5 Awesome Timeline Contest Ideas

This content discusses 5 ideas for running Facebook Timeline contests and how to use the Comment/Like Importer feature.

By Dana Kilroy ・3 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Social Media

Earlier this week Facebook announced changes to their promotion guidelines.

The change is especially exciting for small business owners who want to run basic Timeline contests. Yesterday we wrote about how ShortStack users can use the valuable data they’ll collect from these contests by using our new Comment/Like Importer!In today’s post, we’re going to share 5 awesome Timeline contest ideas, along with the most effective ways to use our Comment/Like Importer.

We’ll also answer some questions we got yesterdayReady? Let’s get started!Timeline Contest Idea #1: Drive Comment Entries

If your business or client is planning to launch a new product, use a Facebook Timeline contest to get feedback (or first impressions) in advance. In your post, share a photo of your soon-to-be released product and ask users to share their thoughts in a comment as a way to win a prize. This Timeline crowdsourcing-style contest is a great way to drive lots of comment entries, and it’s also a smart way to get valuable feedback on your product from your fans. The feedback you receive might even encourage your brand to make some beneficial adjustments to the products before you take them to market.After the Timeline contest entry period has ended, you can use ShortStack’s Comment/Like Importer to upload all the comments to ShortStack’s database to evaluate.

Timeline Contest Idea #2: Drive Like Entries

For businesses that want to drive lots of Like entries on their Timeline contest, keep it simple by asking a yes or no question.

For instance, you can ask, “Who’s excited for Labor Day weekend? Like this post for a chance to win an awesome prize!”The more simple you keep your Timeline Contests, the better. Users don’t have to think, they just have to click “Like” and they’re entered! The really cool part about this kind of contest is that for every Like entry your contest receives, the bigger the custom audience you can create.How does this work? By using the Comment/Like Importer, you receive access to all the Facebook IDs of the users who clicked Like on your post to enter. If your business wants to later run highly targeted ads on Facebook, they can use these Facebook IDs to create ads with a custom audience.

Timeline Contest Idea #3: Drive Both Comment and Like Entries

If you own a brick-and-mortar store, host a Timeline contest to promote your in-store promotion. Upload a photo that gives details about your deal or promotion (for example, you’re having a Labor Day Weekend sale). Next, ask users to Like and comment on your post to enter to win. An appropriate prize would be a gift card to your store!This kind of Timeline Contest idea is great for rewarding one (or a few) of your loyal Facebook fans and getting the word out about your store’s sale, thus bringing in some extra foot traffic and sales!

Timeline Contest Idea #4: Collect Valuable Data

For businesses wanting to grow their mailing list before the holiday season begins, it’s best to host a Timeline contest and build a complementary contest app with an entry form.In the copy for your Timeline contest, drive users to your Facebook app by sharing a link to it. Also, provide an incentive so users will want to go to your app. For example, users who enter into your contest via your app can receive extra entries, i.e. giving them a better chance to win your company's awesome prize!

Timeline Contest Idea #5: Encourage Contest Sharing, More Entries And Page Likes

One question we got a few times when Facebook updated their promotions guidelines, “Are my fans able to share this contest/giveaway/sweepstakes on their personal page? ”The answer is this: According to Facebook’s new promotion guidelines, Page’s cannot ask fans to “share” to be entered into their Timeline contest -- only Likes and Comments can be used as entries. A solution to this is to use a Facebook app that has sharing features. For example, to give our fans more an opportunity to win, we created a Facebook app for our t-shirt giveaway Timeline contest (you can see it below). Creating an app for our Timeline contest also allowed us to drive new Pages from our non-fan Timeline contest entrants.

Remember: Facebook still does not allow Pages to require users to Like their Page in order to be able to enter to win a contest -- only status updates.

This means a non-fans that see your Timeline contest in their News Feed can also enter into your Timeline Contest.

The only way to really drive Page Likes with a Facebook contest or promotion is to host it using a fan-gated app.


About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・3 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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