A best practice is to use Facebook to drive traffic to your contest rather than to actually publish it on Facebook. You can embed your contest on your website — as a landing page or as a popup — and then promote it on Facebook. We recommend keeping contests on your own properties because it gives you the freedom to run the contest your way, without worrying about Facebook’s restrictions. Want to learn more about Facebook contests? Read “Everything You Need to Know About Running a Facebook Contest.”
There isn’t a way to publish a campaign directly to Twitter. However, you can publish your campaign as a standalone landing page or embed it on your website, then Tweet the link to the campaign and post it in your Twitter profile description. Another option is to run a Twitter hashtag contest, where people submit entries by including a hashtag you indicate for contest entry in their Tweet (hashtag contests are available on our Brand and Enterprise plans). To learn more, read our post, “How do I Run a Twitter Contest?”
Instagram does not does not allow campaigns to be published directly to their platform. However, you can publish your campaign as a standalone landing page or embed it on your website, then post a link to the campaign in your Instagram profile description, then direct entrants to the link to enter. Alternatively, you can run an Instagram hashtag contest, where people enter by including both the contest hashtag and your Instagram Business Profile (@mention) tag when posting to Instagram (hashtag contests are available on our Brand and Enterprise plans). For more in-depth information on Instagram contests, read “How to do an Instagram Giveaway.”
Pinterest does not provide an option for publishing campaigns directly to their platform. However, you could run a Pin and Win contest instead. With a Pin and Win contest, entrants must:
- Visit your ShortStack campaign,
- Follow you in Pinterest via a Follow link on the campaign,
- Choose between a few different items to pin to their Pinterest accounts, and
- Submit their entry information via a form.
From there, you choose a winner from the folks the completed the entry steps. Learn more by reading our post, “Create a Pin and Win Contest in 6 Steps.”
There are a number of contest options available, including giveaways, hashtag contests, photo contests, etc. You must first choose the goal for your contest (eg. engagement, lead collection, brand awareness) and a prize, then you can determine the type of contest you would like to run. Read our post, “8 Steps to Running a Successful Contest,” for a complete overview.
Can I customize ShortStack templates?
Templates can be fully customized to fit your campaign. You can update the text and images, change the form fields, update the appearance using our Style Panel and the CSS Editor (available on the Business Plan and higher plans), and much more.
Facebook doesn’t allow you to require people to Like your Page in order to participate in a contest. We suggest running contests, offering coupons/deals, and provide other meaningful content to draw people to your Page. Then, encourage people to follow your Page to be the first to know about upcoming contests and deals. Our blog post, “12 Free Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Facebook Page” if full of ideas.
We suggest running Instagram contests to gain followers on your Instagram profile. You could run hashtag contests, were an @mention of your Instagram Business Profile is part of the entry requirement, or you could run a giveaway where a link to the contest is posted in your Instagram profile description. Learn more about Instagram contests by reading our post, “How Can I Use an Instagram Contest to Get (Almost) Free Followers?”
There really isn’t a set cost associated with running a contest on Facebook. This is due to the various types of contests and campaigns you can run on Facebook. For example, you could link to a standalone landing page for your ShortStack contest in a status update on Facebook on all of our plans, or you could publish a campaign directly to Facebook as a Page Tab App on our Business Plan or higher plans (only available on Pages with at least 2,000 Likes). A better way to think of this is to consider how you can use Facebook to run contests. Our blog post, “How Much Does it Cost to Run a Facebook Contest?” is a great guide.
Running a contest on Twitter is a great way to gain traction and grow followers for your Twitter profile. For example, if you’re running a giveaway, entrants might retweet your post to encourage friends to enter. Alternatively, a Twitter hashtag contest requires entrants to post to Tweet to enter. For more information, read our post “How do I Run a Twitter Contest?”
The ShortStack platform was created as a self-service platform where our customers can create their own campaigns. To help jump-start your campaign build, we offer a wide-range of templates. However, if you want someone to build a campaign for you, we do offer custom design services. If you are considering an agency or freelancer to help you with your campaign build, be sure to read our blog post “5 (Not so) Obvious Things to Look for When Hiring Someone to Build Your Next Contest” for tips.
Running a Facebook/IG/Twitter Contest once a month? Once a week? Once a year? Here’s what works best.
How often you run a contest is really up to you. However, we do suggest choosing a few different times a year to engage with your fans and run contests, create quizzes, send emails, whatever. Why? Because repetition is important for brand awareness. After all, if your customers forget about your brand, how can they buy your product or service? Check out our whitepaper, “What the Most Successful Marketers Know About the Power of Repetition” for more information. Also, if you are in need of ideas for campaigns to run throughout the year, our blog post “The complete 12-month marketing plan for contests, giveaways & promotions” is overflowing with suggestions.
As for your ShortStack account, there are no contracts when you sign up for ShortStack. We offer both annual and monthly plans. With the annual plans, you pay each year until you downgrade to a monthly plan or delete your account. On a monthly plan, you pay each month until you pause your subscription (for up to 90 days) or delete your account. You can pause your subscription for up to 90 days at a time. After your pause period expires, you will once again be charged each month. You must pay at least one month between pause periods.
ShortStack is a great platform for video contests. However, folks can’t upload videos when they submit their entries Instead, entries are first uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube or Instagram, then they can be linked to in a contest entry form. Alternatively, if you are running a hashtag contest, entrants can simply include the video in their Twitter or Instagram entry post. Read, “3 Types of Video Contests for Instagram and Facebook” to learn more about running video contests on ShortStack.
Checklist: Make sure your contest is legal and compliant (Is ShortStack compliant with Facebook rules and regulations?)
Checklist: How do I test my Facebook/IG/Twitter contest/promotion before it goes live? (Can I test campaigns before publishing? Show to clients/colleagues before publishing?)
How do I prevent cheating and “contest spam” in my Facebook/IG/Twitter contests? (Can I restrict how many times someone can enter/vote?)