Guide to Running a Facebook Sweepstakes or Contest in 2023

Guide to Running a Facebook Sweepstakes or Contest in 2023

Thinking of running a Facebook sweepstakes or contest for your brand in 2023? The differences between a Facebook promotion and your standard promotion can be quite stark. Before running a Facebook sweepstakes or contest, you should know the advantages & disadvantages. See if a facebook promotion is right for you, and if so, follow our 5-step guide below on running a Facebook sweepstakes or contest in 2023.

[P.S. Click here if you want to learn more on the differences between a Contest and a Sweepstakes]

Advantages of a Facebook sweepstakes or contest

  1. Cost Effective
  2. Social Media Reach
  3. Run promotion directly on your timeline or with a 3rd party app

Disadvantages of a Facebook sweepstakes or contest

  1. A lower barrier for entry means more “sweepers” entering
  2. Typically get less consumer information (although some 3rd party apps eliminate this issue, more on that later).

Step 1: Choose what goal you want to achieve

Like with all marketing campaigns, you should have set goals to aim for with each sweepstakes or contest so that you know what to track and how well the campaign did.

The main uses for a Facebook sweepstakes or contests are:

  1. Increase brand awareness on social media
  2. Increase social media engagement
  3. Promote products or services
  4. Gather user content or feedback for future marketing

Some might think that a Facebook sweepstakes would be a good way to increase their Facebook following. While that may have been true a decade or so ago, Facebook has since updated their rules so entries cannot include shares or tags (we will go into Facebook’s promotion rules further below- stay tuned). This can seem like your promotion wont get as many impressions since people can’t share or tag to enter, but Facebook’s entry rules are not as bad as they may sound. If your sole target is to increase your followers, you will see a lot of entries from people who actively search for sweeps and have no actual value to your brand, or “sweepers” as some call them. So Facebook’s rules are things you should already be following.

A better approach would be to create a Facebook sweepstakes or contest that will attract people who will be interested in your brand. Your following will come naturally, and your followers will be more valuable to you. Do this by creating a prize specific to your brand (such as a coupon or product/service), or by increasing the amount of effort to enter.

Step 2: Finalize sweepstakes or contest concept

So now you have an idea of what goal you want to achieve with your Facebook contest or sweepstakes, next are the details. To have a successful promotion and to make sure your contest or sweepstakes align with your goals, you should figure out the following:

Promotion type

The two most common types of Facebook promotions are contests and sweepstakes. Both of which have their own unique benefits. A contest requires more effort from participants, but also means that users entering will have more value to your brand since they are willing to put in the effort. Meanwhile, a sweepstakes can be a good way to increase brand awareness and engagement on social media because of its shareability and low-effort entry methods.

Entry Method

There are multiple different entry methods you can use in a Facebook contest or sweepstakes. You can have users enter directly on a post, page, group, or more. You can also use 3rd party apps on Facebook and create a landing page on your Facebook business profile for users to enter.

There are a few rules Facebook has regarding entry methods to look out for. The biggest being you cannot require users to post something on their personal timeline or a friends timeline to enter (AKA shares or tags). See Facebook’s rules  regarding promotions below:

“Promotions may be administered on Pages, Groups, Events, or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).”

Some examples of what’s allowed are:

  1. “Comment on this post for a chance to win an exclusive coupon”
  2. “Like our photo to be entered into our sweepstakes!”
  3. “Post a photo to our business page to enter our contest”

If you want to gather more information from users for a sweepstakes, a 3rd party app can be a good option. Most 3rd party apps can host a landing page on your facebook business profile. It would show up as a separate button on your page, similar to the about tab. A landing page can be a great tool for gathering information like emails, addresses, and more for you to use in future marketing campaigns.

Promotion length

Next, you should decide on how long your promotion will run for. For contests, you will want to give users enough time to enter depending on the entry method. For example, if you are running a photo contest, you should give Facebook users around 1 week or more to enter. On the other hand, if you are running a caption contest, a week would be the longest you would want to run it for, since entries for caption contests are usually done right when users see your contest post.

One way to keep users engaged for long periods of time, is to have different contests/sweepstakes each day or multiple days. This would typically mean an entry period of 12-24 hours for each contest or sweepstakes, and a different prize for each day.


Speaking of prizes, they are the cornerstone of a promotion’s success. Depending on your goals, success might look different to each promotion. If your goal is to increase your Facebook engagement and brand awareness, a highly in-demand prize like an iPad might be what you are after. Beware though, since prizes like an iPad can attract a lot of those dreaded sweepers. To discourage sweepers, you can increase the amount of effort needed for entries. A photo contest will get a lot less sweepers than a Facebook sweepstakes with likes as entries, for example.

One of the best prizes you can award with your sweepstakes or contest, is a product or service from your business, or an exclusive offer. This is a great way to keep your valuable followers engaged, and also promote your products or services. Only people interested in your business will want to enter, meaning each user will have more value to your brand. If you are going for an easy entry method, like Facebook sweepstakes, a prize like this is your jam!

Promotion name

If you haven’t been enjoying creating your Facebook contest or sweepstakes thus far, first off, why? Second, you are sure to now! Naming your promotion is where you can let your creativity show. Promotions are meant to be fun, and the fun doesn’t have to stop with just consumers.

While you have a blast naming your promotion, there are a couple of things you should be thinking about. Make sure that your title lets people know what you are doing. Typically this means adding the words “contest”, “sweepstakes”, or “giveaway” somewhere in the title. You can also include things like how long the promotion will be or the prize. If your promotion is in combination with a holiday or event, it can be a good idea to include that in your title!

Step 3: Rules and Legal

Now that we’ve had a little bit of fun with the promotion concept, we gotta bring it down a little and make sure the promotion you’re running is legal. The legal aspect of contests and sweepstakes is what overwhelms most people. It can seem like a lot, and if you are unsure this would be where you would definitely want to hire outside help to make sure everything is correct to protect yourself and your brand.

In general, for your promotion, you will need to write clear and concise official rules (the long wordy rules), and abbreviated rules (short rules to include in Facebook posts, etc.). There are multiple aspects to a legal promotion, including Eligibility, Entry Period, How to Enter, Drawing & Odds of Winning, Prizes, Governing Law & Jurisdiction, and more. Each promotion will have different rules, so while all rules may seem similar, there is not a one size fits all solution.

Also, rules vary by country (and even from state to state in the US), so if you are running your promotion in the US & CA for example, be sure that you are running a legal promotion in both countries (and all states).

Facebook also has a few specific rules for running a promotion on their site. See below:

“Communicating a Promotion

If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:

  1. The official rules;
  2. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
  3. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).

Required Content

Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

  1. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; and
  2. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.”

Step 4: Promote and Post

Once you have your strategy and legal put together, you’re almost ready to start your Facebook contest or sweepstakes. Advertising your promotion can be very important for program participation. Now, you don’t have to spend money to advertise your promotion. But posting about your contest or sweepstakes to generate interest before it launches is always a good idea. Make sure to include what fans can win in your posts, since that is the largest driving force of program participation.

If you did set aside an advertising budget, luckily for you Facebook already has an easy and effective advertising center. What better way to promote your Facebook sweepstakes or contest than through Facebook itself.

Once you have generated enough buzz, it’s time to post!

Step 5: Analyze results

Your job doesn’t end there. While your program is running, it’s so important to track how well it’s doing and look for areas to improve. Some things you may be able to work on during the promotion, and others you can learn from for the next contest or sweepstakes. Not enough people seeing your contest? Maybe reassess your advertising strategy. A lot of people are seeing your contest, but not a lot are entering? Maybe the prize or the entry method aren’t working. Now you will know for the next promotion to make the prize more exciting or have an easier means of entry.

The best thing about promotions, they are easy to repeat and improve. With each contest or sweepstakes you run, you will know better and better what your clients enjoy and will likely see improvement with each promotion.


A Facebook sweepstakes or contest can be a cost-effective and obtainable way for brands to run a promotion. Both small and big brands alike can benefit from a Facebook contest or sweepstakes. We hope this guide was helpful and remember to have fun when creating your promotion.

Want more hands-on guidance on running a promotion? Contact our experts.

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Systems and Network Administrator

About Us

Marketing Resources, Inc. is a leading promotional marketing agency that specializes in purpose-driven promotions. With over 25 years in the business, MRi helps brands Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze promotions and marketing projects that consumers love. We’re a team full of committed, passionate, solutions-driven, hands-on, and innovative individuals who collaborate to bring success to our client’s programs.


The System and Network Administrator plays a critical role on the MRi Digital team, and overall in the success of our company. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and technical support of complex Linux servers, Virtual Infrastructure and Systems Management, and maintenance and support of end-user systems. You’ll be working closely with our teams on client projects and making sure our internal systems are updated and secure. 

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

In this role, we’re looking for that person who does not accept average.

You will help us create the best digital, promotions, products, and campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. MRi takes pride in our ability to constantly push the boundaries of development in the digital promotions space, and you will take an active role in working closely with our client services, business development, creative, and project management team to guide, develop, and deliver exceptional work for our clients and partners.

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Design, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, monitor, and tune performance of Linux-based servers and infrastructure, both internal and client-related promotions.
  • Provide support for problems and issues that come up from our clients, vendors, and internal teams.
  • Examine and audit various server logs and determine if any corrective action is required.
  • Review releases of new operating systems and evaluate the implementation in the enterprise.
  • Install, configure, and maintain server firewall and other security software.
  • Identify and provide technical resolution for potential security breaches, then establish and monitor security and apply appropriate fixes.
  • Implement and maintain technical solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity of enterprise and client systems.
  • Select the ideal server hardware for the company’s needs and administer physical server hardware, including repair and replacement of parts as necessary.
  • Monitor and maintain proper end-user system security by ensuring operating systems and software are up-to-date and applying patches as necessary.
  • Maintenance and support of all end-user service accounts including Office365, Google Workspace, hosted VoIP accounts.

The Essentials

  • 1-2 years of experience in Linux server administration in a small to midsize environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or minimum 4 years of related work experience.
  • Able to effectively plan, deploy and administer Linux servers in an enterprise environment.
  • Strong familiarity with Linux OS, Windows, macOS, application, and hardware troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with VMware ESXi and XenServer/XCP-NG, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, and Docker.
  • Networking and Storage – Familiarity with pfSense (*BSD pf) firewalls, Ubiquiti network gear, Synology NAS equipment, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP file protocols.  TCP/IP, UDP, and VLAN. configurations to manage networking and storage.  
  • Ability to compose thorough and clear documentation on routine tasks, standard operating procedures, and other documents beneficial to team members.

You’ll stand out if you have experience with

  • Debian-based Linux or Ubuntu operating systems, roles, services, concepts, security, permissions, middleware, and facilities required. (e.g. SMTP, NFS, SMB, iptables, LVM, LUKS).
  • Amazon AWS S3, EC2, and ElasticBeanstalk required.
  • Samba4 as an Active Directory Domain Controller, Administering Active Directory through. the use of GPOs and OUs.
  • Supporting Windows and macOS systems.
  • Scripting concepts and methods with competence in at least one relevant language (e.g. Bash, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • Internet clients/servers/protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, MTAs (e.g. Postfix).
  • An ability to explain complex technical processes in a more simplified version to team members, clients, and partners.
  • Experience with IT project management practices and techniques.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

The Perks

  • Medical insurance options
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(K) plan with company match
  • Flexible remote work policy
  • Paid sick days
  • Generous vacation and paid holidays

Interested in applying?

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