How to create a Facebook contest with texts and stories | Easypromos

Posted in: ApplicationsLast update: 15/07/20

If you’d like to organize a promotion on your Facebook Page in which fans can comment on a product, share an experience they’ve had or contribute a phrase or short story, then set up a text-based Facebook contest. These types of promotions are popular with users because they require less time and effort than other kinds. Even so, users’ entries can still be published and are capable of generating great virality.

Below we outline the main aspects of this sort of promotion:

Before we begin, would you like to try a DEMO?

See an online demo of a text or story based contest.


Which aspects should be considered when creating a text-based contest? And which features should you learn how to take advantage of? There are various options for allowing you to customize your promotion in order to obtain your objectives. One example is by offering users a variety of ways to enjoy your promotion (by uploading texts, voting, or simply visiting the text gallery in order to read and share them). Below we outline the most relevant characteristics of text-based contests.

1. Public entries. You can set up a contest so that all the texts introduced by participants are shown publically in a gallery – the Entries Page. In this way, you allow any Facebook user to visit the page and read the stories or look for their friend’s entry. The application is already optimized in such a way as to make the reading of texts easy and enjoyable; they can be shown one to a page or in a list format. You can share a link to the gallery on your Timeline, giving greater visibility to the participating stories.

2. Share texts. By making the texts public you are allowing individual entries, and not just the promotion itself, to be shared. The application enables visitors to share the text gallery, or to use the buttons shown beside each entry to share this story on Facebook and Twitter. They also have the option of copying the link to carry out other sharing actions.

3. Votable texts. If, as well as making texts public you make them votable, you are allowing a double participation: by the users who upload texts and the users who vote for them. If you have thought about choosing a contest winner based on the votes that each text has obtained, we suggest you first read our guide to preventing fraud. Our principal recommendation is that you should never give the prize directly to the most voted entry. Instead, make those who have won the most votes into your group of finalists and then randomly select the winner from among them with our tool for randomly selecting winners.

share, vote comment competition

4. Obtain a database of the participants. When you create a text-based contest you can set up the registration form to be filled in by participants. The form’s default fields are Name, Email address, Telephone number, Date of birth, Gender, City and Country. In the Premium and White Label versions you can add additional fields to this form. At any time, whether the promotion is active or finalized, you can see the personal data of participants together with their text entries. You can download all this documentation to an Excel file as well as synchronising it with Mailchimp email lists.

5. Illustrate your story contests. Although your contest is text based you can also ask for entries to be accompanied by photos. If you activate this option you will be making it obligatory for users to upload a photo before they can finalize their participation.

Note: In the Premium and White Label versions of Easypromos you can set up the promotion so that uploading a photo or video becomes optional.

6. Limit the response. You might like to limit the length of the texts, especially if, for example, you are asking for ideas about the name of the product, or the leitmotif of an act. In this sense, you can customize the entry text field in order to establish a maximum number of characters.

Note: This feature is available in both Premium and White Label versions.

7. Manage and moderate entries. From the promotion’s control panel you can eliminate any entries that do not meet the legal bases.

Note: in the Premium and White Label versions you can also pre-moderate entries so that they don’t get published until they have been checked. This also enables you to edit texts and eliminate spelling mistakes or to unpublish entries if necessary.

8. Contest by categories. If your text contest concerns various products, or encourages users to contribute texts about a variety of themes, the “categories” option can be used to sort the entries.

Note: This is available in the Premium and White Label versions of Easypromos.

9. Optimized for cell phones. All the promotions have responsive design, meaning that users who access the promotion via their mobile device interact with the application in exactly the same way as those users who connect from a PC, while the promotion display adapts itself to the resolution and size of the screen.

Benefits of text-based contests

All promotions bring dynamism to a Facebook Page. They increase the numbers of fans and help to loyalize them, and they raise awareness of the brand or product. Also, text-based contests allow you to create a promotion with the following main benefits:

1. Easy, quick and effective. Organizing a story contest in which participants enter a text which the rest of the users can then read, vote for, and share will take no more than 1 hour to set up. But it will encourage contestants to become fans of your brand, and you will have generated an attractive gallery displaying all the stories, which you can order by number of votes received.

2. First contest in your Facebook Page. If, up until now, you’ve only tried simple promotions like sweepstakes among registered participants, the text-based contest is a good way of taking a step toward a more complex promotion.

3. Make the most of the user’s time. The contest question can actually form a part of the registration form that users must fill in with their personal data. For this reason, it is especially convenient and easy to complete, because contestants answer the question as part of the registration process itself.

4. Allow extensive participation. The action that you’re asking users to take doesn’t require much effort, meaning that it will attract a larger number of people. If you’re asking for a simple phrase or a quick answer to a question, more people will take part in the contest as they don’t need to invest much time or energy in doing so.

5. Segment the users. As well as obtaining the registration details of users, organizing a text-based contest will allow you to get to know the tastes, interests and characteristics of your participants, either through the text itself or via the users’ answers to the question you have asked.

Ideas and examples of these types of promotions

For text-based contests you can ask participants to write something as short as a recommendation, phrase or assessment, or as long as a story. You should design your contest based on the commitment and motivation of your target audience, and on the type of prize that you want to offer. Both short and long text-based contests can be effective and beneficial if you keep all the parameters in mind.

Advice or phrase-based contests

For Mothers’ Day, Micebrina decided to ask its fans to share the best piece of advice they’d been given by their mothers. This was a simple, quick and emotive contest which their fans were excited to take part in. The finalists were entered into a sweepstakes to win a stay at a relaxing spa.

tale contest

Idea or motive-based contest

The Delta Québec Hotel organized an idea-based contest in which contestants were asked for ideas on creating a work of art in the lobby of their hotel. Although the contest mainly involved explaining the idea in a text, these were also illustrated by images. During the first phase, students who wanted to take part contributed their ideas. After this, the general community voted for their favourite idea. Another similar case is that of Ortopedia Mimas. This company raffled a tablet among participants who each had to share what it was that helped them get through each day.

Facebook contest abotu ideas

Short story contests

One of the most used formats for text-based contests is the short story contest. Philips gave their fans the beginning of a story and then asked them to complete it in their own words. The theme was coffee, as this connected with the prize they’d chosen: their Saeco Moltio cafetiere. Another example is the short story contest that Celgene organized for Rare Disease Day. This involved participants writing stories about rare diseases. Visitors to the Page could then vote for their favourite entry, thus giving the contest greater levels of diffusion.

text-based contest

Text contest with recruiting system

The text contest can be combined with other mechanisms. For example, the publishing house, Editorial Empúries, organized a contest asking participants to answer a question about the book they were promoting. In this case, the company used the recruiting system to achieve virility. You can learn more about this in the “case studies” section of our blog.

contest with recruiting system

Question and answer type text contest

The publishing house Edelvives promoted one of their writers by informing visitors to their Page that the writer was about to visit Argentina and asking them to recommend a particular region, town or street for him to visit. Another example we could share is that of the brand, Philips, who, for Mother’s Day, asked their fans what dish they would prepare to give their mother a nice surprise.

competition answer a question

Recipe contest

Many companies use text-based contests to ask for, share or create dishes, desserts, sandwiches, etc. The Hotel Lusso Infantas in Madrid used the text-based contest to collect recipes proposed by their fans. As a reward they included the winning dish in the menu of their restaurant, Ex-Libris. The dried-meat company, Argal, posed their customers and fans the challenge of sharing their recipe for the perfect sandwich. They also allowed participants to accompany the text with a photo.

competition recipes

How to set up the contest

Text-based contests can be carried out with all three versions of Easypromos: Basic, Premium and White Label. To set one up, the steps to follow are the same as with photo or video contests.  You can use the following detailed guide which explains how to set one up from scratch.

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Carles Bonfill

Easypromos CEO and co-funder

Publication date: 2014-05-09