that is costing you money (even if it is your own product) surely you have the right to ask for some commitment from the entrant. The answer is yes. Never feel like you’re not worth it.

The other great thing about getting contact details is you have crossed that first line of trust with a potential customer and you can start escalating them along your sales funnel.

Ok, so now you know that a competition that gathers some sort of data is the most successful method to run competitions on Facebook. Let’s get in to some steps, tools and how you can start:

Decide on a budget

You need to decide how much the prize will cost the business, but also the other resources that go in to running the competition. They include:

  • The time to set it up
  • Creating images
  • Paying for tools to gather data
  • Advertising spend to help get entries
  • Contacting winners

The dollar amount quickly adds up.

Decide on a goal

There are of course different types of data you might want to gather. Email is obvious but if you don’t have an email marketing campaign or the resources to market to them again then another piece of data might be better.

You need to keep in mind what people are willing to tell you for the first time. A date of birth might be ok, their phone number might not.

Once you know the type of data, how many entrants is a good result? Refer to the budget above to help you make this decision as well.

Decide on a tool to run the competition

You will need a third party tool that connects with Facebook to run the competition there.

You can always redirect them to your site, but you will get a better conversion rate by keeping the user within Facebook. They connect with your page and appear as a separate ‘tab’ you can direct users to. Here are some tools you can use that are both free and paid:


This email marketing provider can solve your email needs and their forms also connect to your Facebook page as an app.

Cost: Free for up to 2000 users or $11/mth to remove their branding


Conversion based forms and pages that are focused on collecting someone’s details. You can plug them in to Facebook page as well.

Cost: A subscription costs $84/mth but you can use their forms all around the web


Systems that are built for competitions and have added benefits such as extra entries for users that share the competition.

Cost: $30/mth

Facebook Lead Ads

A new form of Facebook advertisement that is based on mobile only right now. Most people use them to collect subscribers but you can use them for your competition if you want a highly converting form. It pulls information directly from a Facebook’s user profile so they don’t have to type it out – pretty sweet!

Cost: however much you want to spend on Facebook Ads

Ok, your turn. So what option are you going to go with for your competition? Tell us in the comments and if you have any questions on the tools or processes feel free to ask us