Hey there, fellow business owners!
Looking to spice up your Facebook game? You’re in the right spot.
We know it’s tough out there, so we’ve rounded up 10 fantastic Facebook contest ideas to get your small business some well-deserved attention.
Whether you’re aiming to bond with your existing customers on Facebook or find new ones, contests are the way to go.
So let’s dive in, without the fluff, and explore some creative ways to put your brand on the map and keep your audience hooked.
Here are 10 fun contest ideas to promote your small business on Facebook:
1. Photo Caption Contest
A Photo Caption Contest is an excellent opportunity to combine entertainment with engagement. By posting an intriguing or humorous photo related to your business on Facebook and encouraging your followers to craft clever or witty captions, you enable a creative outlet.
Participants will put thought into how your business connects with the image, thus fostering deeper engagement.
What you will see is that the comments section becomes a hub for humor and creativity that might encourage sharing and further interaction.
To maximize impact, you could turn this into a recurring event where the best caption gets featured on your page along with the winner’s name, or you could provide a small reward, such as a discount or freebie. This not only motivates your followers to engage with your content but also creates anticipation for future contests.
It can be hard to collect all of the entries and make it easy for your followers to vote on the best caption, so consider using a Facebook contest app.
Also, by displaying the winning caption, you create content that has already received approval from your community, ensuring that it will be well-liked.
2. Best Use of Product Contest
Encouraging your customers to showcase your product in action can be an invaluable marketing tool.
Ask your customers to upload a picture or a short video showcasing an innovative or creative use of your product. You could take this a step further by turning it into a challenge where participants have to outdo each other in creativity.
Such user-generated content is akin to word-of-mouth marketing as it provides genuine endorsements from actual users.
To reward the most innovative use, you could offer a significant prize, such as a year’s supply of your product or an exclusive gift. Highlight the winning entries on your own page, creating a collection of the best ideas. This not only rewards participation but also demonstrates the versatility and value of your product in a real-world context.
3. Customer Testimonial Contest
Testimonials are powerful in building a brand’s credibility.
Encourage your customers to share their experiences by writing a testimonial or sharing a story about how your product has impacted their lives.
To add depth, you could ask them to include photos or videos. This personal touch can create an emotional connection with potential customers.
Offer rewards such as a featured spot on your website, exclusive discounts, or a premium version of your product. Use this content in your marketing material (with permission), as genuine stories can resonate more than traditional advertising. Furthermore, this contest can foster a community where customers feel appreciated and listened to, which can result in long-term loyalty.
4. Guess the Number Contest
A classic but always engaging Facebook contest is to post a picture of a jar filled with products or items related to your business and ask your followers to guess the number inside.
This simple yet addictive contest can keep your audience checking back and engaging with your post.
To ensure maximum participation, pick a visually appealing product and pair it with an enticing prize for the closest guess. Also, consider providing everyone who guesses a small discount as encouragement.
When revealing the correct number, make an event out of it—create a video of counting the items or reveal it during a live stream. This can create a buildup and keep the audience engaged even after the contest ends.
5. Tag a Friend Contest
In a ‘Tag a Friend’ contest, you ask your Facebook fans to tag a friend in the comments who they think would be interested in your product or service.
You could spice things up by asking participants to explain why their friends would love your product. This adds a layer of personalization and thoughtfulness.
Reward both the participant and the friend they tag with a prize or discount code. This not only creates awareness among a new audience but can also foster a sense of camaraderie and community.
Being introduced to a product through a friend’s personal recommendation can also greatly enhance the trust and credibility of your brand.
6. Holiday-Themed Contest
Utilize different holidays to add a festive flair to your contest.
For example, during Christmas, you could have an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest where participants incorporate your product into their sweater design. Or, around Halloween, they could use your product to create spooky decorations.
Reward the most festive and creative entries with holiday-themed prizes or special-edition products. Not only does this put your product in the spotlight, but associating it with happy memories and celebrations creates positive associations.
Moreover, this kind of user-generated content is visually appealing and likely to be shared, creating viral potential.
7. Like and Share Contest
Though simple, the ‘Like and Share’ contest can be highly effective in quickly increasing your brand’s reach on Facebook. Encourage participants to like and share your post to enter the contest.
To add an interactive element, consider pairing this with a question or prompt that participants can answer in the comments. The shared posts act as personal recommendations, which can have a significant impact on your brand’s perception among new audiences.
As your content gets shared, it is also more likely to show up on feeds and garner further interaction. Offer a worthwhile giveaway prize to incentivize participation, such as exclusive access to an upcoming product.
8. Trivia Contest
A trivia contest can be an educational and fun way for your followers to learn more about your company or industry.
Post an interesting trivia question, and ask your audience to answer it.
To elevate engagement, make it into a series with different difficulty levels or a theme that aligns with your business. This encourages participants to research and engage with your content over a longer period of time.
Offer prizes such as merchandise, discount codes, or a feature on your social media.
This type of contest not only educates your audience about your business but can also establish your brand as knowledgeable and authoritative in your field.
9. Design a New Product Contest
Invite your Facebook community to be a part of your creative process by holding a ‘Design a New Product’ contest.
This can be particularly effective if you’re in a creative industry.
Participants can submit their designs or ideas for new products or features.
You could offer the winner the opportunity to collaborate on a limited-edition product or provide them with a royalty from the sales. This creates a sense of ownership and pride among your community, as they see their ideas come to life.
Additionally, it’s a fantastic way to tap into the collective creativity of your audience and uncover ideas you might not have considered.
10. Before and After Contest
If your product offers a transformation, such as beauty products, home improvement, or fitness, a ‘Before and After’ contest can be powerful.
Customers can submit photos or videos showcasing the change or improvement thanks to your product.
This tangible proof is incredibly compelling to potential customers.
Make sure to offer a substantial prize as this type of content can require more effort to create.
Also, share the winning entries (after you get permission from the creator) on all of your social media profiles. This type of contest not only highlights the efficacy of your product but also humanizes your brand by showcasing real-life success stories.
Pitfalls for Facebook Contests
One thing to note is that not all strategies work well for Facebook contests.
Here are some examples of ideas or strategies that have been ineffective or counterproductive when running a Facebook Contest.
1. Complicated Contests
Social media users often browse through their feeds quickly and expect to consume content effortlessly.
Introducing a contest with numerous steps or convoluted rules is likely to reduce participation.
When the entry barrier is high, only a small segment of your audience will take the time to understand and participate.
This not only reduces the effectiveness of your contest but may frustrate potential participants who might perceive your brand as complicated or inaccessible. Instead, create contests that are straightforward with concise instructions.
It’s vital to balance creativity with simplicity to ensure that your audience remains engaged and finds value in participating.
2. Buying Likes or Followers
Purchasing likes or followers may seem like a quick way to bolster your page’s popularity, but it can be detrimental in the long run.
These artificial boosts are often from bots or non-genuine profiles, which contribute nothing to your brand’s engagement on Facebook or sales.
Another thing to consider is that smart users can often identify when followers are not authentic, which can tarnish your brand’s credibility.
Also, Facebook actively discourages this practice and may penalize your page if found guilty of inflating likes or followers. Instead, focus on building an organic following through meaningful content and authentic engagement.
3. Neglecting to Promote Your Facebook Contest
Merely posting your contest on your Facebook page and hoping for the best is not enough.
You need to try a multifaceted promotional strategy to ensure it reaches a broader audience.
Share your contest across various social media platforms, and consider sending out newsletters, or issuing press releases. We wrote an entire guide about running a Facebook giveaway, which includes some promotional ideas.
You could try to engage with influencers or collaborators to extend your reach.
Lastly, dedicating a budget for paid promotions can be beneficial. The more diverse your promotion strategy, the more likely you are to capture the attention of different segments of your target audience.
4. Ignoring Contest Follow-Up
A successful contest does not end with the selection of a winner; the follow-up is equally crucial.
Publicly announcing the winner creates transparency and shows that your contest was genuine.
Failing to announce a winner or not delivering promised prizes can severely damage your brand’s reputation.
You will also want to engage with all the participants by thanking them for their participation and potentially offering a small consolation prize or discount. Keeping the communication lines open even after the contest can foster a sense of community and goodwill among your followers.
5. Overemphasizing Product Promotion
A contest should primarily serve as a fun and engaging activity for your audience.
While promoting your product or service is a legitimate goal, overemphasizing it can make the contest feel like a forced advertisement.
This can turn off your audience, which is looking for genuine engagement.
Focus on creating a balance where your product is integrated seamlessly without dominating the narrative. The contest should leave participants with a positive impression of your brand, rather than feeling like they were subjected to a sales pitch.
6. Not Abiding by Facebook’s Contest Rules
It’s imperative to familiarize yourself with and adhere to Facebook’s contest policies.
Neglecting to do so can result in your contest being shut down and your page facing penalties.
For example, requiring users to share your post on their personal timeline as a condition for entry is against Facebook’s rules.
Ensure that your contest respects user privacy and Facebook’s community standards. Keep yourself updated with any changes in Facebook’s policies and be willing to adapt your contest accordingly.
7. Offering Irrelevant Prizes
Offering prizes that are unrelated to your business may attract a lot of attention initially, but the quality of engagement and followers gained is likely to be low.
These participants are more interested in the prize than in your brand and are thus unlikely to convert into genuine customers or engage with your content in the future.
Choose contest prizes that are in line with your brand and that your target audience is likely to value.
This ensures that the contest attracts participants who have a genuine interest in your products or services.
8. Expecting Instant Sales
It’s important to set realistic expectations for your contest.
While contests are effective in raising awareness and engaging your audience, they are not direct sales drivers.
Expecting a contest to result in immediate sales can lead to disappointment and might cause you to overlook the other benefits it brings.
Instead, view contests as a long-term investment in building relationships with your audience.
Focus on gathering insights, building your email list, and creating memorable experiences that keep your brand at the forefront of people’s minds.
Remember, the best contest strategies are those that engage and add value to your followers while also aligning with your brand and business objectives.