7 Tips for Creating a Successful Facebook Sweepstakes

Are you considering running a Facebook Sweepstakes? Here’s what a Facebook sweepstakes can and can’t do.

  • A Facebook contest can:
    • Boost engagement with your current likes
    • Help your EdgeRank and get future content seen more often
    • Incentivize new users to like your page
    • Promote a new product
    • Build awareness
  • A Facebook contest can’t:
    • Make up for a poor product or poor customer service
    • Create an instant, loyal community

Running a sweepstakes is an easy way to grow your Facebook fan base. If you give your fans a good prize, have a low barrier to enter and have engaging promotional posts, a sweepstakes can be beneficial to your Facebook page.

If you are planning on running a sweepstakes for your brand page, here are some tips to help ensure a successful campaign:

1. Understand Facebook’s Policies and Guidelines

All contests must be compliant with Facebook’s promotion guidelines. If you violate any of Facebook’s rules, Facebook will shut down your page and contest. Take a few minutes and review Facebook’s contest and promotion rules here.

You also might want to speak with your legal representative about drafting up your rules before launching.

2. Select a Third Party App that Works for You

Facebook requires businesses to run their contents on a third-party application.

There are many different third party apps out there and it can be hard to find one that works for you. The last thing you want to do is be stuck with an app that you don’t like for the duration of your sweepstakes. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Pricing– you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on your app. There are some apps that are free and some that can cost thousands of dollars
  • Tech support– when creating your first Facebook contest, it’s helpful to have someone helping you every step of the way
  • Tracking– does your app provide you with data?
  • Running multiple apps– some third-party apps let you run multiple campaigns on your Facebook page when you buy one package

3. Pick an Awesome Prize

If you want people to enter your sweepstakes, you need to giveaway something cool. Spend a little extra money and giveaway something your fans will want to win.

4. Keep Your Barriers to Enter Low

The more hoops you make your fans jump through to enter your sweepstakes, the bigger the drop off rate you will experience. Keep it simple, have your fans like your page and enter directly after.

5. Create a Marketing Plan

You can’t just run a sweepstakes; you need to get your fans and entrants to your sweepstakes. Before you launch, take some time and create a marketing plan. Launching your sweepstakes with everything in place the night before will make your life much easier.

Once your sweepstakes is running, post your sweepstakes across all of your networks. You can also run ads on Facebook and your website as well. Send out a newsletter letting your subscribers know that you are running a Facebook sweepstakes

6. Track Your Metrics

While some third-party apps provide you with analytics, you can actually track some of your metrics through FBI. Here are some of the FBI metrics I track:

  • Number of new likes
  • Number of unlikes
  • Sweepstakes tab views
  • External refers

You also want to track (through your app):

  • Total entrants
  • Number of entrants per day

7. The Ending Of Your Sweepstakes is Just as Important as The Start

If you are running a long sweepstakes (1 month+), it is easy to forget about it. Make sure you do a last minute social push to remind your fans that your sweepstakes is about to end. You also want to make sure you remove your app from your Facebook tab.

Don’t forget to properly contact your winner within the timeframe you had written in your rules.


I am a Social Media Manager/Analyst working in San Francisco. Before moving to San Francisco, I lived in Washington, DC and was working in the health field. For over 4 years, I have developed and implemented marketing strategies and campaigns to drive social growth.

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