Social Media

Launch a contest on Facebook

13 July 2018 Eugénie Delhaye

More and more brands are launching contests on Facebook. Used by more than 1.5 billion people in the world, this platform is an excellent way to reach prospective customers. We will see in this article the different types of contests you can organize on Facebook, practical advice as well as my opinions on the various tools you can use.

Choosing the type of contest

Choosing the right type of contest is crucial following the choice of platform. There is a very large range of contests but the most popular formats are:

Quizz or questionnaires

These 5 types of contests are the most used by brands due largely to the ease with which companies can set them up as well as their ease of use. Indeed, there are a large number of contests types such as personality tests, tweet battles or reflex games.

In the case of questionnaires, you can decide to opt for a short “quiz” format consisting of 5 questions to attract as many people as possible while not to discouraging less motivated Internet users.

It is essential to set up a contest that corresponds with the goals you have set and also with to the target audience you want to reach. You should not launch a selfie contest on Instagram if you are targeting people age 70+…

  • Photo contest

You can, for example, choose a contest whose theme is related to your business. This will allow you to observe the general theme of your site and you can address an audience that already knows your business’s atmosphere and components.

Photo contest, for example, let you establish a relationship of trust with your customers due to the more private nature of the contest. This type of contest works best for those who make use of events such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day for example.

  • Musical contests (blind tests)

Musical contests are rarely used and often underestimated. You can play to the emotional side of your target audience by choosing specific themes and songs. This will more easily attract the target audience you want to reach.

Again try to set up a short and easy contest so as to not discourage potential participants.

  • Surveys


Indeed, Internet users deem many contests too restrictive, which results in a decline of participation rate.

Surveys allow you to easily obtain valuable information. Try not to overload your questions and be as clear as possible.

The vast majority of surveys that receive the most responses, and have the most interactions, are rarely more than five questions.

  • Random drawings

Contrary to what one might believe, drawings are not exclusively reserved for companies with large budgets.

More and more companies are opting for this type of contest especially because of their ease of use, and also thanks to their rather large turnout. Indeed, these drawings are among the most popular contests and the most appreciated by users.

It is important to use attractive prizes; otherwise the turnout is likely to remain low.

Choosing the right kind of contest is not easy. This choice must take into account the resources available to you in order to offer a quality contest and to get a real return on investment. Once that choice is made, you must set your goals.



Define your contest goals

It is useless to make a contest without setting clear and measurable goals first. Among the large number of definable goals, we’ve included the following major groups:

  • Drive traffic to a website
  • Increase the number of likes on the company’s Facebook page as well as on other social networks
  • Promote a product or a service
  • Develop corporate reputation

After determining what goals you are moving towards, it is important to set quantifiable objectives such as “get 1000 likes by the end of the contest.” This is so that you can determine the success of your contest with respect to the material and financial investment that you have allocated.

Again, the products or services you offer as well as the target audience you want to reach must determine the goals you set. To do this, it is wise to perform one or more competitive studies, also called benchmarks, to see what other companies before you have done. Seeing what worked will inspire you and help you find ideas to improve your contest plans.

Choosing the prize of your contest

The choice of prizes you offer to your winner(s) is also instrumental in user engagement. It must be in line with the products you offer, but also in line with the type of contest you run. As you can guess: the more attractive the prizes are, the larger the number of participants will be.

There are many types of prizes. The most popular are:

  • Limited edition prizes

  • Exclusive preview prizes

  • Discounted or free subscriptions

  • Airplane or concert tickets

So after having opted for a number of “goodies” in business’ image such as key chains, mugs or t-shirts, you may decide to offer more prizes that correspond to your business activity and thus encourage your target audience to discover your products/services.

When should you launch your contest

Timing is a key element in the launch of a contest. You need to first determine the period during which you will promote the contest and the means implemented both visually and in terms of the platforms on which you want to show ads.

If you have accounts on different social networks, it makes sense to play on the interaction between these platforms using the best benefits they have to offer.

It may also be relevant to use the vitality of an event to launch the contest, as Hisense (the 3rd largest manufacturer of TVs) did for example when they offered tickets for Euro 2016:

Secondly, you need to determine the period during which the contest will run. The recommended period is between two weeks to a month maximum. This increases the visibility of the contest without intrusively polluting the “timeline” of Facebook users.


As explained by Facebook (which changed its regulations on contests in 2014):

  1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
  2. The official rules;
  3. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
  4. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
  5. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
  6. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
  7. Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  8. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
  9. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.

Many infractions have been identified; Facebook increased its contest policy and has stopped many campaigns for their non-compliance. It is therefore essential to respect all rules enacted by Facebook as well as the rules of the country where you are located.

To do this, we advise that you create a downloadable PDF document directly on the page of your competition play. This allows you to inform all your users as well as Facebook moderators of the conditions of your contest.

What are the applications used for creating contests

Facebook’s own platform

What better way to create your contest on Facebook that by using Facebook itself, you say? Well, I for one strongly recommend against this method! Indeed, the application provides a mediocre value for price relationship; and the range of contest types and customization options are very limited.

That being said, I’m sure Facebook will improve its platform to adapt to the competition, and that many advertisers will create contest account on Facebook. With many internal changes to the platform in recent months, it is reasonable to think that a real dedicated application will be seen in days to come. I’m only giving you my personal opinion and it is always possible for you to choose Facebook for obvious practical reasons.


Agora pulse

Agora Pulse is one of the favorite applications for brands wishing to launch a contest. Besides paid contests that let you, depending on the selected offer, harvest a lot of data on your contest’s platform, Agora Pulse is one of the only applications to have free offers. The only drawback is that personalization and data extraction from these offers are almost nonexistent and therefore unattractive.

This represents a real shortfall for all data extraction:  both qualitative (number of likes, shares, interaction) and quantitative (number of participants, number of women, many men, ages etc. ), which allow you to determine the impact of your contest and why it worked.







Used by very large companies like TomTom and Crédit Agricole, KontestApp is probably one of the most complete applications both in the number of offers as well as in the acquisition of data on the contests that you set up.

Other applications exist such as Digibonus or Reflexemedia that too offer an important diversity of options and prices but are lower quality solutions.

Choosing your contest platform is an extremely important step you need to take based on your budget and your goals that you defined upon first reflection of the strategy you want to adopt.



Contests are great way to promote a product, service or brand on Facebook. The main thing is to define goals that correlate with your expectations, so as to set up a strategy geared towards the people you want to reach and finally choose the application with which you will develop your contest.

If you need advice in setting up your contest on Facebook, do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form or at 514 572 7758. Our web marketing specialists will answer all your questions.

Eugénie Delhaye
Cofondatrice et Spécialiste Marketing Internet et Référencement Naturel (SEO) Ma maîtrise des techniques de référencement, combinée à une analyse minutieuse des tendances du marché, me permet de créer des stratégies SEO sur mesure, efficaces et durables.
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