Globally there has never been a communication phenomenon quite like Facebook, so Facebook competitions for small businesses are an amazingly cost effective method to gain new customers and to rapidly raise your levels of awareness.

Facebook’s audience is diverse and all-encompassing in terms of age, social demographics with seemingly never-ending growth in member numbers.

So it is no wonder that marketing companies have been eager to utilise its huge potential from simple awareness through to full blown advertising and beyond.

However it is social media that has most eagerly seized upon the strength of Facebook competitions in targeting new sales and customer growth. Setting a competition up couldn’t be simpler and as with any form of marketing the rules and guidelines are easy to find, and to stick to.

You can run your promotion on your business page, a group page or within an event. You simply must make it very clear that you are offering a competition a prize draw or a sweepstake – (A competition is something you enter using your skills to win a prize for example a photography competition. A prize draw or a sweepstake is where you can win a prize based on chance, no purchase required.)

As part of the promotion you are NOT allowed by Facebook guidelines to:

  • Ask people to “share” on their timeline to enter
  • Request that they “share” on their friends’ timelines to get additional entries
  • Or tag your friends in the post to enter

However if you have devised an eye-catching, awesome offer within an engaging post then you really won’t need to ask people to do this as they will willing want to do it themselves as part of the Facebook culture.

Similarly you must acknowledge that the promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered or associated by Facebook as part of the post.

The rules for Facebook competitions change regularly so it’s important to make sure you check Facebook for the up-to-date rules which  can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/pages_groups_events/# scroll down to section three titled: ‘Promotions on pages groups and events’

Without wishing to over complicate your competition you are responsible for providing official rules and terms and conditions. Personally I would suggest using a landing page or the ‘Notes’ section on your Facebook business page.

These should really include:

  1. What the prize is that they win
  2. Who is eligible to enter
  3. Closing date
  4. How many entries per person
  5. What are the rules of the promotion
  6. The winner will be chosen at random if a prize draw or judged if a competition
  7. How the winner will be notified if they win
  8. How you will announce the winner
  9. When the winner will receive their prize
  10. Who is the promoter of the promotion
  11. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  12. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Do Facebook Competitions actually work?

Facebook prizedraw
Facebook Competition for small businesses

Personally I ran a Facebook Competition for my business last Easter with a prize of a hamper, the results were literally incredible! The competition went live just 2 weeks before Easter with the winner announced on Good Friday. Within this short timeframe my promotion reached 3624 people, received 29 comments, 47 likes and 34 shares! You have to agree that those figures are truly amazing there is absolutely no reason why your products and services cannot gain the same incredible boost.

As part of my ongoing ethos at The Little Marketing Company I always like to give my support to help other small businesses raise their profiles by regularly taking part in business page competitions organised by people that I know – and I have recently won 2 competitions!

One of the businesses I now do readily recommend to all my friends and the other one offered a prize for a course so good that I have also paid for a family member to accompany me.

So you can easily see the power of someone winning your competition.

Although the main goal is to raise awareness both entrants and winners alike will then use your services. When satisfied with the experience they will happily recommend your business. So gaining new customers along with the all-important repeat business!

What happens if I break the Facebook competition rules?

As mentioned I would always recommend that you take a moment to review the latest Facebook rules as many businesses have unintentionally ended up losing their business page by simply not realising that the goalposts have moved that day!

Although the rules still allow a huge flexibility in scope I would definitely consider a Facebook competition tied in with the same promotion running alongside on your own website or business blog. That way you have greater control and complete freedom of creativity. As I have already mentioned designing an optimised landing page covers many bases plus the added benefits of driving increased traffic to your web site. This aids both data capture and elevated conversion goals.

This new platform can also be accessed by your other forms of social media such as Twitter and Instagram, further extending your exposure and levels of customer awareness!

The Little Marketing Company was launched specifically to work hand in hand with small businesses that don’t have the time or the resources to achieve all of their marketing goals. So if you need any further advice or help in setting up your first Facebook competition then I am always on hand to steer you in the right direction.

www.thelittlemarketingcompany.com