increase facebook engagement with contestsMarketers are always looking at finding new and effective ways to reach their target audience.  With Facebook being a dominant online destination where potential customers and existing clients are spending significant time, maximizing the effectiveness of your company Facebook page is vital.

In this post, I'll review how Facebook Contests can be an effective method for pages to reach, engage, and grow their Facebook community.

Defining Engagement:

First, let's define one of the key metrics of Facebook marketing, engagement.

Facebook Engagement

According to Facebook, engagement is “the number of people who clicked anywhere in your post. This includes liking, commenting and sharing, and also people who have viewed a page video or clicked on links and photos that a page has posted. It also includes people who've clicked on a commentor's  name, liked a comment, clicked on your Page name and even those who have given negative feedback by reporting your post.

In short, engaged users are people who have clicked on this content from anywhere.

Engagement is an important metric because it measures the number of people who have interacted with your page content.

Why is this important?

With engagement, a brand is able to increase connection, visibility, and loyalty with their community.  At the most basic level, it is an increase in fan count.  Fans are important because they have potential to see and consume the posts from a Facebook page in their own News Feed.

Engagement also impacts affinity.  Basically, with the Facebook ecosystem, the more a fan engages with your content, the more Facebook believes they value your content and the more of your page content Facebook will show that fan in their newsfeed!


Engagement also impacts reach (those who can potentially see your page content), traffic (those coming to your page or following links to your website), and, ultimately, engagement is a factor in the ability of your company page to generate sales from social interactions.


“FACTOID: Engagement is important because 79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked.”

Contest Basics:

A contest is different than a sweepstakes or a deal offer where a users enters or gets the deal and is done.  Contests typically involve voting by the public or judging by a select group in order to determine the winner. While photo contests are the most common type routinely used, there are other types of contests such as video entry, essay or caption.


How Facebook Contests can Help Boost Engagement:

Here's the low down on how Facebook contests can assist with engagement for your Facebook page.

Note: All contests on Facebook must use third-party apps displayed on a Facebook Page tab. This is necessary to comply with 
Facebook’s promotion policy

Contests can utilize a Like Gate, enabling your Page to capture the Like and that most important base connection with the user, having new visitors become fans.

Entrants are one segment of those participating, while those coming to view entries and vote are another participating group. Together, this can add more overall reach, exposure and interaction to the Page simply in terms of having two ways to participate.

Contest entrants are motivated to seek votes for their entry and they become social catalysts driving friends and followers to the Facebook page in their quest for votes. This allows

Contests draw users in and allow for multiple times and ways of connecting, as well as a simple method to reach the friends of contest entrants and voters.

Upon entering the contest a user should have the ability to share their entry socially.  This empowers entrants to share on other social networks such as Twitter, G+, and of course Facebook to.  As well, many contest apps, including TabSite, offer voters easy social sharing mechanisms to further increase the reach across Facebook and other social networks.

Commenting on the page and contest can increase as it brings a tangible reason for people to come to the page.  Entrants often comment to encourage votes, voters comment on their favorite of friends entry, and the Page itself needs to comment in their News Feed regularly to alert users to the status of the contest, deadlines, and to encourage participation, all of which offer further low threshold methods for users to engage with the Page content.  While simple in nature these repeated actions build fan affinity with a page and thereby increase post visibility to those fans going forward.

As this list outlines, running a contest on Facebook has potential to add long term value to a Page and to be a key contributor in Facebook and social marketing success.  A contest must fit within an overall sales and marketing strategy.  When implemented from a strategic community building and customer acquisition strategy, a contest can be a great contributor with specific ROI.

Here's a few Additional Contest Tips to help yours be a success:

  • The prize value should be in line with the time commitment the entrant will invest in order to develop the entry. (A $30 gift certificate won’t cut it for being required to create a 30-second video trailer that involves actors and editing!)
  • Keep the contest moving! Do not run a month-long contest. The attention span of a Facebook user is not geared toward keeping track of an entry and voting once a day for 30 days. A better span is 5-7 days, or perhaps 10 days if it’s a two-stage contest (initial and final rounds).
  • Set voting to once per day. This encourages entrants to get voters to come back each day, a perfect situation for your Page!
  • Consider a 2 Stage Contest – 2 Stage contests include a main open round of entry and voting, followed by a second round of narrowed down “finalists” voting. A Case Study on a 2 Stage Photo Contest showed that engagement could be increased, particularly by the fact that the initial round of entries generated voting interest and therefore voters were motivated to come back again in the second stage to see who the finalists were and vote again.  More stages with daily voting = more interaction and engagement.

So, the circle of connection between a fan and a Facebook Page can grow with use of apps like a Facebook Contest.   In short, the more a Facebook Page can engage a user such as through a contest where there are the potential for multiple “Likes”, Comments, and Shares that connect the fan and the Page, the more the affinity of the user to the Page is boosted.  Contests can be a powerful tool for Facebook marketers as part of social strategy to growth their social community.

What questions do you have about Facebook Contests?


TabSite offers Facebook contest apps for Facebook starting at $19/month.  Learn more about TabSite contests and promotion tool options here: