When running competitions on your Facebook page, it’s worthwhile using a 3rd party application instead of using Facebook functions (like/comment/share) as entry.
Reason One: You Avoid Breaking Facebook’s Rules
Although you absolutely can post a photo on your timeline and ask people to like & comment for entry, it’s against Facebook’s terms to ask people to share for entry. This is because it’s seen as ‘gaming the system’ to get more reach on your competition post.
If you do ask people to share for entry you risk having your page pulled, and losing your fan base and content. You would have to start over building up a fanbase and a new page. That would suck right?
Reason Two: You Can Collect More Data
This is the biggie for me. If you’re going to run a competition and give away a great prize, you want to get the most bang for your buck. For me, that’s getting data (name, email and possibly address) of entrants. This helps grow your list, which can help you grow your business.
Luckily there’s loads of free Facebook competition apps* that not only avoid any rule breaking and allow you to capture data but they add even more amazing functions to enhance a competition and give you better results.
*There’s very few free-for-life options out there, but many offer your first go free, and by using a different one each time you can go quite some time without paying for running a contest on Facebook.
Before I give you a list of 6 Free Facebook Competition apps, just a bit of an overview on terminology that might come in handy:
- Sweepstakes/Contests – are American terms for competitions and prize draws
- Competitions – winners chosen on merit
- Prize Draws – winners chosen at random from all valid entries
Like-Gate– this means someone has to like your page before entering a competition. Great for increasing likes. [Update – this is no longer allowed]
The Free Facebook Competition Apps:
For free giveaways for life, Rafflecopter is your app of choice. However, there’s little flexibility in the free version, so you can pay $7.99 per month if you want more choice.
Key features: Unlimited giveaways, quick and easy to setup, technical support.
Free for the first contest you run using Easypromos then $15 per promotion thereafter for pages with up to 5,000 fans. The contest options you get on the free trial are basic but good.
Key features: Sweepstakes, Photo Contests and Text Contests (entrants type some text to enter).
If you have 0-100 fans, the first contest you run is free. It’s $15 per promotion thereafter or $14 per month if you subscribe.
Key features: photo contests, caption contests and video contests
If you want to try TriSocial on a short contest, you can have a free trial of 7 days, then $9 per promotion thereafter.
Key features: photo contest, vote contests and mobile-ready.
FenixApps SocialComments option used to be free to try and completely free when using it on your mobile phone however they’ve recently changed their business model and their content apps now start at $340.
Key features: simple contests, insights and tracking, branding options (adding your logo).
Technically this isn’t free for running contests, but at $30 a month and lots of features it’s a very affordable option and very easy to run.
Key features: Like gates, mobile optimised and fully customisable.
It’s up to you which free Facebook competition app you choose to go with, and of course there’s other’s out there to research and try.
One last thing to remember, it’s not just Facebook’s terms you should adhere to when running competitions but UK legal requirements, and keeping in line with the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).
Want more advice on this, your promotion strategy and running campaigns on Facebook? Book a discovery call.