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Contests are one of the main promotional tools in social networks, which gains special power during the festive period. For businesses and SMM professionals, contests are an increase in community engagement, viral distribution of content, getting likes and comments, an influx of new subscribers and potential customers.

Here is a complete guide to organizing contests on social networks, in which you will find the whole path to successful implementation - from the idea to the promotion of the finished publication.


 The idea of the competition

There can be a sea of ideas for contests. You can come up with your own idea or look at ready-made examples on the Internet. Whatever the case, it will be useful to know five facts that will help increase the virality and engagement for your giveaway even at the idea stage.

SMM ideas and rules for contests in social networks Facebook, Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki

5 rules for a good idea

  1. Prize fund - let's not deny that valuable prizes and gifts are arguments in order to take part in your contest, but do not determine its virality.
  2. The conditions and prizes of the competition should be in line with the interests of your target audience.
  3. The conditions of the competition should be simple for potential participants to follow - people will not take complex actions.
  4. The conditions of the competition should be interesting and cause a desire to fulfill them. An effective competition encourages people to do what they really wanted to do anyway. For example, share your opinion, comment on an attractive picture or share a song.
  5. The terms of the competition must be clear to everyone.

Write crisply and clearly.
Write in simple words and sentences.
It is of high importance to optimize the implementation of the size, Register, style And colors chosen by you font.


 Technical implementation


SMM Technical implementation of contests in social networks Facebook, Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki


Make a plan for the competition

Determine the time of the event, which users will participate in the competition, prizes, budget and promotion methods. There are a number of restrictions regarding contests on Facebook, be sure to read the contest rules Facebook . If you are planning to promote the Vkontakte contest, please read the rules for posting advertisements in communities In contact with. After reading the necessary rules and guidelines, you can start writing the terms of your contest.


Think over the design

The image for the contest must match the size of the posts for the social network in which you plan to run the contest. If you plan to promote the competition through advertising, you need to pay special attention to the design. The size of the image, the amount of text and the use of certain elements on it depends on the social network and promotion method.


Choose an app for social media contests

Facebook strongly recommends using apps for contests (you can create them in the page app or on developers.facebook.com)

Don't spend huge budgets on Facebook app development. There are many free apps. If the competition does not produce the expected result, at least there will be no regrets about the wasted budget.

There are many mechanics for running contests, but not all of them will comply with Facebook's policies. The apps below are fully aligned with Facebook's requirements:

  • FB The Rafflecopter application is a service with which you can create a contest in a couple of minutes, as well as determine the list of required actions for the participants in the drawing (comments, reposts, subscription to the newsletter, etc.). The winner is determined randomly in the application. The basic functions of the service are free.
  • FB Application Contest Domination is a service for holding competitions with wide customization options. Unlike Rafflecopter, this service works completely for a fee: you can pay monthly or for a contest.

List of applications for holding Vkontakte contests:

  • VK Application Lucky you. In the “Random” mode, it determines the winner among the participants who like or repost. It happens that the application is not available, so it is a must to have an additional option!
  • VK Application Random App. A good assistant in the drawing of prizes. The main difference of this application is the possibility of holding a drawing among all members of the group.
  • VK Application Virus analyzer. With it, you can find out which user has collected how many likes and reposts under a post on the VKontakte wall.
  • VK The LikeChecker application “Cut off the excess” was created for group administrators and shows the number of likes in the community. They collect information by separating the likes of group users from the rest, which are probably cheated.


Promotion of contests in social networks

So, you have thought of a contest and published it on your wall or page. It's time to use the power of social media to promote it.


Three directions for the development of your competition

  • “Somehow it will spread itself” - the easiest, but not the best option. It consists in the fact that you publish a post with a contest, pin it to the top of the page and expect a miracle.
  • A budget option. It can be implemented completely free of charge with the help of co-marketing (barter), when you repost my group's post - I repost your group's (page) post. For a very small price, you can negotiate with the administrators of pages and groups specially created to promote contests.
  • Advertising. The most effective distribution, efficiency is determined by the correct settings of advertising campaigns and the size of the budget.

The peculiarities of advertising in social networks is a wide and complex area of SMM, now we will only superficially show what opportunities social networks provide for promoting contests.


Advertising contests Vkontakte

Vkontakte can use two types of advertising to promote contests: targeting and advertising in communities.
Community advertising is the display of your posts in communities of your choice. Go to the advertising account, section Advertising in communities, select the group or page you need and place your publication with the contest in this community.


promotion and advertising of contests in other communities, groups and VKontakte publics


Targeting advertising provides opportunities for more precise targeting. Previously, Vkontakte targeting was presented in the form of banner advertising, and recently the social network has expanded its capabilities and it has become possible for us to promote records through targeted advertising.
Go to the advertising account, the Targeting section, click Create ad, select Post in the community, insert a link to your post and set up ads for your contest to a specific audience.

Alternative way. At the top of your group or page post (if you have more than 300 members) there is a special “Promote” icon (next to editing and deleting the post), clicking on which will take you to promote the post using targeted advertising.


promotion and targeting advertising of VKontakte contests post promotion and targeting advertising of VKontakte contests


Instructions for promoting records and other new types of advertising on VKontakte can be download in the Star Marketing group.


Facebook Contest Ads

The promotion and advertising of the Facebook contest is determined by the terms and mechanics of your promotion. Facebook ads are targeting that differs in relation to the purpose of your ad. You can read more about how to choose the right ad target in help center for advertisers on Facebook. To promote contests, as a rule, two types of goals are used: Engagement for publications and Redirect people to the site (if you implement a promotion using a website, service).


promotion and targeting advertising of Facebook contests          promotion of publications and posts with a contest on facebook


The easiest way is to advertise with the goal of “Increase engagement for your post” or “Boost posts”. There are three ways to create this kind of advertising campaign:

  • using PowerEditor;
  • using the advertising manager;
  • using the button "Pick up publication".

If you are a page administrator, then you see this button on your publications. Just click “Boost Post” and set the required targeting settings. And that's all.

button to show the results of the Facebook contest publicationmeans that the promotion of your publication is completed and you can view the statistics or continue promotion.


In addition to the advertising tools we have listed, do not forget about the possibility of promotion through e-mail newsletters, notify friends and subscribers about the contest. In addition, some services, such as Prostopromo, also provide widgets for posting on the site to promote promotions. Analyze and save the data of the participants in the draw, it is the database that you receive at the end of your competition that is one of the main advantages of using applications in conducting promotions on Facebook.


Contests are a great way to engage your target audience and generate incoming leads. Now you have some knowledge in the field of conducting draws in social networks, you can conduct them yourself or turn to specialists. If you are planning to hold a competition for the first time, start with the simplest option, do not complicate it. Ask questions in the comments. If this material was useful to you, do not forget to click the like button.
Author: SMM specialist of the agency of strategic Internet marketing Star Marketing Irma Nanovskaya

About the author - Vadim Steblinsky