Create a Facebook Contest to Inspire Fans to Bond with Your Brand

Create a Facebook Contest

 37 Ideas to Help You Create a Facebook Contest

Has your Facebook marketing stagnated? You post and post and then kind of wonder… Is this thing on? Is there anybody out there? Are we having fun yet?

Here’s the formula to “funify” your Facebook feed, wake up your fans, and get them excited to bond with your brand:

  • Create a Facebook timeline contest, some form of competition, or sweepstakes
  • Recognize and reward the participants
  • Gather their contact information so you can keep them excited to be an active part of your community
  • Do it again

You can rally excitement with Facebook contests in oh-so-many ways. In fact, at ShortStack, we’re obsessed with continually expanding our Facebook contest software, services, and readymade template collection to empower all kinds of brands to take their social media marketing to a higher level.

In this post, I’m going to show you many Facebook contest examples a wide variety of brands created with ShortStack.

Take advantage of the photo frenzy

Facebook users get excited about photo contests and, with a little creativity, you can make them crazy cool. Invite your Facebook followers to use their handy smartphones to shoot photos as their entrée into your contest.

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Ulta lights it up

Ulta Selfie Contest

Talk about a tech-inspired cultural phenomenon … In 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary chose “selfie” as the word of the year. Ulta is one of countless brands that has tapped the trend for promotional purposes. The Facebook contest they created cleverly connects “selfie love” (note their cool hashtag), their products, and the contest’s prizes.

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Students are the stars

WLBT Photo Contest Example

This was built using ShortStack’s Photo Contest Template

Mississippi TV station WLBT partnered with a pair of local brands to sponsor a photo contest. Parents were asked to submit photos of their kids heading off to their first day of school.

WLBT and its sponsors saw an amazing flurry of photos posted like the ones you see above. The ShortStack template they chose to create the contest with made it simple to upload photos from phones, computers or Instagram. Participants were asked to cast votes to select a winner.

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Calling all scholars

Textbook Scholarship Contest

Half Price Books announced, “There’s one college scholarship anyone can win.” And check out that form.

While it’s entirely up to you to select the elements of the entry form when you create a Facebook contest, Half Priced Books required students to enter a good bit of data.

Few were deterred. Excited by the possibility of shaving $500 off their college costs, thousands of students entered. Of course, in addition to collecting a massive collection of photos, Half Price Books collected useful data about their fans and customers.

Making wishes come true

iHelp Contest

Back to school we go for this endearing photo contest from iHelp. To win a $2500 scholarship for their college-bound child, parents were asked to enter the contest with a photo and a wish for their future college grad.

Nice touches: iHelp posted all entries, asked participants to promote the campaign with a #WhatIWish hashtag and offered easy links to share via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and a “copy and paste URL” mechanism for posting on any webpage.

Zoom into the zoo

Zoo Friend-Referral COntest

This was built using ShortStack’s Refer-a-Friend Photo Contest Template

Quebec’s Zoo Ecomuseum brought patrons back to their venue to photograph the zoo’s animals, submit their shots, share photos with friends, and help elect one of the winners. An additional winner was chosen by a jury of photo experts.

Fishing for photos

Rapala Fishing Photo Contest

Finalists for this contest are shown on the right

Rapala and Suunto brands combined forces to lure an amazing number of fishing photos and rewarded 10 participants with generous prize packs featuring the company’s gear.

What a catch. Rapala and Suunto gathered invaluable user-generated content to support this promotion and future marketing campaigns.

Hot air, hot shots

Reno Balloon Race Photo Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Multi-Stage Photo Contest Template

Travel Nevada made the Great Reno Balloon Race (the world’s largest free hot-air balloon festival) a social media spectacle with this fun photo contest.

The #RenoBalloon17 photo contest is based on ShortStack’s multi-stage photo contest design, which dedicates time periods by date to:

  • Enter photos
  • View entries and vote for your favorite
  • See the winning entry

The meaning of mobile?

Mobility Photo Contest

Northwestern Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Center poses the question, “What does mobility mean to you?” and asks participants to show (and tell) how mobility “helps our lives stay full of the activities we love.”

Their nicely designed page showcases the second stage of a multi-stage photo contest in which participants are asked to vote and share their favorite photo.


Pup Photo Contest

The prize for Furry Babies’ photo contest is a “puptastic basket of goodies.”

The contest also featured the multi-stage approach whereby dog lovers could vote for adorable pooches like the well-dressed pup shown on the right.

Whatcha’ thinking?

Photo Caption Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Photo Caption Contest Template

Here’s a variation on the photo contest theme: the caption contest. The Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals wants participants to put their thinking cap (or bandana) on and create an award-winning caption.

We’re all movie-makers now too

Video contests may not be quite as hot as photo contests on Facebook, but they’re just as cool and trending upward. Many of the same strategies and best practices apply—and ShortStack has you covered for creating video contests on Facebook fast and effectively.

Tripping with video

Video Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Video Contest Template created a simple video contest. Its customers were challenged to upload and share a video of tourists enjoying their vacations there. Like some of the photo contests above, the winner was determined by votes and was rewarded with a return trip.

Pork rinds and pigskins

Football Video Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Video Upload Giveaway Template

How might you celebrate Pork Rind Appreciation Day? Food-maker Southern Recipe offered big bucks—and a year’s supply of product—to a contestant randomly drawn from players willing to upload video of their “Gridiron Groovin” touchdown dance.

Create a tasty Facebook contest

Some call it “food porn,” that is, our endless lust for great food and our affection for creating it. Enter the recipe contest, which can be a recipe for success for food brands or any brand.

A meaty contest

Keystone Meats Recipe Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Recipe Contest Template

Keystone Meats set out to democratize the creation of their first cookbook. Participants were given the option to vote for a recipe amongst a gallery of choices or submit a unique recipe to get extra entries.

Feeding football fans

Tailgate Recipe Contest

Team WLBT/WDBD fed their followers a football-themed contest to celebrate opening day of the NFL season. Participants were asked to enter a tailgate dish recipe. Submissions included “Minnesota Vikings real beer brats,” “Buffalo ranch chicken dip,” and “Stick a fork in dat meatballs.”

Queue-up quizzes and questions

You can learn more about your prospects or simply invite them to have some fun with your content by basing your Facebook contests on quizzes—or guessing games.

Buckle up

Diono Car Seat Safety Quiz

This was built using ShortStack’s Trivia Quiz Template

This variation of ShortStack’s trivia quiz model perfectly aligns the Diono brand with the contest they’re conducting. The prize: their all-in-one convertible car seat. The game: test your car seat safety knowledge. It’s a smart approach because you can get some or all of the questions wrong and come out a winner simply by learning proper car seat safety techniques.

Playing games

This contest sponsored by SeaComm Federal Credit Union puts a trivia contest in play. A new question about backyard games was posed for seven consecutive days, prompting participants to play daily and earn more chances to win.

Just one question

Frgrance Direct Quiz

Many brands choose to use the quiz approach to ask only one question making it easy for fans to enter. This simple contest from Fragrance Direct and Champneys Spa quickly produced 10,511 entries.

A game show

Price is Right Quiz

“Come on down,” says Bell Auditorium, echoing the familiar refrain of The Price is Right. As it turns out, the program is taped there, so this guessing game simply asks contestants to play along to win tickets to the stage show.

Bell Auditorium made their The Price is Right contest with a simple multiple-choice quiz.

Score me

Hockey Guess the Score

This was built using ShortStack’s Guess the Score Template

In the Fintro Hockey World League teams from all over the globe compete for the World Cup. Online, the league raised interest in the event with its “Predict the Score” Facebook contest. Over the course of an eight-day semi-final round in Brussels, eight entrants won a Fab X pair of shoes.

Play with your products

I’ve introduced a few contests that do well to cast a light on the company’s product while also introducing an element of fun. There are more ways to play this game, er, gamify a product-based approach with Facebook contests.

Your “flavorite” flavour?

Tuckers Favorite Flavor Contest

This contest from Australian cracker maker Tucker’s Natural rallies its customers to celebrate the company’s tenth birthday by helping create a new cracker recipe.

Claw your way in

This was built using ShortStack’s Enter to Vote Template

In an interesting twist on the “name our product” approach, Cape Porpoise Lobster Company opted to ask its contestants to give its mascot a name.

Write something special

There are a variety of ways to create a Facebook contest based on submissions that involve writing. We took a look at a caption contest above, but there’s more…

You can conduct essay contests, ask users to submit poems, or … write just about anything.

Dot your i’s

Dippin' Dots Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Testimonials Template

Dippin’ Dots, the popular ice cream brand, has almost 5-milllion Facebook fans. One of their Facebook promotions asks students and parents to submit reasons why “My Teacher Rules.” In a short span, the company’s fans submitted hundreds of entries such as these.

Refer your friends

If the foundation of Facebook is sharing, it makes sense to create Facebook contests that encourage and reward it.

They throw more than shrimp on the barbie

True Aussie Grill Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Refer-a-Friend Template

Meat & Livestock Australia got together with Big Green Egg for this referral-inducing Facebook contest. Check out the simple instructions above. A series of participants were rewarded with products from the barbeque maker and accessories.

Earn extra points

Recognizing the power of sharing—and Facebook referrals—ShortStack has created a template making it easy for brands to motivate contestants to increase their chances of winning by earning extra points by sharing.

A meatballathon?

Earn Extra Points Contest

For obvious reasons, writing this post is making me hungry. For those hungry for meatballs (the prize was a year supply), Rosina asked contestants to compete for the prize with a simple three-step sequence:

  1. Enter, via a short form
  2. Follow the brand for 5 additional entries
  3. Share the contest for 2 additional entries with each friend that joins the meatball party

Contests can’t get any sweeter

Coupon Giveaway

This was built using ShortStack’s Earn Extra Points Contest Template

This contest hosted by Imperial sugar lasted one day. On that day, nearly 5,000 Facebook fans entered the contest and 2,500 of them were awarded $3.75 to purchase an Imperial Sugar product. They sweetened the deal (or your chances of winning) by asking participants to answer a few questions to double their chance of winning. By the way, this is a great example of a brand offering a relevant prize. The prize isn’t expensive, but it appeals to fans of the brand.

Take a vote

Some of the coolest Facebook contests introduce a democratic element. That is, an element of the contest is determined by a vote.

This one’s got soul.

Friendship Circle Enter-to-Vote Contest

This was built using ShortStack’s Enter to Vote Contest Template

Michigan’s Friendship Circle provides assistance and support to individuals with special needs. Their Dresner Soul Studio is a sanctuary for artists with special needs.

They put some “sole” in their “soul” with this contest by showcasing the work of their studio’s artists on Converse All Stars. The entry form explains, “Vote for your favorite pair.” Each person who votes will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free pair of the winning shoe.” The winning shoe was then reproduced and sold as a fundraiser.

A musical gala

Telus Enter-to-Vote Contest

This vote-to-enter contest sponsored by Telus rewarded both the contest participants and one of the musical artists it showcased. Participants cast votes for their favorite artist among 26 first time nominees at the ADISQ Galas. The winning contestant was treated to free tickets to the awards event. The winning artist received a $5,000 scholarship.

Pick your prize

The opportunity to pick a prize provides Facebook contestants yet another fun reason to get involved and can build even more excitement for your contest.

A crafty contest

This was built using ShortStack’s  Pick Your Prize Contest Template

Crafter’s Companion celebrated National Craft Month on Facebook by conducting a “Pick Your Prize” contest featuring a trio of prize packs.

Fly away

Pick Your Trip Contest

If you were to see animation presented on this page you’d see all the great goodies that came with this prize. Essentially, this contest from, rewarded Ü and a mate to the vacation Ü prefer.

Do a download

Want to make your audience’s ticket into your Facebook timeline contest or giveaway a download? You can do so with any form of digital content. It’s easy. And you’re bound to embellish your email list.

Don’t stress the small big stuff

Download Campaign

This was built using ShortStack’s Downloadable Content Template

Your mortgage…? Yeah, it’s a big deal. Guaranteed Rate had the idea to reduce the stress of mortgage shopping by awarding customers who downloaded their MortgateMapp app with a stress ball.

Sometimes a giveaway is as good as a contest

Often, giveaways are easier too. Let’s take a look at some of the giveaways ShortStack customers are using to achieve their marketing goals.

Flat irons for four

Flat Iron Giveaway Camapign

This was built using ShortStack’s Giveaway Template

The brand is Helen of Troy. The product is the Black Gold™ Salon Flat Iron from their Hot Tools collection. And the entry requires filling out a few fields. Four winners are randomly selected. That’s how a simple giveaway works.

Free service

Website Design Giveaway

Giveaways work well for service industries too. In this one, website designer Candice Kilgore—at— offers a free website design. All she asks for is your name and email.

For hunters only

Service Giveaway

Numerous Banded Holdings brands—Banded, Honey Brake, Realtree, Simmons’ Sporting Goods, Benelli, Federal Premium, Savage, and Bushnell—came together to create a hunter’s dream featuring transportation, lodging, meals, gear and more in this big giveaway.

First come, first served

Limited Giveaway

This was built using ShortStack’s Limited-Entry Giveaway Template

Nothing real complicated is happening here. Somersby Cider simply chose to buy a round—for 1,000 thirsty customers—who want to sample their Elderflower Lime flavor. We call this one a “limited-entry giveaway.” (Another terrific example of a successful campaign with a relatively inexpensive prize!)

Keep the entries coming

Lauren's Hope Contest

This “Sweet Sixteen” giveaway from Lauren’s Hope Medical ID Jewelry features a built-in loyalty and sharing reward system. The Facebook contest rules explain, “You may enter up to once daily during the Sweepstakes Period and may earn extra entries by participating in social media sharing through the contest portal.”

Healthy discounts

Giveaway with Discount

This was built using ShortStack’s Giveaway + Instant Discount Template

In this giveaway by Adrien Gagnon one person takes home the $1000 product prize, but EVERYONE that enters enjoys some healthy savings on their next purchase

The gifts keep coming

Multi-Day Giveaway

This was built using ShortStack’s Multi-Day Giveaway Calendar Template

Your Facebook contest can keep customers engaged for days when you conduct a multi-day giveaway. The tactic’s commonly used during the holiday shopping season, but is inherently flexible.

In this example, SchoolSpecialty delivered 30 daily prizes—and 30 daily deals—for an extended back-to-school promotion. The contest pages features a high-speed animated GIF to show off many of the giveaway items.

Create a Facebook contest to achieve your marketing goals

That’s a wrap. There you have 37 ideas of how brands are using Facebook contests to inspire fans to bond with their brands. Now it’s your turn.

And we’re here to help in every way—with readymade templates, with custom design services, and with all the information you need to create an effective Facebook contest.

The Elements of a Perfect Facebook Contest

The Elements of a Perfect Facebook Contest

ShortStack’s infographic spells out exactly what you need to include.

Your Guide to Facebook and Instagram Contest Rules 2017Your Guide to Facebook and Instagram Contest Rules 2017

A free template will help you get your Facebook contest rules together quickly—and legally.

Create a Facebook Contest
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