In August of last year, Facebook made a HUGE shift in the way a Facebook contest can be run on their platform. You see, Facebook started to allow contests to be run directly on a brand’s page timeline without the need for a third-party app.

This change made things much easier for Facebook page owners. Suddenly there was this huge opportunity for brands to boost engagement with their page fans using quick and simple competitions.

Engagement is crucial to your Facebook page success and is one of the biggest factors in the algorithm that determines who gets to see your pages posts.

If a fan of your page comments on, or likes one of your posts, Facebook will notice they are interested in your updates and will update their algorithm accordingly.  In the future, that user will see more content from your page when you update.

Why Facebook Contest Are Great For Small Business

I have seen small business Facebook pages use timeline competitions to create massive engagement with fans and get people excited about their products and services.

So, if you haven’t tried a timeline competition for your own brand yet I urge you to give it a go using one of the 10 examples shown below.

The Rules Changed But There Are Still Things You Need To Know

Facebook changed the rules a lot – but there are still some important guidelines you have to follow if you are going to run a competition properly on Facebook.

You can see all the rules as written by Facebook by clicking right here.

6 Things You Can’t Do In A Facebook Contest:

1. You can’t ask fans to enter your page’s timeline competition by liking or posting something on their personal timeline.

Users have to enter your competition by liking or commenting on your pages contest post only.

2. You can’t make it a requirement that fans have to share your competition on their personal timeline to enter your contests.

So “Like And Share” competitions are out, although I have seen many of these type of competitions been run since the rule change by folks who clearly haven’t read the rules or don’t understand them. However, you can ‘encourage’ your fans to share the competition on their timeline – it just can’t be a requirement.

3. You have to include a disclaimer. This disclaimer needs to make it clear the competition is run by you and not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

You can add this disclaimer to your Facebook contest post, put it on your website, a Facebook page tab or in a PDF and then link to it.

I have seen many, many small business Facebook pages running competitions that ignore this rule. So far, I haven’t heard of Facebook enforcing this rule too tightly but you never know when they may start.

4. You need to write up some rules for your competition. These rules need to state what the prizes are, how winners will be chosen, how they winner(s) will be contacted and any restrictions on who can enter.

Again, you can add these rules on a separate website, Facebook page tab or PDF file, along with the disclaimer and then provide a link to it in your competition. Doing it this way will keep your competition post looking much cleaner.

5. No Tagging. You are not allowed to ask Facebook users to tag themselves in photos they are not featured in as part of a competition entry.

6. No Personal Pages. You can’t run a Facebook contest from a personal Facebook timeline.

Timeline Competition Vs Third Party Competition App

When Facebook changed the rules of competitions many folks believed that third party competition apps would no longer be needed. However, there are still reasons to run a competition using an app.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of competition depending on the outcome you are looking to achieve.

Timeline Competition

A Facebook contest is very easy to setup and run. It will cost very little to run and fans can enter easily by liking, commenting or sending a message to the page. These competitions are great for boosting page engagement.

The Advantages:

  • Very easy to set up a competition
  • Will build engagement for your page
  • Costs very little to create a competition
  • Will work on mobile devices

The Disadvantages :

  • No way to collect email leads
  • New page likes will be limited thanks to the no share rule
  • Can be hard to contact the winner of the contest

Third Party Competition Apps

Third party competition apps definitely still have there place if you are looking to collect email leads for your business and build new page likes.

The Advantages:

  • Can collect email leads as a requirement for entry.
  • Much simpler to pick a winner for the competition using an app
  • Like gate the competition to help boost page likes
  • Competition information can be shared on entrants personal timelines

Most apps have analytics that allow you to optimize the competition for maximum exposure.


  • Most third party apps charge a monthly fee
  • Requires a little more work to enter the competition
  • Some apps won’t work on mobile devices

10 Different Types Of Facebook Timeline Competitions

This is certainly not a definite list of the different types of competitions you can now run on your Facebook Timeline but I hope you will get a lot of ideas that you can take and use on your own Facebook page.

1, Like To Win

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to boost engagement on your page and reward fans then the “Like To Win” contest is one you should look at using.

As the name of contest suggests you only need to get fans to like a certain post on your page to enter the contest and stand a chance of winning your competition.

You can use photo posts, status updates, page link posts and videos link posts to run these type of contests.

Here are some examples of “Like to Win” contests:
Facebook contest example Facebook contest example 2 Facebook contest example 3

2, Comment To Win

In the “Comment to Win” competition, you are asking your fans to leave a comment on your content post to enter and possibly win your contest.

There a few different ways you can run this competition:

  • Fans can simply leave a comment
  • Fans have to like the post and leave a comment
  • Fans have to answer a question, like: “Tell us what you like most about our service? Comment to win a ___”

Here are some examples of “Comment To Win” Competitions:
timeline competition examplesfacebook-timeline-competition-5

 3, Like & Comment To Win

This combines the previous 2 competition types so you get the best of both worlds. The downside of this type of competition though is trying to verify a potential winner commented and liked your contest post if you get a large number of entries.

Here you can see a “Like & Comment To Win” contest example:


4, Last Comment Wins

If you are looking for one timeline competition to really get some engagement going then the “Last Comment Wins” is it.

You set the contest to run for a time length of your choosing and then pick the last comment. You can either tell your fans ahead of time when the competition will close or be mysterious and say “could close at any time”.

3 examples of “Last Comment Wins” can be seen here:



5, Comment With The Most Likes

This is another easy competition to setup and encourages your fans to engage with one another rather than just your post.

Your fans post their comments on your content post and other fans have to like it. The comment with the most likes is the winner. It could be easy to cheat in this type of competition if a user has a number of fake Facebook profiles so be aware.

Here’s an example:

6, What’s Your Best Guess

For this competition, you are going to need to fill a big jar full of something like gumballs or another type of candy or small item and then let your fans take a guess.

This can be a fun competition to run. Especially if you reply to fans who post telling them “hotter” or “colder” occasionally to keep them engaged.


7, Caption This

Caption this contents are popular and will bring out the more creative side of your fans as they try to come up with the best and funniest caption for the photo you post.

You can pick winners yourself or by telling your fans comments with the most likes wins.

Here are 3 examples:
facebook-timeline-competition-12 facebook-timeline-competition-13 facebook-timeline-competition-14

Try to post a really good photo that lends itself to this type of competition You can run a Google image search if you need some ideas or check out

8, Fill-in-the-Blank

This is another easy contest to getting running on your page. Simply write out a sentence but leave a space so that your fans have to complete it in the comments.

You can add a photo to give it more visual appeal and tie it in with your brand like Camping Maxx have done in the example below:

facebook-timeline-competition-15 facebook-timeline-competition-16 facebook-timeline-competition-17

9, Get Your Fans To Help

This type of competition can really engage your fans and make them feel part of your Facebook community.
Basically, you ask your fans to give you some help in making a final decision about something related to your business.
For instance:

  • Help me pick a logo for my business
  • Decide a new name for a product you are launching

The winner of the competition is immortalized in your business somewhere. You get some good exposure for your brand and the winner feels like they have really helped you.

10. Answer The Question

This type of competition can be run in a number of different ways. For instance, ask your fans a simple question about one of your products or services and get them to submit the correct answer. First fan to answer correctly wins.

You can also ask your fans a multiple choice question.

Here are two examples:
facebook-timeline-competition-18 facebook-timeline-competition-19

What About You?

Are you running your own Facebook Timeline competition? If so, are you seeing a boost in engagement from doing them? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

I believe that social media marketing doesn't have to be complicated, that anybody can do it and see results from it without spending massive amounts of time micro managing it.

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