Here’s a great example of how to run a Facebook contest that drives energy and traffic to your store, both online and offline! We love how Marsha’s Menagerie made use of our bonus FreePack products. We’re sharing their success to inspire your own online or in store promotions. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Step 1: Make sure you’re easy to find on social media and give people a reason to follow your posts

Marsha’s Menagerie is based in Pensacola, Florida. They have a page that allows visitors to check in on Facebook, plus leave reviews and interact with their posts. They’ve been careful to share their hours, parking, and other information that helps customers plan their visit to the store. Marsha’s Menagerie gives their fans a clear reason to stay connected by reminding them to ‘”Like” us for info on new items & specials!’

Step 2: Decide what you want out of the contest and structure the rules to meet your strategy and the requirements of the platform

What sort of customer interaction do you want to encourage? Are you looking for more “Likes?” Do you want to drive foot traffic? Structure the rules of your contest around how you want to the giveaway to work. Facebook changed the rules of how businesses can run contests on their own page in September 2013, which is great news for specialty shops! For more on what changed and how to make Facebook’s rules work for you, check out this great article complete with best practices.
What You Can Do:

  • Require people to like a post and/or comment on a post to be entered
  • Require that someone post something directly on your timeline to enter (could be a text post or a photo)
  • Use likes as a voting method (either liking a post or photo on your timeline)
  • Require that someone message your page to enter
  • Announce the winner of the contest on your page
  • Require that to win the prize, entrants come back to your page to see who has won the contest
  • Use a Like button plugin on a website as a voting mechanism
  • Use an app plugin to post an entry to your contest directly on your page
  • Run your contest through a Facebook app

What You Can’t Do:

  • Require that people share a post or photo to be entered
  • Require someone to post something on their own personal timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter
  • Require people to tag themselves in a photo to either vote or enter
  • Have anyone who likes your page be entered to win (contest does not take place on the timeline)


Step 3: Develop your prize package and merchandise it like a pro

Marsha’s Menagerie used elope FreePack bonus items from one of their fall orders to create prize packs to give away on Facebook. The store then set up product displays to get great photos of what their customers could win. On Facebook or any social media site, good photos are one of the most effective ways to attract the attention of people you want to see your contest!

Step 4: Promote your contest with the help of your social media following, local partners, and employees

Write up a sizzling description of your giveaway, but be sensitive to the attention span of shoppers. Short and sweet is the way to go, especially if you’re limited in space by in store signage or space constraints. Make sure your rules are clear, and be sure to communicate the requirements to your participants in a way that makes your contest fun and inviting. A long, lengthy, and super-legal set of rules is fine if you want to post it on your website or blog, but use something much shorter and simpler as your call to action on Facebook. A good rule of thumb is to stay within two-three sentences or less if you link to rules which you’ve explained somewhere else.
Once your promotion is posted, you can pin the post to the top of your page. Feel free to remind people that the contest is still running even after your first official announcement.
We contacted Marsha’s Menagerie to get the story on this promotion, and they reported over 20 shares, plus a nice, juicy jump in new page likes and post likes. According to the store’s social media handler, “When people share the contests, that’s when we really see things grow.”
Here’s to your next contest! If you want more ideas or suggestions on how to run a successful giveaway, feel free to contact us.