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- Facebook Competitions

Katie Kitson

March - May 2017

Many have noticed that we have recently been running competitions for the launch of our new feature ‘B Seen’.

During our competitions we have been asked by a lot of people why we decided to run it and the way we did - not asking people to share the post, and like our Facebook page to enter?

In short it is what Facebook would call illegal! 

But despite this you will still see many competitions run this way - but they are unknowingly putting their page in danger.

If you run, or are thinking of running, a competition on Facebook, here is what you need to know.


Competition Facebook Law
Put simply, you cannot ask people to like your page or share your post. 


Facebook wants to ensure people only share what they genuinely like, so that everyone's news-feed doesn’t become a sea of adverts (although in my opinion, it is also to ensure you spend money on their advert options). 

Getting people to like your page via a competition (by giving something away), is effectively buying likes, which could also hinder your pages performance.

If your page receives negative likes (unlikes) the algorithms of your page slightly change - this means that Facebook will not prioritise/help push your message/posts to as many people.
(Those who have run competitions this way may argue that they don’t receive that many unlikes after a competition, and whilst that may be true for a minority, the majority will probably find that the unlikes either happen instantly (especially if you keep posting irrelevant items to them), in drips (when people have a Facebook tidy), block your content (very bad for your page) or simply do not engage with your page at all, meaning your likes become irrelevant, and if you are using Facebook strategically, you will have no idea what really works, or who your real target audience is - therefore all your posts could be targeted at the wrong people, alienating those who would actually use you, and use your services (where applicable e.g. business).)


But surely everyone who likes your page, sees all your posts?!
No unfortunately not. 


People generally like many pages, and if they saw every post on every page, there would be no room for their friends updates. 

For example if you look at the list of pages you like, you will probably see numbers next to them.


These numbers state how many updates to the page there have been since you last looked.


How does your page appear on peoples timelines?
Those who interact with you regularly will see your posts and updates, which means you cannot be lazy. 


You need to create new engaging content, and actually interact with people who interact with you. A lot! In order to be successful on Facebook you need to either post regularly yourself, or have a fantastic team of people who post and interact on your page for you. (Although this can become dangerous and needs monitoring.)


But back to competitions...


How can you spread the word about competitions, if you can’t ask people to like your page, or share your post?
In our second stage of competitions we gave people 2 options to enter.


Either sign-up to our newsletter on our website, which will also mean they will be the first to hear about new opportunities to be involved in the magazine (often free thanks to our great page sponsors), as well as receive exclusive offers not available anywhere else.

The other option was a voting system. 

We asked people to nominate who they would like to win the prize. The most votes win.

But how would people be able to increase votes for their business/group etc.? 
By sharing the post on their walls and asking people to vote for them.

Sharing wasn’t an entry criteria, but those entering knew that in order to get the most votes they needed to ask their friends to vote for them - thereby allowing us to get around Facebook rules.


All of this is good but unless you have an interesting competition, people will not want to enter.

Our prize was for a years worth of free advertising, which includes all of the benefits a B Seen advertiser would also receive:
- Inclusion in the magazine for a year
- Inclusion on our website for a year
- Chance to place items into our goodie bags that we will be handing out at local events
- Placed into competitions to appear on some of our stands at local events 
(All included in the yearly advertising price - no extras.)


Did the competitions work for us?


We increased awareness of an unheard of/unlaunched feature, whilst also increasing the awareness of B Inspired Magazine.


How was this measured?
We launched B Seen with a competition over two separate occasions, over 2 weeks, via video posts.


The first video reached an average amount of people for us, of 1,191, with 4 shares, 24 comments and 21 likes...

To enhance the awareness and attractiveness of ourselves and the competition, we then took advantage of a situation, when we met Ian Waite, from Strictly Come Dancing, who is involved with a local FitSteps class.

During this time we asked Ian to announce the winner live on Facebook, which increased our reach to 3,961 people.

Not everyone will be lucky enough to have a celebrity to be able to pick their winners - as shown when a winner from the second competition was selected by my husband - but it certainly helps.
Due to the momentum of the first competition and the nature of the style of the voting in our second competition, the next one reached: 9,114 people, received, 178 comments, 34 shares and 136 likes. 

(It is important to note that for this competition we did try out Facebook adverts. We only spent a small amount, which was reflected in that only 1,249 people from the total reach came from here. - So was the advert worth it? - Tthe jury is out, but it was worth a go, and with plenty of experimenting with the type of posts you use it for - it could be.)

These are figures from a page which is relatively new with 330 likes. (If you are a pub/ community group etc. you should instinctively be able to reach much higher likes straight away - in comparison to a new business, with no prior awareness. You should also be able to achieve far higher engagement due to already having built up a group of ‘supporters’ who know, like and trust you. That said it is only possible if you engage with them on their level - which you should be able to determine from your Facebook analytics - provided you don’t have ‘unrealistic’ likes.)
If you have any questions about this article, any of my previous, or have another question entirely please pop down to Huntingdon Business Fair (Wednesday 26th April, 10am - 4pm) where we have a stand and will be providing 10 minute clinics with a few of our experts.

Further Details:

B Inspired Publications Ltd focuses on the positives of the community and is designed to give everyone a voice based on this.



Tel: 01480 471169

Facebook: /B Inspired Magazine


Impressions: number of times a post from your Page is displayed. E.G. if seen a Page update in News Feed, and via a friend sharing it, that would count as 2 impressions.
Engagement: people liking, commenting and sharing.
Reach: number of people who received impressions of a Page post. E.G. if seen a Page update in News Feed and via a friend sharing it, that would represent a reach count of one.
Organic Reach: number of unique people shown your post through unpaid distribution.
Paid Reach: number of unique people shown your post via an ad.
Total Reach: number of unique people who saw your posts, regardless of where they saw it. 
Sum of post reach won’t equal total reach, because Pages can reach people through content other than posts. E.G. if someone visits a Page after searching for it, they’ll be counted in total reach, but not post reach. Also, if someone sees more than one Page post, they’ll be counted in post reach for each post they see, but they’ll only be counted once in total reach.