37 Inspiring Ideas to Rock Your Facebook Contest
Has your Facebook marketing stagnated? You post and post and then kind of wonder… Is this thing on? Is there anybody out there?
Are we having fun yet?
Here’s a quick formula to “funify” your Facebook feed, wake up your fans, and get them excited to bond with your brand:
- Create a Facebook timeline contest, some form of competition, or sweepstakes
- Recognize and reward the participants
- Gather their contact information so you can keep them excited to be an active part of your community
- Do it again
You can rally excitement with Facebook contests in oh-so-many ways.
In this post, I’m going to show you many Facebook contest examples from a wide variety of brands. Each was created with ShortStack.
Take advantage of the photo frenzy
Facebook users get excited about photo contests and, with a little creativity, you can make them crazy cool. Invite your Facebook followers to use their handy smartphones to shoot photos as their entrée into your contest.
Ulta lights it up
Talk about a tech-inspired cultural phenomenon … In 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary chose “selfie” as the word of the year. Ulta is one of countless brands that has tapped the trend for promotional purposes. The Facebook contest they created cleverly connects “selfie love” (note their cool hashtag), their products, and the contest’s prizes.
Students are the stars
Mississippi TV station WLBT partnered with a pair of local brands to sponsor a photo contest. Parents were asked to submit photos of their kids heading off to their first day of school.
WLBT and its sponsors saw an amazing flurry of photos posted like the ones you see above. The ShortStack template they chose to create the contest with made it simple to upload photos from phones, computers or Instagram. Participants were asked to cast votes to select a winner.
Calling all scholars
Half Price Books announced, “There’s one college scholarship anyone can win.” And check out that form.
While it’s entirely up to you to select the elements of the entry form when you create a Facebook contest, Half Priced Books required students to enter a good bit of data.
Few were deterred. Excited by the possibility of shaving $500 off their college costs, thousands of students entered. Of course, in addition to collecting a massive collection of photos, Half Price Books collected useful data about their fans and customers.
Making wishes come true
Back to school we go for this endearing photo contest from iHelp. To win a $2500 scholarship for their college-bound child, parents were asked to enter the contest with a photo and a wish for their future college grad.
Nice touches: iHelp posted all entries, asked participants to promote the campaign with a #WhatIWish hashtag and offered easy links to share via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and a “copy and paste URL” mechanism for posting on any webpage.
Zoom into the zoo
Quebec’s Zoo Ecomuseum brought patrons back to their venue to photograph the zoo’s animals, submit their shots, share photos with friends, and help elect one of the winners. An additional winner was chosen by a jury of photo experts.
Fishing for photos
Finalists for this contest are shown on the right.
Rapala and Suunto brands combined forces to lure an amazing number of fishing photos and rewarded 10 participants with generous prize packs featuring the company’s gear.
What a catch. Rapala and Suunto gathered invaluable user-generated content to support this promotion and future marketing campaigns.
Hot air, hot shots
Travel Nevada made the Great Reno Balloon Race (the world’s largest free hot-air balloon festival) a social media spectacle with this fun photo contest.
The #RenoBalloon17 photo contest is based on ShortStack’s multi-stage photo contest design, which dedicates time periods by date to:
- Enter photos
- View entries and vote for your favorite
- See the winning entry
The meaning of mobile?
Northwestern Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Center poses the question, “What does mobility mean to you?” and asks participants to show (and tell) how mobility “helps our lives stay full of the activities we love.”
Their nicely designed page showcases the second stage of a multi-stage photo contest in which participants are asked to vote and share their favorite photo.
The prize for Furry Babies’ photo contest is a “puptastic basket of goodies.”
The contest also featured the multi-stage approach whereby dog lovers could vote for adorable pooches like the well-dressed pup shown on the right.
Here’s a variation on the photo contest theme: the caption contest. The Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals wants participants to put their thinking cap (or bandana) on and create an award-winning caption.
We’re all movie-makers now too
Video contests may not be quite as hot as photo contests on Facebook, but they’re just as cool and trending upward. Many of the same strategies and best practices apply - and ShortStack has you covered for creating video contests on Facebook fast and effectively.
Tripping with video
Fla-Keys.com created a simple video contest. Its customers were challenged to upload and share a video of tourists enjoying their vacations there. Like some of the photo contests above, the winner was determined by votes and was rewarded with a return trip.
Pork rinds and pigskins
How might you celebrate Pork Rind Appreciation Day? Food-maker Southern Recipe offered big bucks - and a year’s supply of product - to a contestant randomly drawn from players willing to upload video of their “Gridiron Groovin” touchdown dance.
Create a tasty Facebook contest
Some call it “food porn,” that is, our endless lust for great food and our affection for creating it. Enter the recipe contest, which can be a recipe for success for food brands or any brand.
A meaty contest
Keystone Meats set out to democratize the creation of their first cookbook. Participants were given the option to vote for a recipe amongst a gallery of choices or submit a unique recipe to get extra entries.
Feeding football fans
Team WLBT/WDBD fed their followers a football-themed contest to celebrate opening day of the NFL season. Participants were asked to enter a tailgate dish recipe. Submissions included “Minnesota Vikings real beer brats,” “Buffalo ranch chicken dip,” and “Stick a fork in dat meatballs.”
Queue-up quizzes and questions
You can learn more about your prospects or simply invite them to have some fun with your content by basing your Facebook contests on quizzes - or guessing games.
This variation of ShortStack’s trivia quiz model perfectly aligns the Diono brand with the contest they’re conducting. The prize: their all-in-one convertible car seat. The game: test your car seat safety knowledge. It’s a smart approach because you can get some or all of the questions wrong and come out a winner simply by learning proper car seat safety techniques.
This contest sponsored by SeaComm Federal Credit Union puts a trivia contest in play. A new question about backyard games was posed for seven consecutive days, prompting participants to play daily and earn more chances to win.
Just one question
Many brands choose to use the quiz approach to ask only one question making it easy for fans to enter. This simple contest from Fragrance Direct and Champneys Spa quickly produced 10,511 entries.
A game show
“Come on down,” says Bell Auditorium, echoing the familiar refrain of The Price is Right. As it turns out, the program is taped there, so this guessing game simply asks contestants to play along to win tickets to the stage show.
Bell Auditorium made their The Price is Right contest with a simple multiple-choice quiz.
In the Fintro Hockey World League teams from all over the globe compete for the World Cup. Online, the league raised interest in the event with its “Predict the Score” Facebook contest. Over the course of an eight-day semi-final round in Brussels, eight entrants won a Fab X pair of shoes.
Play with your products
I’ve introduced a few contests that do well to cast a light on the company’s product while also introducing an element of fun. There are more ways to play this game, er, gamify a product-based approach with Facebook contests.
Your “flavorite” flavor?
This contest from Australian cracker maker Tucker’s Natural rallies its customers to celebrate the company’s tenth birthday by helping create a new cracker recipe.
Claw your way in
In an interesting twist on the “name our product” approach, Cape Porpoise Lobster Company opted to ask its contestants to give its mascot a name.
Write something special
There are a variety of ways to create a Facebook contest based on submissions that involve writing. We took a look at a caption contest above, but there’s more…
You can conduct essay contests, ask users to submit poems, or… write just about anything.
Dot your i’s
Dippin’ Dots, the popular ice cream brand, has almost 5-milllion Facebook fans. One of their Facebook promotions asks students and parents to submit reasons why “My Teacher Rules.” In a short span, the company’s fans submitted hundreds of entries such as these.
Refer your friends
If the foundation of Facebook is sharing, it makes sense to create Facebook contests that encourage and reward it.
They throw more than shrimp on the barbie
Meat & Livestock Australia got together with Big Green Egg for this referral-inducing Facebook contest. Check out the simple instructions above. A series of participants were rewarded with products from the barbeque maker and accessories.
Earn extra points
Recognizing the power of sharing - and Facebook referrals - ShortStack has created a template making it easy for brands to motivate contestants to increase their chances of winning by earning extra points by sharing.
For obvious reasons, writing this post is making me hungry. For those hungry for meatballs (the prize was a year supply), Rosina asked contestants to compete for the prize with a simple three-step sequence:
- Enter, via a short form
- Follow the brand for 5 additional entries
- Share the contest for 2 additional entries with each friend that joins the meatball party
Contests can’t get any sweeter
This contest hosted by Imperial sugar lasted one day. On that day, nearly 5,000 Facebook fans entered the contest and 2,500 of them were awarded $3.75 to purchase an Imperial Sugar product. They sweetened the deal (or your chances of winning) by asking participants to answer a few questions to double their chance of winning. By the way, this is a great example of a brand offering a relevant prize. The prize isn’t expensive, but it appeals to fans of the brand.
Take a vote
Some of the coolest Facebook contests introduce a democratic element. That is, an element of the contest is determined by a vote.
This one’s got soul
Michigan’s Friendship Circle provides assistance and support to individuals with special needs. Their Dresner Soul Studio is a sanctuary for artists with special needs.
They put some “sole” in their “soul” with this contest by showcasing the work of their studio’s artists on Converse All Stars. The entry form explains, “Vote for your favorite pair.” Each person who votes will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free pair of the winning shoe.” The winning shoe was then reproduced and sold as a fundraiser.
A musical gala
This vote-to-enter contest sponsored by Telus rewarded both the contest participants and one of the musical artists it showcased. Participants cast votes for their favorite artist among 26 first time nominees at the ADISQ Galas. The winning contestant was treated to free tickets to the awards event. The winning artist received a $5,000 scholarship.
Pick your prize
The opportunity to pick a prize provides Facebook contestants yet another fun reason to get involved and can build even more excitement for your contest.
A crafty contest
Crafter’s Companion celebrated National Craft Month on Facebook by conducting a “Pick Your Prize” contest featuring a trio of prize packs.
If you were to see animation presented on this page you’d see all the great goodies that came with this prize. Essentially, this contest from StudentFlights.com.au, rewarded Ü and a mate to the vacation Ü prefer.
Do a download
Want to make your audience’s ticket into your Facebook timeline contest or giveaway a download? You can do so with any form of digital content. It’s easy. And you’re bound to embellish your email list.
Don’t stress the small big stuff
Your mortgage…? Yeah, it’s a big deal. Guaranteed Rate had the idea to reduce the stress of mortgage shopping by awarding customers who downloaded their MortgateMapp app with a stress ball.
Sometimes a giveaway is as good as a contest
Often, giveaways are easier too. Let’s take a look at some of the giveaways ShortStack customers are using to achieve their marketing goals.
Flat irons for four
The brand is Helen of Troy. The product is the Black Gold™ Salon Flat Iron from their Hot Tools collection. And the entry requires filling out a few fields. Four winners are randomly selected. That’s how a simple giveaway works.
Giveaways work well for service industries too. In this one, website designer Candice Kilgore - at ThinkCreateBuild.com - offers a free website design. All she asks for is your name and email.
For hunters only
Numerous Banded Holdings brands - Banded, Honey Brake, Realtree, Simmons’ Sporting Goods, Benelli, Federal Premium, Savage, and Bushnell - came together to create a hunter’s dream featuring transportation, lodging, meals, gear and more in this big giveaway.
First come, first served
Nothing real complicated is happening here. Somersby Cider simply chose to buy a round - for 1,000 thirsty customers - who want to sample their Elderflower Lime flavor. We call this one a “limited-entry giveaway.” (Another terrific example of a successful campaign with a relatively inexpensive prize!)
Keep the entries coming
This “Sweet Sixteen” giveaway from Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry features a built-in loyalty and sharing reward system. The Facebook contest rules explain, “You may enter up to once daily during the Sweepstakes Period and may earn extra entries by participating in social media sharing through the contest portal.”
In this giveaway by Adrien Gagnon one person takes home the $1000 product prize, but EVERYONE that enters enjoys some healthy savings on their next purchase.
The gifts keep coming
Your Facebook contest can keep customers engaged for days when you conduct a multi-day giveaway. The tactic is commonly used during the holiday shopping season, but is inherently flexible.
In this example, SchoolSpecialty delivered 30 daily prizes - and 30 daily deals - for an extended back-to-school promotion. The contest pages feature a high-speed animated GIF to show off many of the giveaway items.
Create a Facebook contest to achieve your marketing goals
That’s a wrap. There you have 37 ideas of how brands are using Facebook contests to inspire fans to bond with their brands. Now it’s your turn. And it's easy to use readymade templates to get started.
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