The 9 Best Facebook Contests of 2014 and How They Can Inspire You

Posted on December 31, 2014 by

As most of us know by now, running Facebook contests is a great way to engage with your fans.

You’re probably already thinking about your next campaign, and you likely have one or more of these goals in mind:

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  • Reaching and recruiting new fans
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  • Re-engaging with your existing community
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  • Launching new products and services
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  • Rewarding your fans
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  • Getting feedback from your community on a product you’re planning to launch
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  • Building your email subscriber list
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  • Increasing awareness and staying top of mind

Now, where are those great ideas that’ll help you meet them?  Feeling lost for inspiration?

I’m going to help you break out of your creative block with the best examples of REAL campaigns from 2014 so you can find your next great contest idea!

Before we start, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

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  • What type of contest will I run and why?
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  • What prizes am I going to give away and are they relevant to my business?
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  • Will I team up with another business to leverage larger audiences?
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  • How will I attract the right participants with a genuine interest in my brand?

It is so tempting to go out there and ask people to like and share, then promise them iPads. Who wouldn’t want one, right? Believe me, this will only make you look popular for 5 minutes!  A ‘Strategy’ like this is guaranteed to attract more spammers and cheaters than genuine brand evangelists. It will greatly damage your page’s performance and reach over time and cheapen your fans’ experience as well.

 

Now let’s take a look at some of 2014’s best Facebook contests and find out which one is the right kind for you.

#1 A fisherman’s dream

Campaign summary

The Business: Poingdestres Angling Centre, a family run business located in Southhampton, UK. They also have an e-commerce website that allows them to sell their products all over the UK.
The products: Everything a fisherman needs: rods, reels, baits, clothing and fishing equipment.
The Website: Poingdestres Angling Centre
Their Facebook page: Poingdestres Angling Centre Facebook page
The Contest type: Instant Win
The target audience: People who LOVE to fish and need lots of supplies to do a good job
Prizes: Every day they’re giving away the perfect prizes to attract the target audience they’re trying to engage with: fishing equipment, fishing trips and fishing lessons.

facebook instant win

Why we picked this campaign

We love to see small businesses rock it on Facebook! Our first campaign shows you that you don’t necessarily need to be a big brand or have a big budget to make it BIG on Facebook.

Here we can see how the connection between the brand and its target audience has been thought out carefully and perfectly. The prizes are well aligned and the visuals are appealing to their passion.

They’ve promoted this campaign across multiple channels. It was on their Facebook page cover (see above), on their website (see below) and they’ve been consistently promoting the contest in their Facebook posts as well.

The home page of their website was actively promoting the Facebook Contest. A smart way to leverage your existing website traffic to gain more qualified entries.

The home page of their website was actively promoting the Facebook Contest. A smart way to leverage your existing website traffic to gain more qualified entries.

They've been actively promoting this campaign in their Facebook posts during its entire duration. They were also taking advantage of the daily winners to create exciting posts that all the participants were waiting for.

They’ve been actively promoting this campaign in their Facebook posts during its entire duration. They were also taking advantage of the daily winners to create exciting posts that all the participants were waiting for.

What could they have done better? 

There is little I could fault with this campaign. There’s only one thing I would love to see more of- this business has partner businesses in the same field, and I would love to see those partner businesses sharing the daily updates of winners to create more buzz for the contest.

Credits: Thanks to Vanessa Lewis of Social Catapult for sharing the campaign and it’s results with us. Connect with Vanessa on Facebook!

Seem like the right fit for you?  Click here to learn more about how to run an Instant Win game on your Facebook Page.

Click here to run an Instant Win campaign for your Facebook page.

 

 #2 High School Memories

Campaign summary

The Business: 1Year1Book is a social network where students can find everything about their campus’ life (associations, events, …) post pictures, articles, quotes and vote for their favorite content.
The products: School Year Books for Elementary & High-school kids
The Website: 1 Year 1 Book 
Their Facebook page: 1 Year 1 Book 
The Contest type: Photo Contest
The target audience: High-School students who want to have something memorable from their school years
Prizes: Yearbooks to three participating schools. The top prize also includes a camera worth €650!

Why we picked this campaign

Do you want to entertain and engage your fans? This case study shows you how the love of sharing photos helps to easily leverage word of mouth marketing.

People tend to respond well to visual content, and when promoted right, Photos Contests tend toward the most engaging of Facebook contests. You may also want to consider however, that there is a little more effort required on the part of your participants (uploading photos) than with other types of contests.

This campaign has been created for students at the schools and encourages engagement from fellow students, making it very targeted and relevant.

photo images

What could they have done better? 

The creative idea for that contest is pretty good, but the votes for each entry are quite low and there are not that many entries on the contest. Promoting your contest really is key to it’s success. This can be done via cross channel promotion and email marketing, not to mention some Facebook advertising, but if this were me I would lean heavily on building strong relationships with the schools over time and encouraging them to encourage their students to participate.

votes

Seem like the right fit for you?  Click here to learn more about how to run a Photo Contest on your Facebook Page.

Click here to run a Photo Contest for your Facebook page.

 

#3 Book Worm

Campaign summary

The Business: Harlan Coben is an American author of mystery novels and thrillers.
The products: Harlan is promoting his two most recent books
The Website: Harlan Coben 
Their Facebook page: Harlan Coben 
The Contest type: Personality Test
The target audience: Harlan Coben’s readers
Prizes: 40 copies of his two most recent books

Harlan-cover

Why we picked this campaign

If your business is looking for an intimate way to engage with your following, this personality test will show you how!  Harlan is offering a relevant prizes (his books) to all who enter, and great entertainment value in asking readers how they would react to in certain situations.  After answering the questions, participants get to find out which character of his books they’re most akin to!

The time-span of the contest is good, two weeks is a long enough period for promotion if that promotion is done well.

We like the way Harlan has included a call to action that also promotes sign-up to his editor’s newsletter, the books and his pocket edition.

harlan-coben

Harlan is using this campaign to gain relevant information and learn more about who his fans are.

Harlan-France

Don’t worry if you’re not a bestselling author!  Lots of brands use personality tests to have fun with their following, collect qualified data and help participants find out which line of products or services fit them best!

What could they have done better? 

The qualification form they’re using is pretty long.We would have proposed one newsletter to subscribe to, not three. We would also have explained how the newsletter would bring value to subscribers. People are very careful when it comes to giving away their email address, it’s always a good idea to give them compelling reasons to do so.

Seem like the right fit for you?  Click here to learn more about how to run a personality test on your Facebook page.

Click here to run a personality test for your Facebook page.

 

#4 CAD Master

Campaign summary

The Business:  Jewelry design and 3D modeling services.
The products:  High quality jewelry CAD services and software
The Website: CADMaster 
Their Facebook page: CadMaster Jewelry
The Contest type: Fan Vote
The target audience: Jewelry Designers passionate about modeling and design

 

Cad-Cover

Why we picked this campaign

If you’re looking to get your fans’ attention this is the campaign to emulate!  This contest was set up with two tasks in mind. First, participants had to vote for their favorite sketch design, then give each design a name. CAD Master is not only engaging their fans, but getting useful research on the popularity of their designs as well!

Next, participants were asked to get their friends to vote for their titles.  One prize was given to the most liked title suggestion entry, and another prize was awarded by jury.

While Fan vote campaigns are a great and easy way to promote your products, we can see by this example that they’re also a way to get your best fans involved in your business and find out what they really like.

What could they have done better? 

CADMaster asked their participants to propose sketch names via comments within the app, then based the popularity of each sketch title on the number of likes each comment received. Fishing for likes on comments is rarely easy or productive.

We recommend building a contest like this two fold:

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  1. Participate by voting for a favorite sketch within the app
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  3. Propose a name for a favorite sketch on a page post directly on the timeline.

This brings benefits from both worlds: qualifying the app participants and retrieving their email address while increasing the engagement on the page itself.

Seem like the right fit for you?  Click here to learn more about how to run a Fan Vote contest on your Facebook Page.

Click here to run a Fan Vote Contest for your Facebook page.

 

#5 Merry Christmas “EVERYONE”

Campaign summary

The Business: La Foir Fouille is a well known French store that sells bright and beautiful home interiors and accessories
The products: Their Christmas stock of accessories
The Website: La Foir Fouille
Their Facebook page: La Foir Fouille 
The Contest type: photo contest
The target audience: Anyone who likes to decorate their home fro Christmas!
Prizes: The store is giving away 50 Samsung tablets

noel

Why we picked this campaign

If your business appeals to a wide audience this photo contest will show you how to engage your community and curate content from customers.

People love when brands help them on social media and this campaign does exactly that. Fans are inspired by other peoples’ interiors and may be encouraged to visit the store to decorate.

foir

What could they have done better? 

Normally, we don’t recommend tablets for prizes, and I would have gone a step further by offering prizes that encouraged the participants to come into the store. By giving away something that has to be bought in-house you have the chance to attract a new customer.

Don’t forget to take a photo and share it with your customers and fans when participants come to pick up their prizes!

Seem like the right fit for you?  Click here to learn more about how to run a Photo Contest on your Facebook Page.

Click here to run a Photo Contest for your Facebook page.

 

#6 Every Mama Loves their Baby

Campaign summary

The Business: A pharmaceutical company
The products: Nasal spray for babies and children
The Website: Sterimar
Their Facebook page: Sterimar
The Contest type: photo contest
The target audience: Parents of babies and young children 
Prizes: A good combination of prizes including a tablet, a child’s bracelet and cuddly toys

Bebe

 Why we picked this campaign

Sterimar has hit the nail on the head with this photo contest, everything within their creative and design speaks directly to the target audience.

Votes on entries help spread the word about their contest and encourage more moms to enter. If you’re managing a Facebook page that sells one product this contest shows you how to be a little creative with entry requirements and prizes.

Sterimar

Stérimar 2

 What could they have done better? 

This campaign is a good example of how a stand alone brand can use Facebook to engage a target audience. The prizes were good, but instead of giving away a tablet, we would have chosen something more relevant like a car seat or a stroller.

Choosing prizes that your target audience can make good use of will help you build a strong community, gain better organic reach over time and avoid cheaters or participants who aren’t interested in you as a brand.

Facebook management tool Agorapulse

#7 Go Go Power Rangers

Campaign summary

The Business: Power Rangers
The products: TV Show
The Website: Power Rangers 
Their Facebook page: Power Rangers
The Contest type: Personality Test
The target audience: Fans of Super Megaforce – Power Rangers
Prizes: No prizes, this personality test is just for fun and is targeted at SUPER fans of the show

Power_Rangers-Cover

Why we picked this campaign

Looking to nurture your fan base, have some fun and raise interactions on your page? The Power Rangers campaign below shows you how to get the best from them. Personality tests are addictive, and because they validate fans on a community level, prizes are often not necessary.

Once participants answer the quiz questions they find out which Power Ranger they are, then friends of participants automatically see this in their newsfeed.

People hang out on Facebook to catch up with friends and family, have fun and be entertained. The Power Rangers campaign is a simple example of how you can engage with your fans and test them on their knowledge of your products.

 

Power-Ranger

What could they have done better? 

People love to discover and share their personalities in relation to fun brands like this one, so prizes are often not necessary to run a successful fan vote campaign.  However, offering random, relevant prizes based on the personalities obtained by participants can greatly increase motivation to enter for brands less popular than Power Rangers.

Seem like the right fit for you?  Click here to learn more about how to run a personality test on your Facebook page.

Click here to run a personality test for your Facebook page.

 

#8 I Walk the Line

Campaign summary

The Business: Sambil Mall in Venezuela
The products: Shopping Mall
The Website: Sambil Mall 
Their Facebook page: Sambil Mall 
The Contest type: Coupon
The target audience: Fans of The Mall
Prizes: Participants were offered free entry into an organized walk for world heart day


sambil

Why we picked this campaign

Think you know social coupons?  This campaign will show you how to use them in a creative way. The mall got great exposure, and earned great brand reputation by giving to a charity that needed support.

People trust recommendations from friends and family more than branded advertising. Customers and fans build a brand’s credibility and reputation, brands can only do so much to help them. A strong common interest builds a bond between fans and a bigger propension to spread the word. When a fan shares a coupon, he not only confirms the deal is great, but the brand is too.  This campaign captured the hearts and minds of over 190,000 people with high shares and invites.

Sambil-coupon

sambil-facebook

 

What could they have done better? 

This campaign would have been an ideal fit for a local promotion (this is a shopping mall!), yet, we haven’t found any evidence of an in-store promotion for this campaign. Since these applications are fully optimized for mobile participation, it’s always a good idea to leverage your existing foot traffic.

Seem like the right fit for you?

Click here to run a coupon campaign for your Facebook page.

 

#9 Hit Your Goals with TNT 

Campaign summary

The Business: TNT Sport Store
The products: Health, Fitness and Nutrition products
The Website: TNT Sports France
Their Facebook page: TNT
The Contest type: Photo Contest
The target audience: Fitness Fanatics
Prizes: Winners receive over €1000 worth of products from the store

cover-tnt

Why we picked this campaign

A good way to get more eyes on your brand is to ask fans to include your products or branding in their photos. This example will show you how a local store has leveraged a photo contest to increase visibility and footfall. The fans of TNT are crazy about fitness and the products that the store sell. What better way to increase engagement than asking fans to show off their fitness results?

This photo contest got great interactions from fans, as you can see from the photo below one fan was wearing the store’s t-shirt! The winners all receive a generous prize. €500, €300 and €200 to spend in the store. This is a clever way to get people back into the store to buy your products.

Even though photo contests require more effort than simpler campaigns such as a Sweepstakes, TNT has done a good job of targeted promotion and choosing excellent  relevant prizes in order to get their fans to take part.

tnt-concours team-tnt

What could they have done better? 

This photo contest was solely based on the number of votes for each entry. This opens the door to all sorts of cheating behaviors. We would have picked the winner based on votes AND a jury selection, to make sure the prizes wouldn’t go to participants who have abused the voting system.

Looking to run a photo contest on your Facebook page? Check our app here.