How to Run a Facebook Like Promotion


Are you looking to generate more Likes on your Facebook Page?

Incentivizing engagement with your brand’s Facebook Page through a Facebook Like Promotion (also known as a Facebook contest or Facebook giveaway) is the easiest way to engage with Facebook users and convert them into Fans and leads. You’ll want to use a third-party Facebook Contest App to get started.

There are a bunch of different kinds of Facebook promotions, from basic “random draw” Facebook Sweepstakes to complicated essay or video contests with several different stages and a full panel of judges deciding the winner. And they can all be used to generate Facebook Likes.

However, there are two types of contest which we’ve found work the best for increasing your business’ Facebook Likes and Fans:

  • Sweepstakes (or giveaway) promotions
  • Referral (or “refer-a-friend”) promotions

Both these promotions will save your business valuable time and resources. Consider that you could devote the next month to Facebook – creating shareable, likeable posts takes time (and they’re only shown to a small percentage of your existing Facebook Fan-base) – and, after all that time, only have increased your Page Likes by 100 or so.

A sweepstakes or referral promotion takes a fraction of the time and (when you consider the dollar value of your time) is significantly cheaper.

This article will dive right into how you can run a Facebook Like Promotion. I’ll give you a 6-step walkthrough and show you a few real-world examples, ensuring you’re as ready as you can be to run your own successful Like promotion.

Let’s get rolling with a few Facebook Like Promotion examples. Here’s a real-world sweepstakes promotion:

And a real-world referral promotion example:

free contest templates

And here’s an example of a referral contest template from Wishpond’s landing page builder:

Here’s a 5-step walkthrough of how to run a Facebook Like Promotion…

#1. How to Choose your Facebook Like Promotion Type

I’d advise you to start your contest-marketing strategy with a sweepstakes. They’re the simplest kind of contest and get you comfortable with the set-up, promotion, monitoring and post-contest elements you need to understand.

Check out our free Sweepstakes user-guide for more on how to get started with Sweepstakes.

Once you have a sweepstakes under your belt and are feeling a bit more confident with online promotions, you can dive into referral promotions.

Referral promotions are, in my opinion, legitimately one of the best ways for your business to leverage your existing social media Fans in order to get more.

How a referral promotion works:

  1. Someone clicks on your Facebook Post, email or website notice and is sent to your referral contest page. They enters in the same way they would a sweepstakes (by giving their email address and clicking “enter to win!”.
  2. Once they’re in they receive a small prize (like I mentioned above) via email. This is the basic reward for entering the contest.
  3. Within that initial email they also receive a share URL which is unique to each entrant.
  4. They take that unique share URL and, by referring friends, family and colleagues to enter through that URL, increase their chance of winning the grand prize.
  5. Your contest platform automatically tabulates all the referrals for each entrant (A referral is counted when the entrant’s friend or family member clicks on the unique URL and enters the promotion to redeem their own basic reward.

Referral contests yield one of the largest returns with the smallest amount of investment, and they’re great for generating Facebook Likes. Rather than your business having to do all the heavy-lifting of promoting your contest, your entrants will do it for you. They have a vested interest in generating buzz, traffic, and opening up your Facebook Page to thousands of new, prospective Fans.

#2. How to Choose your Facebook Like Promotion’s Prize

No matter if you’re running a referral or a sweepstakes contest, your prize is the most important ingredient for success. To be blunt, your prize is the reason people enter. How can we incentivize a visitor Liking your Facebook Page without an incentive?

My main prize suggestion for a Facebook Like Promotion:

Offer a gift card or gift certificate. It’s the prize that is most desirable to the largest number of people in your target market. You’ll attract entries from anyone interested in your business’ products (rather than people only interested in one of your products or an irrelevant prize).

Consider that, when it comes to contests, you shouldn’t actually be looking for the highest number of Likes or entries. Sure you might generate a couple thousand new Facebook Likes if you give away $1000 dollars, but how many of them will genuinely be interested in your brand’s content or products?

Giving away a gift card (a package of your products works as well) ensures that your new Facebook Likes are genuinely interested in your business. Would you rather generate 1000 new Facebook Fans and have 10 of them become customers, or generate 500 new Facebook Fans and have 50 of them become customers?


#3. How to Build your Facebook Like Promotion Page

Your promotion’s page should be simple, visually-appealing, and exciting. It should greet visitors professionally, but also get them excited about the contest and prize. Above all it should be easy to understand and enter. The last thing you want to do is get people excited and then confuse them about what they need to do to win (especially when it comes to referral promotions).

Here are the five essential elements of an optimized sweepstakes or referral promotion:

1. A headline/title that grabs the eye: Keep your title short and focused on action – something like “Enter to Win a $250 Gift Card from [Your Business]!”. This title is simple, straightforward and informative. It gives your promotion visitors everything they need to know: what they should do on the page, what their engagement is worth, and who’s running the promotion. Pretty simple, right?

2. A Visual representation of your prize: Professional images are the most influential element of your Facebook Like Promotion. They’re the difference between 100 new Fans and 1,000. If you’re prize is a gift card, I recommend showing an image with the gift card’s value and a selection of products (3-5) your winner could buy with the card.

3. How to Enter: This is the essential (though not particularly sexy) part of your contest page in which you tell people a bit more about your prize, how they can enter (and share, for the referral promotions), any rules or restrictions, and how you’re going to choose a winner. I recommend you take advantage of our builder’s HTML text editor, which allows you to easily link to an external rules and regulations page (to avoid overcrowding your promotion’s page).

4. The Entry Form: The basic entry form is an email address (nothing more) and an “Enter” button. However, you can require entrants to submit as much (or as little) personal information as you like. If your goal for this promotion is to generate Facebook Likes, I’d recommend asking for an email address and name only.

5. Share Buttons: The easiest way to create a promotion that goes viral is to make it easy for your entrants to share it. Wishpond’s Facebook promotion app already has Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest share buttons within into the builder (it also allows you to add Facebook commenting), but if you’re not using a third-party app, check out Facebook’s developer tools to make it happen.

4. How to Promote and Share your Facebook Like Promotion

Now that you’ve chosen a promotion type, chosen a prize and built your page, you’re set to launch. Before you dive straight in, though, let’s briefly go over the best ways to promote your promotion.

Here are our proven top five:

1. Send an email: Particularly if you’re running a referral contest, you’ll want to let your existing contacts know about it. Your existing customers are the people most likely to enter (as you know they already like your products and brand) and are likely to share your contest with their friends. Plus, having a few entrants to begin with encourages more to enter to win.

2. Talk about your promotion on social: Share on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and anywhere else you have a social presence. This is a great way to drive users from other networks to your Facebook Page.

3. Create a banner on your website: There’s no doubt in my mind that, if you have a website, it’ll probably have higher traffic than your social network Pages. Leverage this traffic by including a banner (with a link) and placing it on whichever page of your website has the highest traffic.

4. Create a Facebook Ad: Facebook advertisements are one of the best ways to introduce prospective Fans to your business. They can be targeted incredibly specifically by both demographics and interests. For more on how to use Facebook Ads to drive the success of your promotion, check out my article “How to Ensure a Successful Online Contest with Facebook Ads“.

5. List your promotion on contesting websites: The internet is chock full of great contesting websites where you can post your contest for free. These are a fantastic way to expose your promotion to a new audience. For a complete list, check out our article “Top 19 Contesting Websites to Post Your Promotion”

#5. Monitor your Contest

Smart promotion-marketers know that setting it up and pushing it is only half the battle. You need to make sure it’s running smoothly as well.

Given that you’re objective for this promotion is Facebook Likes, you’ll want to focus primarily on Facebook Page Insights. Facebook Page Insights allows you to track the number of Shares, Likes and Comments on your contest’s posts as well as the number of new Fans your page is generating.

If you use Wishpond’s own campaign reporting tool, you’ll get access to real-time views, entries and bounce rates. This enables you to promote if you feel your promotion is slacking, export leads when you want, or even A/B test different promotion elements to optimize for Facebook Likes.

#6. Post-Contest Follow-up & Promotion

Just because your promotion has ended doesn’t mean your work is done. To really leverage your promotion, follow these simple recommendations:

  • Profile your promotion’s winner and share it as a Post on Facebook and other social networks.
  • Re-target all your promotion’s entrants with a Facebook custom audience (which targets by email address). Be sure you exclude existing fans. For more on this strategy check out my article “Why Facebook Likes Aren’t Useless”
  • Send a series of planned follow-up emails to all your promotion’s entrants to nurture them into sales or Facebook Fans.
  • Share your plans for future contests on Facebook to keep your followers engaged.


Hopefully this has given you a better idea of how to generate Facebook Fans from sweepstakes and referral contests.

A few key things to remember before I let you go:

  • Spend time on your promotion’s visuals. I can’t emphasize their importance enough.
  • Choose a prize which will generate valuable Facebook Fans. Check out our article “101 Best Prize Ideas to Give Away in Online Contests & Competitions” for more on prizes.
  • Don’t be scared of Facebook Ads. Start with a small ad spend (targeting around 100,000 people) and keep a close eye on it. Choose pay-per-click initially.
  • Don’t be scared to ask for help. Our promotion experts are only a comment-section away.

I’d love to hear about your Facebook Like promotion experiences. Have you had success, or frustration, with driving Facebook Likes? Let me know!

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