Are you looking to for ways to engage more fans with your brand on Facebook?

If your answer is yes, then It’s time to run Facebook contests on your page because your audience needs something more than just memes and funny videos.

Facebook pages reach is on the decline and we expect the organic reach to drop further. According to TechCrunch, 50,000 posts by 1,000 Pages shows organic reach per fan (median) has steadily declined since September 2013:

  • Feb 2012 = 16%
  • Sep 2013 = 12.60%
  • Nov 2013 = 10.15%
  • Dec 2013 = 7.83%
  • Mar 2014 = 6.51%

Facebook Organic Reach Decline Stat

Why Is the Organic Reach Declining You May Ask?

Well, for starters they number of pages people like are increasing so the surplus of content and lack of space forces Facebook to introduce algorithms with which they decide which post to show based on this algorithm.

Techcrunch Facebook Newsfeed

No, we don’t want you to start deleting your page but want you to sign-in to your Facebook and check the insights of your page, take a look at what posts have you shared over the last couple of months and regardless of the reach how many people actually engaged with it who saw the post? All pages and people are not reated equally as there are a lot of personalized factors in play so that people will see the most engaging posts. Now that we’ve built a case let’s take a look at how you run a contest that both engage current fans and help you get more fans who can become potential new customers. We’ll start with seven ideas, apps and case studies which you can use to start your own contest.

7 Facebook Contest Ideas

1. Like to Win

This one is a no brainer as just how with Google, there are links, similarly with Facebook, there are likes which drive the users. If you are looking forward to start a quick contest, then “Like to Win” is one of the easiest to set up for you an easy for users to participate in. As the name suggests, fans only need to like a certain post to enter the contest and stand a chance of winning. Previously, Fangates were used when the timeline was not introduced and still many brands use them for advertisement as it lets them create a call to action landing page, which increases the conversion. Facebook has allowed page owners to run contests through posts and updates so cover photos, post updates, video updates and apps tab all can be used to run this content. Blow is an example of a Fangate from Fisher-Price:

Facebook Contest Like to Win

We suggest running the “Like to Win” contest through post updates as they are more engaging, and you can promote the post with Facebook ads to get more people to like your page who are not only interested in the reward but also has the interests you want to target. Office Furniture Online ran a contest a couple of months back.

Facebook Contest Like to Win Post

The participation rate is high due to the easy nature of the contest and can be used to give away voucher/discount codes and similar smaller incentives and rewards.

2. Comment to Win

Comment to Win makes a better contest than simply “Like to Win” contests as users have to make an effort and write something to win and get the reward. You can also ask users to comment and tag 3 friends this can expose your brand to even more people who might not have liked your page yet this allows you to increase the exposure of your brand.

  • Fans must simply “leave a comment to win”
  • Fans must answer a question, like: “What feature do you like the most about our products? comment to win a free ____”

Here is an example of  “Comment to Win” contest.

Facebook Contest Comment To Win

3. Caption Contest

If you are a Meme fan than you’re going to love this as you can get a lot of creative entries and bring out the funny side of people.

Facebook Contest Caption

Any contests you run need to be transparent and allow all entries an equal chance of winning so figure out a way about how you are going to select a winner.

4. FITB (Fill __ the Blank) Contest

FITB posts are really fun and interesting to run, especially when the blanks are open ended. You can use them in your regular updates as well as for contests and get people talking about your brand or product. Such activity-based posts bring people on board and makes it really fun to hangout with your followers and also give your fans to talk to you, which is what social media is about. You can either go with simple text or create an image like Oreo:

Facebook Contest Fill in the Blank Here are a few examples to try on your Facebook Page:

  • Fill in the blank. [YOUR BRAND] has changed the way I __________.
  • Fill in the blank. My The first word that pops into my head when I think if [YOUR BRAND] is __________.
Why should you use Fill in the blanks in your status updates anyway? Simply because they are more engaging and pages who have more engaged fans tend to get better organic reach.  Big brands are using this tactic to get people from liking and sharing to actually writing comments and sharing their thoughts. JetBlue is one example, they get 182% more comments with FITB posts.
Jetblue Fill in the Blank Posts Stats

5. Photo Contest

These are my top favorite and extremely fun to participate in. The best part about these contests is that you can get to see the loyal followers and the community you’ve built for your brand. This does not apply to brands only as I’ve personally seen it recently on the community page of a meme “Trust me, I’m an Engineer“. Below is a screenshot of one of the many user submitted photos. The page owner is making money through Teespring but for a business owner, you can give incentive or reward for people who send their photos.

Facebook Photo Contest - Trust me I'm an Engineer

You can run these contests with both third party apps or without them by simply asking fans to submit a photo to you through Facebook Message feature on the brand page or allow fans to post a photo on your page wall and pick the winner randomly or by the number of likes or votes. The number of submissions might be for certain pages or shoot so always be prepared for anything but commit to the plan and you’ll see results coming in.

6. Q&A Contest

Similar to Fill the Blanks you can run Trivia based quizzes and Q&A’s on your page and run contests without having to pay.

Facebook Contest Q&A

You can ask them simple questions or multiple choice questions and get them to submit the right answer. You can pick the winner randomly.

7. Join Email List to Win

I am actually laughing at this one because how simple and effective this method is and especially when brands are complaining about Facebook reach this method is extremely valuable. As digital marketers, we know how valuable a list of subscribers can be, you can run a simple contest that will give you both engagement on Facebook and allow you to get more people signup to your email list.

Facebook Contest Join Email List

Free Digital Reads ran this simple contest on our Facebook timeline.  We picked up 250+ email subscribers running a contest for a $25 Amazon gift card.  That’s 10 cents per subscriber.  That’ll do.

7 Facebook Contest Apps

  1. ShortStack
  2. Heyo
  3. Antavo
  4. AgoraPulse
  5. Tabsite
  6. Easypromos
  7. Votigo

1. Shortstack

Shortstack is one of the premium facebook app design tool which lets you create various apps and provides integration with mobile and email softwares such mail chimp. Their apps are really robust and have various features which you can check on their website. Case Study: Client: Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa Objective: Use Social media effectively in their marketing strategy. Contest Type: Contest Giveaway Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa wanted to restructure their digital marketing strategy and add social media to it which was missing. They started their focus from 1000 New Fans in 5 hours.

Mountain Grand Shortstack


  • 1000 new fans in 5 hours
  • 4000 App Views
  • 927 Contest Entries

2. Heyo

Heyo is a mobile optimized drag and drop Facebook contest platform that lets you run contests, promotions and deals using their templates. Many small and midsized businesses are using Heyo to drive engagement, capture emails, get likes, and convert sales. Case Study: Client: Mixed Bag Designs Objective: Get more email subscribers through Like Contest Type: Join Email List to Win Amy, marketing manager of Mixed Bag Designs made the landing page template using Heyo in 30 minutes with customized the logo, image, description, sharing options, and email opt-in form.

Mixed Bag Design - Email List Contest

The best part about this was that this landing page mobile optimized automatically so when the campaign ran, it converted at a great percentage. Results: 

3. Antavo

Antavo is a Viral Facebook contest app that works for Facebook, mobile, and web. The best thing about this software is that it connects social media and email marketing and lets you capture email address through the contests, giveaways, Sweepstakes and deals that you run with this service. Case Study: Client: Orofluido – Beauty Products Objective: Building brand reputation and community of engaged customers Contest Type: Photo Contest Orofluido launched their campaign with Anvato in which they ran a 5 day long photo contest where they asked the fans to upload snapshots of their loved ones. The purpose of this campaign was to crowdsource the campaign against a reward of 3 Orofluido Gift Boxes. The best thing about this campaign was that it was around valentines and which by the way takes place on 12th June in Brazil and known as “Dia dos Namorados”. The campaign ran from 7th of June until the 11th.

Orofluido Photo Contest


  • 2,863 new Page Likes
  • 26 people uploaded pictures and 3,287 people voted for them
  • 3,303 new subscribers  with cost per subscriber $0.29

4. AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse is the Swiss army knife of Facebook community managers and marketers. With features like Quizzes, photo contests, sweepstakes, instant win, coupon contests, personality tests and petition apps. In short it is a complete CRM solution for Facebook marketing, check out their website for all the features. Case Study: Client: Kiehl’s Objective: Get more people to try their products Contest Type: Coupon Coupons are not new but if you plan it well, it can really get people excited, especially in a new market. Kiehl’s is a global brand who introduced their products in Chile. They ran the campaign to bring fans into stores and get them to buy their products. With the help of AgoraPulse they launched an app to introduce a new product in which they gave away coupons which could be used at Kiehl’s stores.



  • 517 New Fans
  • 2000+ reach

The key to marketing is to give and offer value rather than practice push marketing and asking people to Buy, Buy and Buy.

5. Tabsite

Tabsite is another popular Facebook marketing app which has a lot of features and allows you to run various contests. They have mobile optimized landing pages and their apps resize accordingly there fore keep in mind to look for a similar feature for any app you plan to use for your next contest. Case Study: Client: Petopia Pet Store Competition Objective:  Collect relevant email subscribers, increase fans and gather research Contest Type: Customer engagement This is a very successful case study by Petopia using Tabsite application to grow their Facebook fan base. They ran a voting based competition in which contestants and fans were asked to select the start pet of the month. Fans and dog lovers around the world participated in this contest and the results were nothing short of amazing.



  • 10,000+ Fans
  • Total Fans increased from 13,500 to 23,500 

6. EasyPromos

EasyPromos is a straightforward and easy app to create promotions and contests. They’ve mentioned on their website and fanpage that their app is 100% compatible to Facebook policy. Let’s take a look at this interesting case study by Rituals using Easypromos app.

Case Study:

Client: Rituals

Competition Objective:  Increase number of Fans

Contest Type: Product Giveaway

Rituals is a global brand in cosmetics and accessories with over 870 stores in the Netherlands, Europe, and worldwide, as well as an online store. They ran a campaign tha ran over the course of one day named as “Rituals Lucky Hours”.  A lot of excitement and hype was built a week before the start of the promotion. Facebook Ad campaign was used in combination with promoted posts to make this event reach wider audience. They used Easypromos  “Winning Moment” tool for this campaign. Every hour 5 fans were picked as winners.The winning moments were generated by the application in advance and completely at random. Each participant received a personalized message in that instant, letting them know whether or not they had won. If they hadn’t been lucky this time, they could try again an hour later. By the end of the promotion, 50 lucky people had won prizes.



  • 18,927 people participated in the competition
  • 10,000+ New Fans
  • 29.86% Growth in Fanbase

7. Votigo

Saving the best for the last Votigo is the leading social media marketing & promotions company with a SaaS platform and full-service solutions. Votigo has worked with leading brands and agencies including Ford, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Sony, NBC Universal, Intel, Aol, Sharpie, Sears, DraftFCB, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Ogilvy, Wunderman, and Arnold Worldwide.

This lies more in the enterprise level software but has a lot of features

Case Study:

Client: JBL

Competition Objective: Build awareness and buzz for the Tim McGraw Artist series headphones by JBL electronics

Contest Type: VIP Concert Experience with Tim McGraw

A Multi platform campaign was created using Votigo which allowed fans to participate through Facebook, a microsite, Twitter or by text message. The sweepstake app was create which asked users to upload photos, videos to a variety of media channels and share what it means to them. The entries were combined in Instagram and Tweet using campaign hashtag.



  • Over 6,000 Entries
  • 44k Visitors
  • 107k Page views

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Salman Aslam
Salman Aslam is the Managing Director at Omnicore, a leading Healthcare Digital Advertising & Marketing Agency helping clients across the globe. You can follow him on Twitter for tweets and rants about the latest news, tips, and advice on digital marketing.