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6 Step Guide To Running Successful Facebook Contests That Drive 1000s of New Fans and Email Subscribers in One Week

Successfully running Facebook giveaways is an art form in and of itself. A great contest revolves around a ‘gigantic irresistible offer‘ that your market simply can’t say no to. Your irresistible offer should speak directly to your target audience. It should sift out and qualify potential customers from non-buyers…

The goal of a contest is to #1. Drive awareness, #2. Get attention, #3. Gain followers, #4. Build custom audiences, #5. Generate leads and customers. The majority of businesses that I’ve seen hosting contests on Facebook, are doing it completely wrong.

In this article, you’re going to learn the mistakes you should avoid and how to structure your giveaway/contest. It’ll set you up for success, so when you give away something worth $500 – $5,000 worth in prices or cash, you’ll drive 10 times the return, if you do it right(right audience)

The average business owner doesn’t strategically create their giveaway. They usually put in all the heavy work like choosing something to give away, creating the post, the image, and writing the post.

If your contest revolves around offers that everyone wants, you’ll attract everyone. The most viral giveaways include stuff like free chocolate cake, free hair treatment, free clothes, or electronics. That’s why you see most contests get engagement like a frenzy of piranhas feasting on a drowning fawn that slipped into the river, splashing, trying to save its life. When the fawn is devoured and there’s nothing left of it than some bones and torn hide… the piranhas leave.

This story describes how many brands are hosting contests on Facebook. Hoping that the clouds of heaven tear apart and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth in customers magically appear and buy their stuff. They create a frenzy of “non-buyers” liking their page, tagging their friends, and posting sob stories of “why they should win.” And after the winner is announced, the page engagement returns to 3 likes per post. Dead silence.

Three Mistakes they make (and you should avoid).

Mistake #1 – They rely on Organic reach and Virality. Unless you own Coca-Cola, a hardware shop, or host a contest as a brand play where you give away a 4K 55″ TV — you can get away with just publishing the post and hope it goes viral. However, like the previous example, you need to be mindful of the fact that you don’t want to attract people to your business who will never buy from you, which you’ll get a lot of with giveaways such as a TV. Good giveaways are relevant to your company, and your target audience.

Praying to overlord Mark Zuckerberg …hoping your contest gets picked up isn’t that smart either.
If you’re a local business, GEO targeting is your friend. You can target people in a 5KM, 10KM, or 15KM wide radius, I would not go beyond that.

Mistake #2 – They Don’t generate leads, just Page likes. A segue from the first point is that the organic reach of your Facebook page is less than 2% (1.8% for linking away from Facebook). This means unless you pay to play, barely anyone will see your posts! If you have 20,000 followers, only 200 will get to see it in their feed. Winning giveaways are propelled by advertising it.

Even if you get 1000 extra page likes, only 20 of those people get to see your posts.  The purpose of a contest is to collect potential customer’s contact details so you can market to them in the future without having to rely on Facebook, and make some $$$.

Mistake #3 – They Don’t have back-end strategies for quick and long-term cash surges. It’s important to be strategic about your contests and giveaways. For most entrepreneurs or companies that host contests, their whole strategy is 1) host the contest; 2) get engagement; 3) hoping people are going to start buying sh*t.

The missing link in these contests is getting people to optin. The worst thing that we can do after we generate those juicy leads is to say “thank you” on the thank you page. Wanna make some sales? Put down an offer!

When contests are done right, the strategy will be a new weapon in your marketing toolbox. You can host a plethora of giveaways. Think seasonal giveaways, contests for customers only. Hosting contests is a great marketing strategy to establish goodwill and generate an influx of engagement, leads, and sales.

In this article, you’ll not only learn how to execute successful contests that generate 100’s and 1000s of fans and subscribers. But also how to drive an initial surge of sales … and implement back-end strategies to bring in even more customers.

Step One: Come up with a super IRRESISTIBLE giveaway.

Before running a contest you should know 2 things. What am I giving away, and what is the goal of the giveaway?  Do you want to get brand awareness, generate a list of leads, bring a new product or service to market? Be sure to take a pen and paper and define clearly what you’re trying to achieve, then reverse engineer it to get it done.

Part 1: Be sure to pick a price that’s relevant to your audience. Ideally, you want your audience to metaphorically speaking, crawl through the mud to enter your contest. What is something that they’d really want, but otherwise couldn’t get? Make sure it’s something super irresistible

  1. Highly relatable to your audience. No 4K Tv’s ;-), Amazon gift cards, or wads of cash. As I explained earlier, unless it is a customer-only contest, this approach will leave you with a ton of low-value entries of “non-buyers” who don’t give a shit about you, your company, and your products.
  2. Highly Valuable. You want the price to be worth crawling through the mud for! They have to be excited about parting ways with their contact details.

Part 2. Come up with a timeline for the contest. Are you running a long contest that’s spanning over a couple of weeks, months, or a short one of a few days? Does your contest need a buildup to get people super excited? All these elements come into play in creating the timeline of your Facebook contest.

Generally, longer hosted contests should be for customers only. Think of a gym giving away $3,000 to the person who lost the most weight in 6 months. The shorter contests should take like 3-days to 7-days.

Step Two: Create The Giveaway Campaign.

Alright, now that you’ve come up with a price, let’s get into the key part of the contest — which is the ‘invisible funnel.’ Using tools such as WooboxGleam.io, or UpViral will make your contest run seamlessly and make it pop!

  1. Create the offer in one of the tools, just pick one (my favorite is UpViral).
  2. Build the landing page.
  3. Build the thank you page.
  4. Setup and connect your CRM (customer relationship manager) to your mini funnel using ActiveCampaign.

Your landing page should tell them clearly and concisely what they’re getting if they win.

The thank-you page is not just a way of saying “thank you, good luck!” No, your thank you page is literally going to help you liquidate your ad costs or even make a profit. Why? Because you’re going to make offers on that page to everyone who opts in for your contest! Additionally, you’re giving people more entries if they share the contest with their friends!! 😀

What does the thank you page consist of?
– thank you message. Written or video. (prefer a video)
– Social proof. (customer testimonials and trust-pilot)
– Front-end offer.
– Share options. (Facebook, Whatsapp, etc.)

Here’s to my point earlier; slap down an offer on the thank you page and add share buttons. Make sure that they are sharing the FACEBOOK POST, not the landing page!

You need to set up and write at least one email that goes out to people who have opted in. Stating the same as the thank you page, including an offer or a brochure at the bottom with multiple offers. Ask your participants to whitelist your email address! This way your future emails won’t go into the spam folder.

Step Three: Design The Post Creative.

One of the most fun parts of a contest aside from making “all teh monies” is creating the actual post. You can easily design the image in Canva or photoshop. Once that’s done let’s write some copy!

Writing copy for a contest is pretty simple. Clearly outlining and setting expectations on how the contest works. Help them understand how to participate and what to expect.

  • Tell them why you’re doing the contest.
  • Tell them what they can win. (the price)
  • Tell them who is eligible to participate.
  • Tell them how they can enter.
  • Tell them when the winner gets announced.

Make sure that you’re following Facebook’s Guidelines.

Guideline: You can ask people to like or comment on the post, but asking them to share or tag people is prohibited (you do that on the Thank you page). After you’ve created your post, perform a  last check, then publish and go live with your contest. woo!

Step Four: Create the ad and start promoting your contest.

You know that ‘hoping‘ your contest goes viral is a recipe for disaster. So we’re going to log into the power editor and kick this baby up a notch! You can create an ad from the post, target your audience, and set a minimal budget of $10/day.

Pro Tip: While the contest is going on, promote it on your other social platforms like Instagram — “Go to our Facebook to participate in our *Insert Awesome Giveaway*
Link in bio!

While the contest is running, and your post is amassing engagement, start inviting people who liked the post to like your Facebook page. Also, be active in the comments! Answer questions, like, and reply to people’s comments!

Ninja Tip: Pixel the Thank you page of your contest and create a custom audience to retarget all participants with an awareness advertisement for your business 😀

Step Five: Announce the winner!

When you announce the winner, send an email to your email list telling them that you’ll announce the winner on Facebook live at a specific time. “We’re announcing the winner of XYZ Giveaway Tomorrow [DATE] at 2 PM on Facebook live!”

  •  On the day of the announcement, create a post that tells people to “look for your Facebook live in 5 hours.”
  • Go live, and announce the winner!

Don’t just go live, wait 5 minutes and say… “and the winner isssss….” Nope! Make it a special event, something everyone can be a part of and experience a feeling of winning themselves.

The second option is to announce the winner to your email list first, and then on the Facebook page a few hours after – if you don’t want to go live.

The next day, write a follow-up thank you email to all participants with a small incentive like a voucher or special offer. Many promotions end with the winner, well… winning and you ending up with a Facebook page with 1000 more likes but no engagement?!

So what’s next?

Awesome, now that you’ve generated 100’s to 1000’s fans and email subscribers… and even some sales…

It’s time to create a sales promotion!

This is the reason why you host a giveaway in the first place!

Let’s say you own a beauty salon — and the giveaway was a $350,00 valued full-body luxury treatment. You can ask the winner if you can shoot a short video about their experience (enjoying the spoils of course).

When she gets a massage, you walk by and ask, how does it feel? “mmm… it feels awesome!”

Short snippets like these generate interest with future prospects coming through the door!

You can do the same when the winner gets her manicure, pedicure, nails did, hair, etc.

Then, after… the treatment, while the winner is in the afterglow of the experience enjoying a special detox ginger mint tea — you ask her about the experience and if she recommends your salon 😉

Boom! Now you can create an Epic highlight reel or video that shows high emotional benefits and close it out with a testimonial. Boom, Boom, and Boom!

Pro Tip: You can put this video (after the contest) on all your social media outlets, as the feature video on your Youtube channel, and even run it as a Youtube pre-roll ad and Facebook video ad!

( if you run a B2B business, realize it’s not B2B, but H2H… Human to Human. I’ve seen a dozen of B2B promotions work out awesome!)

p.s. make sure the winner consents to you filming her and posting the video!

Step 6: Creating The sales promotion.

Depending on what type of promotion or time frame …you can create a longer campaign or a really short one like a flash sale. From my experience, for services, go with a 72-hour promotion and for products a 72-hour or 24-hour flash sale… Think about tech, course sales, consumer products, personal training, hair treatments, etc.

Step 1: Download a list of all the participants in a CSV file and upload them as a custom audience in the Facebook Power Editor (or use the custom audience from your thank you page, they should be pixeled on the thank you page anyway, but just in case use the CSV file.)

Step 2: Run the Promo video (you know… that one you shot of the winner!) as a video ad to that custom audience with the information and a call to action to buy.

Step 3: Create a 4 email sequence promotion to that list over 3 days.

Step 4: Exclude all participants that bought/took action by creating an email [Tag] and a conversion event or new custom audience of all buyers.

Please, don’t be a r*tard and email me “Mike, How do I export a .CSV file” — Go Google it.

Side Note: The video retargeting is a bonus, you can just do the email promotion as well.

Make sure when you create the back-end campaign that you do it ethically. You write something like “The feedback on our contest was amazing! to thank everyone who participated, we’re running a 30% off Store-wide promotion for 72 Hours! Use code: Boom30 to get your 30% discount!”

I’ve seen many other marketing “professionals” that do back-end promotions, use unethical tactics to increase their sales. For example, telling all participants that “they’re the runner up in the contest” and because of that they get 30% off on your product — please, don’t be an *sshole.

Here’s why: If a mother and daughter or two close friends that both participated in your contest, get the same email telling them they are the runner up, you’ll lose your credibility.



Now that you’ve read this article, you see, there comes more to it than just asking people to like your page and tag their friends. If you do this right you can build your whole business on the premise of this strategy. Running giveaway campaigns doesn’t just increase your social engagement, it drives hundreds if not thousands of leads for pennies, liquidates your ad cost, brings in initial customers, and sets you up for windfalls of long-term success and profits.

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