How Much Does it Cost to Run a Facebook Contest?

Facebook provides value in many forms, but the number one thing the site is powerful at is distributing content. Think of your contest as a news story. Then think of Facebook as a distributor. You’re not trying to publish your news to Facebook, you’re trying to distribute your news through Facebook.

Why? Every business out there is trying to leverage Facebook to market their business, and most are trying to do so as cost effectively as possible.

Facebook gives you tools to get some likes and comments on your posts, without any cost, but you’re not getting substantial return on those efforts. To run more sophisticated marketing campaigns, development costs can pile up, and that’s before you even consider the cost of ads.

Luckily, ShortStack provides an alternative to help you maximize your budget.

Facebook Likes aren’t worth much these days

Not long ago, people and businesses were doing everything they could to get Facebook likes on their page. It was the internet’s version of the gold rush. It made sense, too. The more likes you received, the more people saw your posts, whether it was a status update or Facebook app.

No more.

Facebook has diminished the value of page likes so much that other interactions on the platform, such as shares, are far more valuable. Today, posts placed through business pages will organically reach about two percent of the page’s followers, at least by some estimates. For comparison, marketing emails still see an average open rate of about 20 percent.


Today, posts placed through business pages will organically reach about two percent of the page’s followers.

None of this is to say Facebook page likes have no value. Two percent of 100,000 is a lot more than two percent of 100. But you’re reading this to help you get the most out of your Facebook budget and efforts.

So what does work?

While business page posts are being buried by Facebook’s algorithms, personal accounts still carry weight. Remember, Facebook is great at distributing content, so the question becomes, how do you get people on Facebook to distribute your content without “engagement baiting?”

Sharing is key, but here’s another roadblock: You can’t reward people for sharing your posts. You can, however, reward people for referring friends when they share your contest with ShortStack, capitalizing on Facebook’s most powerful organic feature.

Also, ads! Ads work. We’ll cover them in a bit, even though ads are expensive.

Now, let’s go over the costs of running a contest, as well as some strategies you can implement to make sure you are capitalizing on your budget.

(There’s a summary at the end if you’re short on time)

Facebook Contest Costs

First things first. In order to enter the contest, will people be directed to a landing page, your website, or your Facebook page?

Landing pages are typically ideal for contests, as they are dedicated pages, so people are less likely to get distracted by navigation menus or anything else competing for their attention.

Sometimes though, it will make sense to run your campaign on your website, especially if one of your goals is to increase website traffic or e-commerce sales.

The last option is to create a tab/app on your Facebook business page. Let’s be honest though, Facebook apps lost their appeal a long time ago, when Facebook stopped allowing business pages to have landing pages that required people to like your page.

Plus, apps are not mobile friendly, meaning you have to redirect people to the web browser version on mobile devices anyway. That said, it’s still an option, but if you’re looking to get the most out of your contest, Facebook apps aren’t the way to go.

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