How to Write a Post to Launch a Sweepstakes on Facebook

Posted in: Applications,Applications for facebook,Digital marketingLast update: 31/03/17

Organizing a sweepstakes on the Timeline of your Facebook Page is one of the best ways of increasing interaction and engagement with your followers and giving more visibility to your posts and your brand. It is a highly effective Facebook action and it is also quick and simple to launch: just publish a post on your Facebook Page asking users to take part in the promotion by clicking Like or by commenting on your post. Next, use the Easypromos application to carry out the random sweepstakes and select the winners. In the following article we provide a series of tips for writing and publishing a post to launch a successful Facebook sweepstakes.

Easypromos provides a Facebook Sweepstakes application which can be used to carry out a sweepstakes among all users who comment on or ‘like’ a post on your Facebook Page. For this reason, the first thing you should do is write a post and publish it on your page to announce the sweepstakes, explain how it works and reveal the prize. Once this has been published you can access the Easypromos control panel and follow the steps to set up the sweepstakes.

In this post we provide you with 17 tips on how to write a post for carrying out a Facebook Sweepstakes. We also give you examples of sweepstakes publication models that you can use for your Facebook Page.

Note: At the end of the article we’ve written three examples of publications that you can use for your Facebook page. You can Copy/Paste these examples and readapt to your needs.

 

1. Decide how to select the winners

 

a. By ‘likes’ on a post

This is an easy method for users because all they have to do is to ‘like’ the post in order to participate in the promotion.

 post1

b. By comments

Users comment on the publication and are entered into the sweepstakes. This is also a simple way of organizing a contest. It enables you to ask your followers questions and gather information about them. Sweepstakes based on Facebook comments have the advantage of enabling you to announce a winner by simply responding to the comment made by the winning participant; this ensures that the notification reaches him or her in real time via Facebook.

post2

 

c. By hashtags

Only participants who write a comment including the winning hashtag will be eligible for a prize. This option provides a participants filter and also allows you to contact them directly. It’s an action suitable for carrying out a quick sweepstakes among all participants who guess correctly in a sporting pool.

post3

 

Note: Sweepstakes based on likes are effective because they are so easy to participate in. However, communication with the winning user is not as direct as it is with sweepstakes based on comments: Organizers have to post to their Timeline again in order to announce the winner. This can be done by providing a link to the winners page. The risk of this method is that the winner may not see the post.

 

2. Start with a Call to Action

Start the post with a phrase to grab the attention of users and encourage them to keep reading:

Example:

  • Win a trip to Paris by taking part in this sweepstakes!
  • Write a comment with the name of your favorite movie and win a DVD player!

 

3. Describe the prize first

If you mention the prize at the very start of the post you’ll attract the attention of participants more easily. You can describe the details of the prize in the bases. We also suggest you show a photo of the prize.

 

4. Indicate dates and duration

It’s important to indicate the deadline for taking part in the contest so that users don’t leave it too late. We suggest that this doesn’t extend further than a week or your fans may lose interest or forget about it all together.

 

5. Be precise in your requirements

Make it easy for your followers by explaining step by step how they can take part in the promotion. This will ensure they don’t get confused or discouraged.

Example:

  1. Read the post and legal bases to find out all about the requirements for entry.
  2. Answer the question by commenting on the post.
  3. Share the post with your friends or become a fan of our Page to keep up to date with our news.
  4. Check our Page once the contest is over to see if you have won.

 

6. Add an image

Choose an image that is representative and that meets the following requirements:

  • Size adapted to the Facebook format of 1200×630 px.
  • If you want to use the post to advertise, remember that the text should not occupy more than 20% of the image.
  • Ensure that the prize appears in the image.
  • Use keywords such as sweepstakes, win, requirements or make use of specific hashtags.

 

7. Don’t forget the link to the Terms and Conditions

Include a link to the terms and conditions of the sweepstakes and to a text providing more detailed information: a description of the prize, the method for participation, entry dates, the name of the contest organizer, how to contact the organizer, etc.

Easypromos offers a completely free tool for writing and hosting your terms and conditions, and for providing a more detailed description of the sweepstakes. This tool also includes a model of the terms and conditions which you can use as a template. You can reuse these terms and conditions for later sweepstakes. We also provide you with a shortened URL to include at the end of the post.

 

8. Encourage people to share the post

The current Facebook policy [Point III.E.3 https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php] doesn’t allow you to make it obligatory for participants to post or share the promotion to their Timeline. However, you can encourage people to share the post with friends. Here are some examples of the types of phrases you could use to do this:

  • Share the post with your friends so they can take part too!
  • Invite your friends and find out who gets to take the prize home!

Facebook does not provide tools to ensure whether a user has shared or not a post on his timeline. The user has control over the privacy of their publications and who can see his biography. Therefore, a user can share, but the content is not public because of their own user privacy options.

 

9. Encourage people to become fans

The Facebook guidelines from 5 November 2014 prohibit you from requiring users to become fans of your Page before they can participate. However, you can encourage participants to become fans of your Page so they can keep up to date with all your news and future contests. Here are some examples of the types of phrases you could use:

  • Become a fan of our Page and never miss any of our contests!
  • Become a fan and get all the latest news!

 

10. Encourage people to post a mention

A good practice for increasing the visibility of your contest is to suggest to participants that they mention their friends in a comment on the post to invite them to participate or to challenge them to take part in a betting pool via hashtags. Don’t make it obligatory, because that would be against the Facebook Guidelines (Point III.E.3), but do tell users that they have this option. Users can mention a friend, writing the symbol “@” and the friend’s name. By making the statement, the friend of Facebook is notified in real time, with a direct link to the post.

 invitar amigos

11. Recommended post length

The visible part of the text in a Facebook post is about 70 words, equivalent to a seven or eight lines. To read the rest of the post, users should click on the button “See more”. Bear this in mind when writing your post so that your text doesn’t get cut off at an important point. Your first lines of text should attract the attention of the public and make them keep reading.

 see more
see more2

12. Use hashtags on keywords to increase the visibility of the post

On Facebook you can search by hashtag, so that if a user searches the word  “Sweepstakes”, the most relevant posts that have the word “Sweepstakes” as hashtag will appear. Use hashtags to highlight the keywords in the text as #sweepstakes, #contest, #Like or #prize. The post will gain visibility and allow you to reach new users within Facebook. Hashtags also help reading post, so that the user draws attention to the important concepts.

 

13. Include symbols and emoticons in the post to draw attention and empathize with the user

Symbols and emoticons are a resource currently widely used in instant messaging applications, but sometimes we forget that they are also available on social networks. Using symbols allows us to create a more informal and closer post, and graphic character can call the reader’s attention. For example, arrows can help you highlight important phrases, while numbers can be used to order the steps users must follow. You can also add appealing emoticons. In this link you can find a list of images and ideas about how to use emoticons in your post: http://bit.ly/1IMX0cV

 

 14. Program the post in advance and remember that you can always edit it

Being a Facebook Post you can program it via the Page editor that appears in the lower part of the publication or via your own social networks editor. Once it has been programed through Facebook you can edit the text and carry out changes before it is published.

 

15. Pin the contest to the top of your Timeline

Pin the contest publication to the top of your Timeline to give it greater visibility and to ensure that it does not get pushed lower down when you make other publications.

 pin to top 2

16. Carry out reminders of the sweepstakes

If you wish your promotion to last more than two or three days it is a good idea to post reminders to your community of followers. This has the added advantage of generating greater levels of participation as these reminders will reach users who missed your original post. You have two ways of carrying out the reminder: sharing the original post again or writing a new post. If you do write a new post, make sure you include a link to the original contest post and make it clear to users that they need to go there to take part.

 

17. Promote it and pay attention

There are various ways of promoting the post so that it reaches the greatest possible number of users: posting reminders, using Facebook Ads or sending a newsletter to your database of contacts. You should also pay attention to the activity generated by your contest, liking comments posted by participants and replying to them if you need to correct a mistake they have made in their comment.

 

 

Structure of a Sweepstakes Post and some examples

Below are three texts to help you plan each of three different types of Facebook Sweepstakes:

 

1. Sweepstakes with likes

Do you like travelling? Well it’s your lucky day because we are giving away two train tickets to Paris! You simply have to ‘like’ this publication and you will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win this fabulous prize. You have up until 3 PM on Saturday to take part!

Here are some step-by-step instructions for taking part in the sweepstakes:

  1. Read the post and legal bases to find out about the requirements for taking part.
  2. ‘Like’ this post.
  3. Share the post with your friends or become a fan of our Page in order to keep up to date with all our news.
  4. Keep an eye on our Page once the contest is over because that’s where we’ll publish the list of winners.

Read the legal bases here –> http://bit.ly/1hW41Dk

Share this post on your Timeline so that your friends can take part too. If they win they could take you with them!

 

2. Sweepstakes with comments

Halloween is just around the corner and we want to know what costume you’re going to wear this year. Comment on this post, letting us know what you’ll be wearing and you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win two tickets to see the latest horror movie in the cinema! Friday 13 is the deadline for taking part.”

Here are some step-by-step instructions for taking part in the sweepstakes:

  1. Read the post and the legal bases to find out about all the requirements.
  2. Comment on the post telling us who or what you’ll dress up as this year.
  3. Share the post with your friends or become a fan of our Page to keep up to date with all our news.
  4. Pay attention to our Page once the contest is over because that’s where we’ll announce the winners.

Read the legal bases here –> http://bit.ly/1hW41Dk

Share this publication on your Timeline so your friends can take part. If they win, make sure they invite you to the cinema with them!

 

 3. Sweepstakes with hashtags

Who do you think will win the Oscar for best actor this year? #RussellCrow or #ColinFirth? Comment on this post with a hashtag followed by the name of the actor you think will win and you will be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a plasma TV. You have all day to take part!

Here are the step-by-step instructions for taking part in the sweepstakes:

  1. Read the post and legal bases to learn about our requirements for entry.
  2. Write a comment in the post with a hashtag indicating who you think will win.
  3. Share the post with your friends and become a fan of our Page to keep up to date with all our news.
  4. Keep an eye on our Page once the contest is over because we’ll publish the winners beneath the original contest post.

Read the legal bases here –> http://bit.ly/1hW41Dk

Share this publication to your Timeline and challenge your friends to take part in the betting pool too!

 

Lastly, we remind you that you should visit this link to the application tutorial to read all the steps that you need to follow in order to manage your Facebook Sweepstakes:

How to create a Facebook Sweepstakes via a post on your Page

Alexandra Cantos

Journalist and communication freelance
Digital marketing and Cultural communication skills

Alex is an Easypromos’ Blog contributor