When 82.4% of admins claim their contests met their goals, we consider it proof that Facebook contests work!

And it’s not just sweepstakes that do well, either. There are many kinds of Facebook promotions that can drive impressive results for any business.

Take brick and mortar stores. They have great potential for increasing Facebook reach and building a community with the best fans any Facebook page could want – in-store customers. Just bring Facebook (and your promotions) to the register and you’ll get those high quality fans that make your page – and your business – more successful.

So, read on and take notes. Here are 6 in-store Facebook contest ideas tailored especially for you.

1. Advertise in-store

You have a wealth of opportunities to advertise your contests on Facebook. Along with Google, Facebook drove most of the mobile ad growth last year. From partner categories to retargeting tools, you’re not left wanting here.

But, there’s more you can do. You can put signage in your store to promote your latest Facebook sweepstakes. You can showcase the winner of last year’s photo contest on a poster near your POS tills. You can even put one of your prizes in the corner to draw interest.

Whatever you do, do something. You’re not paying anybody to advertise in your own store, after all.

2. Recognize your top fans

The best fans for your page are those who have already proven they love you- your customers. They’re the most likely to engage, and in social, that’s synonymous with spreading the word.

If you’re a local business, if you’re a fixture in your community, you consider the people who come into your store every week to be your top fans. Not just your best in-person customers, but your top fans on Facebook. If they’re not already there, find ways to get them there. If they are there, engage them.

These are the people to keep in mind as you’re drafting posts or building contests.  If your Facebook contests speak to them, they’ll speak to others like them who are likely to boy from you.

Don't forget your best in-store customers. They're also your best Facebook fans.

Don’t forget your best in-store customers. They’re also your best Facebook fans.

[Tweet “Make sure your contests speak to your top fans. Because they’ll be entering them.”]

3. Use QR codes or URLs

Saying “Like Us On Facebook!” or “Follow Us On Twitter!” isn’t worth much when you don’t have an easy link to click. You’re not deploying an email newsletter with hyperlinked icons. You’re advertising in-person. Take that into consideration.

Far too many local companies, just don’t offer an easy way to become a fan, and customers sometimes get bogged down in searching for them on Facebook. They just give up. No likes, no contest entries. We have very short attention spans when we’re online.

So, how do you solve this problem?

conquer social media inbox with agorapulse header image

Put QR codes or URLs in your creative, and right next to the register, then encourage each customer to use them in person. Your customers only have to scan the QR codes with their phones or input a personalized and shortened URL into their browsers, and they’re on your page.

Remember, however, that you can’t ask them to like your page before entering your contest. That’s called like gating and it was banned. You can, however, offer coupons through Facebook only and provide quick easy links or QR codes in the store for them to access.  More on coupons below.

QR Code

Put QR codes on your creative to get your customers on Facebook. Don’t just ask them to like you.

[Tweet “You can’t click a poster, so put a QR code in to get viewers to your Facebook page.”]

4. Have mobile-friendly contest apps

As of this now, 60% of online traffic comes from mobile devices. And more to the point, half of Facebook’s referral traffic is also mobile. You simply can’t afford to ignore it.

And that means the Facebook contest apps you use – well, they have to be mobile-friendly. The results aren’t just theoretical. Just ask the hospitality industry.

If your customers can enter your contest while they’re in your store, all the better. They’re less likely to put it off, enter another contest instead, or just decide they don’t like contests at all. Sell them on the contest while you have the home field advantage.

They won’t have their desktops with them, naturally, but they’ll probably have their phones. And if you’re in the market for Facebook apps that work on mobile, be sure not to miss AgoraPulse.

[Tweet “Get in-store contest sign-ups with a mobile app. Use your home field advantage.”]

5. Invest in coupon apps

When your customers arrive in your stores, reading your contest signage, using their phones to scan your QR codes, and entering your contest on their mobile contest apps, you’re probably happy about it. You know they’re performing actions that not only promote your brand but also make them more likely to buy.

It’s not a bad idea to cement that relationship. Be a friend. And, like a good friend, do them a favor. Pass a coupon their way – one that they can access through Facebook right there on their phones.

It’s not a financial loss for you, either. You’d be surprised how much of a positive bottom-line impact a coupon or two can make.

Be sure, again, that the coupon app is mobile friendly. You want them to spend in the store that day, not return home, see the coupon then, and maybe return to buy or maybe not.

6. Engage your retail employees

Even with all these good, proven retail tactics you can still lose if you employees aren’t onboard.

So, tell them about the contests. Let them in on the specifics – the type of contest, the rules, the prizes, and so on. Encourage them to bring it up whenever they get a chance. Coach them on what to say. Get them excited.

This way, they’ll do a lot of your selling for you. You’ll have a synergistic in-person strategy that will compliment your strategy on Facebook as well. Welcome to multi-channel marketing!

You may want to consider an internal contest as well. Reward the employee who gets the most contest entries. Just like a bit of competition works for fans, it also works for your staff.

Engaged Retail Workers

Make your employees part of your in-store Facebook contest strategy. Get them engaged.

[Tweet “Try internal contests to motivate your employees to promote your Facebook contests.”]


Ultimately, your contests have to be good. After these in-store ad strategies work, it’ll come down to how well you built them and, later, how well you manage them. Be sure to read up.

Take control of your social media! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.