Influencer marketing - Joke

15 Facebook Contest Ideas That Still Work in 2023

Facebook is something that nearly everyone has. What once was a niche product for college students is now so popular that it has billions of members. However, along with that high number of members comes a high level of competition. Ubiquity means that Facebook is a place where it’s harder and harder to be seen. This is especially true when you consider the fact that Facebook long ago made it difficult for business pages to achieve a large amount of organic traffic.

Despite these challenges, Facebook is still a very powerful marketing tool. In fact, for many brands, Facebook is one of the best ways to reach out to a large customer base. Think about it this way: some companies have a clientele that spans ages, income levels, and nationalities. Most of them are on Facebook. But how can brands impress potential customers, increase brand awareness, and overall amplify their reach? One of the best ways is by using these Facebook contest ideas.

Further Reading: 6 Benefits of Running Social Media Contests

1. Photo Contest

photo contest
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In a photo contest, you post a photo prompt on Facebook, then invite people to enter your contest. A prompt is usually brand or industry-related, such as food pictures for a gourmet grocery company. Alternatively, you can ask people to take pictures of themselves having fun with your product. Niches that can be appropriate for this approach include sporting goods, hobby products, and similar.

But what do you give away? For many companies, the answer is a sample of a product or similar freebies. Using this approach, your company can get some awesome exposure and lots of engagement for a relatively low price. Plus, many companies put it in the rules that they can publicize the winner. This adds even more value to running the contest in general. And, as a bonus, the user-generated content. can be quite valuable.

2. Fill in The Blank to Win

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Remember the game Mad Libs? For many of us, this used to be a party game where people would get prompts to fill in blanks in a story. For instance, you’d be asked for a noun or verb. The results could be quite funny, depending on the story theme and the people involved. And, as an added bonus, you could often learn a lot about the other people at the party.

Among Facebook contest ideas, the fill in the blank option is the most like Mad Libs. Or even a “complete the sentence” challenge, for that matter. These contests let people think about your products and services, or even your niche in general. It gives people a chance to be creative, funny, straightforward, or whatever. Either way, your Facebook contest post will get a lot of organic engagement.

3. Caption This Contest

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As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And for brands, pictures can also be worth a lot of engagement on Facebook, increased exposure because the captions show up on people’s feeds, and more. Plus, they’re just plain fun. You never know what people will come up with.

Here’s the thing. Most Facebook contest ideas are lots of fun, but these let your followers show their personalities. Plus, if you use a picture that involves your product being used or depicted in a humorous way, then everybody ends up laughing. The contest becomes memorable almost automatically.

4. Comment to Win

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Arguably, this is one of the easiest Facebook contest ideas out there. After all, you really only need to make a simple picture that’s turned into a post. Then, you ask people to comment, which is their way of entering to win. This doesn’t even require originality on the part of your audience. It just requires them to say “hi.” In some ways, though, the low bar for entry helps encourage more people to participate.

Here’s the thing: one of the more persistent Facebook marketing problems is getting past the algorithm. With a simple comment to win a contest, however, you’ll give your profile a leg up. As people comment on your contest post, it’ll leave a trail that their friends can pick up.

5. Fans Vote

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If you have a sports team, a musical ensemble, or some other kind of organization that attracts fans, this one is for you. With a “fans vote” contest, you can let people vote on two alternatives, such as which baseball pitcher should start the first game. Set it up as a poll on Facebook, or ask people to comment with their vote.

Alternatively, some companies will sponsor fan votes where two competing entities face off against each other. For instance, they might ask if the Mets or the Yankees are better baseball players. If the company sponsoring the contest is also sponsoring both teams, or perhaps the MLB, then this contest provides extra publicity. Just make sure you are legally allowed to hold the contest if it involves someone else’s trademarks.

Further Reading: How to Create a Poll on Facebook: All You Need to Know

6. Selfie Contest

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If you have a consumer brand, such as food, beverages, or beauty/grooming products, consider the selfie contest. In a selfie contest, users post pictures of themselves with the product or using the product. For instance, they might be drinking that beverage out of a can. Or, they might be styling the beauty and grooming products and showing off how great they look using them. In turn, you can give away free products and recognition. However, perhaps the best thing bout selfie Facebook contest ideas is that they’re just plain fun.

7. Refer-A-Friend

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This one is a form of word-of-mouth marketing. With refer-a-friend contests, people enter by referring other people to the contest. For instance, they might do so by sharing the contest announcement on their profiles or sending them through messaging. For this reason, among Facebook contest ideas this is one of the most likely to go viral. As a bonus, it massively increases brand awareness.

Of course, there’s a potential drawback to this one: the sheer volume of entries. For that reason, I’d recommend using a tool like Randompicker that automatically selects the winner. Not only is this very fair, but it also saves you and your staff a ton of time. With the tool, all you have to do is run it, announce the winner, and process the prize.

Further Reading: The Top 19 Facebook Tools for Marketing Your Business

8. Like and Share to Win

like and share to win
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Another one of the Facebook contest ideas that can go viral is like and share to win. For this contest, entrants will like either your page or a particular post on your page. Then, they’ll share it on their Timeline. It’s an easy way to get extra distribution for your overall profile. Again, a random winner choice tool is the way to go.

9. Quiz / Trivia Contest

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If you want some Facebook contest ideas that challenge people’s knowledge, a quiz or trivia contest is a great idea. You probably remember trivia contests as something that goes back to old-style morning radio shows. In those contests, the host would ask a question, and the first person to have the right answer won. For Facebook contests, you’ll undoubtedly get several people who answer the question correctly. In this case, you can either say that the first person wins, or you can randomly choose one of them to win.

What’s cool about this one? Simply put, not everyone who participates is eligible to win. With quizzes and trivia, you make people think. With that said, you have a lot of options for trivia topics. For instance, you could ask a question like, “what year was our company founded.” Alternatively, choose something historical, such as asking questions about D-Day on the anniversary. The advantage of a topic like this is that it has broader appeal. Bonus: have the contest inside of an affinity-based Facebook group.

Further Reading: 5 Ways To Use Facebook Groups For Business Marketing

10. Tag A Friend

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Another old-school contest idea is having people tag their friends. Here, it’s usually done in the comments. What this contest does is alert the friend to the fact your company is running a contest. At the very least, it should get your page noticed, so it’s an excellent way to increase brand awareness. With that said, the results might seem spammy to some. So, if your brand doesn’t have mass-market appeal, it’s probably a bad idea.

11. Video Contest

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For Facebook contest ideas that produce awesome content, think about video contests. One of the most common video contest ideas involves branded or niche-related video prompts. For instance, a Japanese tour company might ask people to say what they’d do if they got to tour Tokyo. Or, an educational institution might have people discuss their plans for the future. Then, they’d have entrants post their videos to the Facebook page.

Here’s the thing about video contests. Not only are they imaginative and creative, but they also take relatively significant amounts of effort. Taking brief cellphone videos doesn’t take a lot of time, but a quality entry requires significant planning, such as writing down what you want to say. For this reason, you should consider a relatively valuable prize to encourage entries.

12. Guess/Name This Product, Package, or Service

guess name this product package or service
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Product rollouts are a great source of Facebook contest ideas. In some cases, you might hold some of the other contest types with pictures of your new product or encourage people to check it out. However, in this case, the idea would be to name the product. One famous example of this is in the food industry. Often, companies will suggest a new food offering with detailed descriptions of what it is and how it tastes and encourage people to name the product. Another way this works well is with products like cosmetics, where a unique color might need a name.

Of course, sometimes you can make it a guessing game instead. Here, you might describe the item and ask people which product, package, or service you’re talking about. This helps people associate the attributes of your item with its name. At the same time, you’re drumming up both engagement and some fun.

13. Q&A Contest

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Want to learn something about your customers while running a contest? Consider a Q&A format. Here, you can ask fans questions, and get answers. This can be extremely valuable, especially if you’re looking to improve or upgrade products, develop something that addresses customer pain points, or otherwise inform R&D. You can also run this kind of contest as a lead generation tool, as well: In this case, you ask people to fill out a form that puts them on your email list or something similar in exchange for a contest entry.

14. Sweepstakes

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Most people think of sweepstakes and a contest as essentially the same thing. This isn’t true. Unlike a contest, a sweepstake essentially requires no consideration to win. This means that you’re basically asking people to throw their names in the hopper, and a winner is selected at random. Perhaps the easiest way to do this on Facebook is with a landing page, or by using Messenger to give the sweepstakes sponsor a name or other contact information.

Unfortunately, this means a sweepstake isn’t that much fun. People can enter to win, but they don’t create content or, in most cases, share everything with their friends. So what’s the point? It’s a lead magnet like almost nothing else. Besides, some people will still share the sweepstakes page, drumming up some brand awareness.

Further Reading: How to Do A Giveaway On Instagram in 12 Easy Steps

15. Take A Photo of Yourself Using [Product Name] or At [Location] or Doing [Activity]

Take A Photo of Yourself Using [Product Name] or At [Location] or Doing [Activity]
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In some ways, this is multiple Facebook contest ideas wrapped into one. You’ll often hear it called a photo contest. Depending on your brand or niche, you can pick any of these photo ideas and have a lot of fun. For instance, a travel company or tourist board can solicit pictures of people in a certain location. Food and consumer products companies might go for a “product name” contest. And finally, companies that sell things like sporting goods might enjoy an activity photo contest.

These contests have some benefits besides simple engagement and view generation. In particular, these are some of the most fun contests you can hold. Some people will enjoy the pictures that everyone thinks up. At the same time, participants share their lives with others, albeit in a small way.

Wrapping Up

At the end of the day, there are a lot of Facebook contest ideas out there. Each of them has different advantages and disadvantages, but they all do one thing well: Build brand awareness and engagement for your Facebook page. In addition, there are many other benefits to these contests. For example, getting customer feedback is incredibly valuable, especially when your team wants to improve products and services. But no matter why you run a contest, make sure that it’s fun and meets your goals.

Hero photo by Patrick T’Kindt on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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