How to run a Facebook competition

52 Responses

  1. Meta Titles says:

    This is a great post! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I am thinking of running my first giveaway and you page has provided me with all the information I was looking for. Thank you very much for sharing.

  3. bryce brock says:

    Love this! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Elizabeth C says:

    Hello Di,
    I want to do a script competition on facebook for, among other things, a £20 prize – is this a bad idea/better to go with a voucher? What would be the best way to do it?
    Thank you so much for your post its a fantasric resource!

  5. Andy Reid says:

    Great post and good information. I have been looking around to see if this idea I have is allowed by FB. So I understand that my site ranking is scored by google depending on how many people visit and read the content and go to multiple. So I was wondering if FB allow a Competition were you have some questions and people have to read through various pages looking for the answer. This should give my site a better ranking for organic searching. But then how would people enter as the answers could not be posted. Is it reasonable to ask them to email their answer. What’s your thoughts on that. Thanks Andy

    • Di says:

      That’s definitely possible Andy – although it’s a bit of a ’round the houses’ way of doing it! Could you have a hidden graphic on your website that people need to look for, then when people click on it it opens up an email to you, or takes people to a Google form to leave their answer? Then in the FB post you can simply say ‘Find the hidden gnome on our website, then click on it to enter the competition!’ – you could even give a few clues. Or if you want people to comment on Facebook, ask them to comment with their favourite product/destination/review/recipe on your website – usually people will visit the website rather than just copying whet the person above has put, but it depends what your website is about!

  6. Andrew says:

    How do you make a lottery page on my Facebook, or a lucky dip with numbers from 1 to 500 example .

  7. Lauren says:

    Hello. Is this post taking into consideration the new GDPR guidelines? I’m concerned that using a third party such as Fanpagekarma will be against the guidelines. Do I just need to include in my terms and conditions that this website will be used to draw the winner?


  8. Isla Ross says:

    Hi Di.

    I’m a social media intern currently planning my first ever giveaway campaign for Facebook. Had I not found your article, I would have accidentally broken Facebook’s rules, thank you so much. This article answered almost all of my questions!

    Can I ask, how would I go about creating a landing page and linking it to my posts with my full terms and conditions?

    Isla x

  9. Isla Ross says:

    Hi Di!

    I’m a social media marketing intern running my first ever Giveaway Campaign and this article has saved me so much trouble. Helped me with everything I needed to know and had I not read it I would have accidentally broken Facebook’s rules! Thank you so much.

    Can I ask, how would I go about creating a landing page and uploading it to FB with my full terms and conditions?

    Isla x

  10. Suzanne Wilson says:

    Hi, I am slightly new to social media and I posted a competition organically on Facebook and also created an ad on Facebook. Organically we had a great response however no likes or comments by posting it through the Facebook ad. Not sure what happened as the ad seemed to reach and engage with over 12,000 people. Any advice would be great. Thanks

    • Di says:

      I don’t have much experience with Facebook ads – but the couple of times I’ve trialled them for competitions (ayurveda training & a local massage prize), the responses haven’t been great – but I did think that was due to the niche audience I was trying to reach! What was the prize you were giving away?

      • Suzanne says:

        We were giving away a Family Ticket and a cafe voucher for £40. I targeted the type of people that would visit us and in the area but no comments or likes to enter. Thank Suzanne

  11. Simone says:

    Thanks for a useful post Di – also glad to see you have updated it. This is the first time I’m going to run a competition, the prize is a meal for two people. I want them to like the post and also comment who they will treat/share the prize with. Is this against the rules, because although I’ll welcome ‘My hubby’, ‘my mum’ or ‘my bbf’ others might link people who are also on Facebook, even though I haven’t said tag they have to tag anyone!

    • Di says:

      That’s absolutely fine, and a great way to do it (I’ve actually done something similar in a Twitter prize draw this week ‘ reply and tell me which film you’ll see and with who’ – I never mention the word ‘tag’, as not everyone uses social media. But at least 50% of people WILL tag a friend so it still works. You can apply the same on Facebook – people will still tag, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

  12. Colette says:

    Thanks Di – this is SUPER helpful. I’ve not done a facebook giveaway in ages so wasn’t sure what the current rules were. I really appreciated this post walking me through it.

  13. Sarah says:

    I always suspected that this might be the case with shares.

    Great post. I’ll be sharing this with my competition friends.

  14. sokolartnau says:

    Your site them an article most informative and useful for us.


  15. This post is not entirely correct now. The guidance in the Facebook Developers section forbidding the forcing of page likes relates to the construction of third party apps, not to promotions run on a Facebook page. There is nothing in the Facebook page terms saying you cannot tell people to like your page. What it forbids is the forced us of a friend connection or another person’s timeline.

    It’s important for people to know the difference between rules of managing the page and its content and the rules related to third party apps.

    • Di says:

      “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page” from the developer rules could apply to non-app content too though – even if it’s not officially in Facebook Page T&Cs. I agree that it might be a grey area, but it makes sense that Facebook don’t want pages to ask for a Like in return for something – it should be a natural/organic action. Facebook are constantly asking pages to promote relevant, engaging content rather than engagement bait (which is what most ‘Like to win’ comps are). People should want to like a Facebook page because of the content posted, not because they want to win a pencil sharpener. Yes, most pages aren’t bothered about Facebook terms/rules/policies when they run a giveaway – but it would be good to see them taking a bit more responsibility for their comps and thinking before they post!

    • Hello Steve, yes I have looked at this in greater detail as I noticed so many promotional giveaways asking for Page Likes as a condition of entry but there is no mention of this being forbidden in the ‘Facebook Pages Terms’. You cannot ask people to share the post on their timeline, their friends’ timeline or to tag their friends but ‘Liking the Page’ appears to be acceptable.
      Di – agreed with your statement that Pages ought to be more responsible with comps but asking for ‘Likes’ is the only way to get the numbers up at the moment. Even great content is seeing very poor organic reach right now.

  16. Elena says:

    Thanks for this post
    Do you have any tips on how to contact competition winners without using your personal FB account. From what I can see from Business Manager you can only message them if they have commented on the competition post. Otherwise there is no way of notifying without posting a message to the page. I have read about using apps that collect email addresses, but would be reluctant to introduce an additional stage.

    • Di says:

      You’re right – the only way to contact them as a page is to click ‘message’ under a comment, which is why it’s always a good idea to ask for a comment as an entry method! Those messages from a personal account often go into filtered messages and are never seen by the recipient.

  17. Brilliant article! Thank you. This has really helped to kickstart the launch of my website and my business Facebook page. One question, is there a simple way to message all of the other participants who didn’t win (I only collected comments) to say ‘I’m sorry you didn’t win this time, but as a thank you for participating here is a discount code/gift voucher…etc.’?

    • Mona says:

      Hi Richard,
      I need the same solution. Did you find an answer? Would be extremely grateful if you could share your solution.

      • Di says:

        No, there’s no way to message entrants – but you could post a final comment on the competition post with that discount code – eg “Congratulations to our winner Dave Davis – for all the other entrants please enjoy a 15% discount code SPECIAL15 that can be used on our website at . Everyone who commented with a competition entry will get a notification about the new comment (unless they turned notifcations off).

  18. Andy Macfarlane says:

    Hey there Di!

    Super informative. I was just wondering, is it safe to run these comps on FB? As in, is there a risk of having a page shut down?

    • Di says:

      Facebook has changed the rules slightly regarding clickbait and incentivised Likes/Comments – but if you’re asking people to leave a relevant/useful comment rather than a spammy ‘I’d love to win’ then you should be ok!

  19. An excellent resource thank you!

  20. Jon says:

    Brilliant post. I’ve just set up a similar Like & Comment competition and it looks good. One hitch though – I saved the full T&Cs to a FB note as you suggested and directed people to the URL for actual competition post. But still people are commenting on the note itself instead!!! I didn’t want FB to tell everyone about the note but there seems no way around that. I also can’t see there’s any way to tun off commenting. Any suggestions?!

  21. Jez says:

    A fantastic, well written post, that has managed to answer every question I had. Thank you so much.

  22. Le Coin de Mel says:

    Best post I’ve read all week! I’ve just set up my first Facebook competition and thanks to your advice / T&C template, I’ve saved a few hours. xxxxx

  23. Steve Lamb says:

    Ive been trying to do a promotion but cant find the Notes? have the moved or been removed?

  24. Thanks for this, I’ve just used it to create my first Prize Draw, so hopefully it will work well.

  25. Gem Gem Newton says:

    This is a great post! I have a couple of question, if you can help.

    Is this up to date with FB’s T&Cs?

    Also, I want to run a competition to generate more page like and page traffic. Would it be ok to set out like this?

    “”To enter you must like this post.

    (T&C’s here)

    don’t forget to like our page & share with your friends.””

    Thank you 🙂

    • Facebook T&Cs regarding promotions haven’t changed for a few years now, so this information is still correct!

      Your wording still implies that the entrant must Like & Share – I think if you add a bit to the end, for example “don’t forget to like our page & share with your friends to help spread the word!” then it’s less of a command!

      • Gem Gem Newton says:

        Fantastic, thank you. This page is really helpful for setting up competitions that don’t break the rules! Thank you again.

        • Melodi Kucuk says:

          Hi, it is the Facebook policy that you must not tell contestants to share on their Facebook timelines or their friends. You also can’t tag friends below the post. this is really important as it breaches Facebook rules.

  26. Emma Lyskava says:

    Hi Di, I would argue that companies can ask people to Like their Facebook page as a method of entry, as the Facebook article that you’ve linked to only relates to Facebook apps like Woobox or Offerpop – not general posts on a page.

    • This is a point that people often make, and I agree that Facebook haven’t really made it clear enough. But they do say “You must not incentivize people to like a page…. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, Facebook wants its users to like your page because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.” – which seems to apply not only to apps, but generally too. Liking a post though, is fine!

  27. Mark Lightfoot says:

    Amazing post – thank you so much for sharing all this valuable experience & info. Will be putting it into practice in the run up to Christmas! Lots of sanity, and no nonsense.

  28. Duncan Reid says:

    Great info – you see so many promoters using the ‘like & share’ method and I’ve been banging on about it for years when I run Social Media training sessions. You CAN run a good comp perfectly in lines with FB’s T&Cs.

    I’ve just used your fab info as a guide & sanity check to setting one up on my Facebook AloeToday page – thanks for a great post 🙂

  29. This has been so so helpful. A bit of a mine field as I can see.


  30. fraugretel says:

    I have experienced problems regarding this first hand! I entered a competition with the company “Getting Personal ” and hurrah .. I won it !! They posted the winning message on their post without tagging me – just asking Sarah Forrester to email them and quoted the address to send to the email. As they had not tagged me it took a day or two for me to see that I had won it – I commented on the post and then emailed them. They replied to me asking what address I wanted the prize sent to as they had received two different requests – the email was sent to both my email address and an email that had been created using my name – I was MORTIFIED that my actual email address had been sent to this fraudster and also that someone could be so dishonest that they would create an email address to claim a prize that was only worth £20 ! They now had my email address !! I asked Getting Personal if they could give me the persons address so I could go to the police but they said that they could not do so as it would violate their privacy !!!!!!! I was so angry !! It was not the monetary value of the prize – it was the principal – they had effectively stolen my identity – if they could do that for a £20 prize what else were they prepared to do ?? I did contact the police but they said there was nothing they could do as Getting Personal had not actually sent them the prize ! I was incredulous – they could create a fake email to obtain goods by deception but no-one was going to do anything about it !! So…. the moral of the story is .. to promoters always message the winner directly !

  31. Faridah Brooker says:

    Great post Di but how do you get promoters to actually follow these rules? Practically every one says like and share – I’ve stopped public sharing as people were defriending me on FB so now I say I’m sharing with ‘x’ and tag a comping friend.

    • Unfortunately you can’t get anyone to follow the rules – the problem is, most people have no idea there actually *are* any rules – which is why I’ve written this post. Mind you, I’ve seen several pages lately who have had to end their promotions early because Facebook contacted them telling them not to run a ‘Like & Share’ so perhaps things might be changing?

    • samanthacoles says:

      I’ve tried contacting people running the competitions but just get rude replies – saying they’ll do it as long as they can and that people share posts all the time so why not ask people to. There’s no way to report it either on the report post buttons

  1. 05/08/2017

    […] say was because you are no longer able to require people to tag their friends in order to try and win something on […]

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