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How To Run A Facebook Contest For Your Business: A Guest Post And Case Study

Contests for free stuff are cool. Not only are they cool, but they are a great way to create word of mouth marketing at your business.

Welborn Media ran a Facebook contest for their client and here’s how they did it.

The Contest:

This client is a local golf course and they are currently in the process of renovating their putting green.  The course invested a lot of money to improve the experience for their golfers. They wanted to let as many golfers as possible know about it.

Our Facebook contest announced the upgraded putting green: “Contest for Free Golf: If you could name our NEW putting green . . . What would you name it? The comment with the Most “Likes” will win a Free twosome of Golf, Monday – Thursday, AND our Favorite Comment will also win a Free twosome Monday – Thursday. Contest ends at 5pm PST on Friday, November 21. Good Luck!”


The Anatomy of a Great Facebook Contest for Your Business:

  • Easy to Enter – This contest is super easy to enter.  All they need to do is leave a comment to name the putting green.
  • Rules are Simple – The simpler the contest is, the more likely people are going to enter it.
  • Compelling Picture – There needs to be a unique, authentic, and compelling picture to make a great Facebook contest. Pictures stand out much more than plain text.
  • Valuable Prize – The prize needs to be something your clients/customers want. Don’t get caught up, the prize doesn’t need to be anything over the top. I’ve seen other local golf courses give away 10 free rounds of golf to a contest winner or more, but a free twosome is all a golf course needs to get massive engagement on their Facebook page. Think about what fans of your page specifically would want — not what any person anywhere would want.
  • Clear End Date – Make sure you identify the end date of your contest.
  • Promote – Be sure to promote the Facebook contest for your business in as many ways as you possibly can.  For this particular contest the golf course announced it via their email newsletter.  Other ideas could be to inform customers at the point of sale, on the phone, and on your website.
  • Boost It – We knew this Facebook post would be popular so we boosted it.  Boosting a post on Facebook means Facebook will show it to more people.  For this contest we boosted the post by spending $5. A minor investment for a significant increase in exposure.

In the first comment to any contest post you should include the following disclaimer: “By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this contest. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.”

The Results:

At the start of this contest this particular Facebook page had 883 “Likes.”  Just 4 days later, their Facebook grew by 47 Likes to 930.

The contest itself reached 2,976 people, was liked 33 times, commented on 111 times, and shared 15 times.  From all posts, including shares, the post had more than 339 likes, comments, and shares – 78 total likes, 241 total comments, and 20 shares.  The post was also clicked on 409 times.

For a Facebook page with less than a 1,000 followers, those numbers are pretty darn good.  Nearly 3,000 people saw this and better yet, more than 400 people engaged with this one post.

By the Numbers:

  • 47 New Likes – 47 new golfers exposed to golf course content for life.
  • 2,976 People Reached – 2,976 people physically saw this post
  • 1,741 Organic Reach – Post reached 1,741 people for free
  • 1,235 Paid Reach – Paid $5 to boost the post which went to 1,235 more people
  • 33 Likes on the post itself
  • 111 Comments on the post itself
  • 15 Shares on the post itself
  • 339 Total Likes, Comments and Shares after considering shared content
  • 78 Total Likes
  • 241 Total Comments
  • 20 Total Shares
  • 409 Clicks on the post itself

Follow Up:

The benefits of running a Facebook contest for your business don’t end there.  A great contest leverages the experience of the participants and winners of the contest.

Be sure to announce and recognize the contest winners as soon as you can with a comment on the contest post.  Be sure to ask them to send you a direct message with their contact information.  Don’t forget to get their email address so you can add them to your email list.

Then, use their profile pictures and announce them on your main Facebook page giving them some recognition but also reminding your Facebook following that if they check your posts they can win fun contests.  This will give you an opportunity to advertise and market to your audience moving forward for free.


Now your contest post gets even more visibility.  In this post we reached an additional 495 people with 143 post clicks, 15 likes, 8 comments and 1 share.

The final thing you want to do is send an email to the winners.  This email will let them know how they can claim their prize and, if it makes sense, ask them to take photos of their happiness with their prize and your business. This is the email we sent to the winners of this contest:

“(Name), Congratulations on winning a free twosome of golf at (Golf Course).  We hope you enjoy your experience here. If you’re interested, please take photos of your round and share them with me so I can post them on our Facebook page. Thank you for participating!

An even better email to send out would be something like this:

“(Name), Congratulations on winning a free twosome of golf at (Golf Course).  We hope you enjoy your experience here. If you’re up for it, we’d love to play golf with you and use some of the photos from our round on our Facebook page.  May we join you? Totally understand if you’d like to play golf without us.  Either way, just let us know. Thank you for participating!

If they did invite us to join them for a free round, it would have been a great opportunity to take lots of pictures that we could have used to post on the Facebook page for months to come.  It also gives these customers a chance to become loyal to your brand.

If you can’t find a way to take photos of the winner enjoying their prize, send the first email and hopefully they will send you a picture of them with their prize and you can use that to promote your contest (and your business) even more.


About the Author

Zeb Welborn is the founder of Welborn Media and The Tutoring Solution, he is the host of The Defining Success Podcast, author of The Social Golf Course and creator of the Sharing Your Passion Essay Scholarship contest. His passions include his family, helping businesses grow, social media marketing, and golf. Zeb is also and active member of the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce and gives presentations on using social media to business owners and local groups.

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