by | Mar 13, 2019 | Podcast, Social Media Conversations | 0 comments


Show  Notes


Hey hey welcome! Welcome to episode legs 11 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast. Thank you for joining me again for this episode.

This week’s topic is a bit timely in that I am having discussions with clients and prospects almost daily at the moment on this topic!

Facebook Competitions!

At the time of recording this, it’s coming up to Easter and who doesn’t want to win Easter eggs!

But every time I talk about the rules and regulations of running competitions on social media, almost everyone wants to argue with me and say, “but everyone else does it….”. To which I sound exactly like my Mum, shout out to Ida, “if everyone jumped off a bridge would you …” – oh that’s such a mum thing to say isn’t it!

But people don’t know the rules and loads and loads of you break them especially when running a Facebook competition.

Facebook is very open and clear about their rules and we all ticked that box when we signed up to say we would follow them, but we don’t! Mainly because we don’t know them!

So today we are going deep with online competitions (with some offline thrown in for good measure!).

But first, our discovery of the week.


If you’ve ever need to read a script for a video, a Facebook or Insta live or piece of audio like this, then you might have wished for a teleprompter. A teleprompter is of course the thing you use to put your script into and read it like the news people do on TV.

But a good teleprompter is hard to find and a good FREE one even harder!

This week’s discovery is the best teleprompter I have found and it’s FREE! And oh, so simple to use too!

You can find it (but you need to use your Chrome browser) at https://teleprompt.me/ – the link is in the show notes of course.

Why do I love this one more than the others, because it will darken the words as you’ve said them! No kidding! Just make sure you allow it to connect to your computer’s microphone.

To use it simply cut and paste your script into the box in the top right-hand corner, press tab (to make it go onto the big screen) choose your colour and your font size – make sure it’s connected to the computer’s microphone – and start speaking. It will go the speed you speak!

For those of you who listened into Episode 6 with Jemimah Ashleigh where we were speaking about live video and how most people have a script – well for recorded videos this teleprompter will be your saving grace!

It’s awesome. It’s free and it’s this week’s discovery of the week! Enjoy.

Remember, if you have a discovery, you’d like me to share with everyone, please tag me on social using my handle @smallbusinessmadesimple – I’d love to hear about it!


So, into this week’s topic – running competitions on social media!

Now, straight off the bat I want to qualify this episode, having spent many years in law, I can’t continue without qualifying the information in this episode.

Firstly, we all know that the social media can change overnight yes? So as much as the information in this podcast is current at the time of recording, March 2019, and most of it is general information, whenever I talk about the rules of Facebook or Instagram competitions or your local state laws, I highly encourage you to check out my show notes at www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au and go to the links I mention below for Facebook and Instagram rules. Because the rules might change after recording this, but the links won’t!

So, before you go running a competition based on the rules I talk about in this episode, please check them out and make sure they haven’t changed again!

Ok, now that’s done. I feel better now, I’d hate for you to do something you thought was within the rules and the rules have changed and it’s not any longer …

Link to Facebook rules and regulations: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/page-promotions-terms

Link to Instagram rules and regulations: https://help.instagram.com/179379842258600

So, let’s get in to how to run a super freaking good competition on social.

Step 1: Start with the end in mind

Your first step is figuring out why you want to run it – what’s the end goal or my favourite saying, “start with the end in mind”. If you can start with the end in mind, all the planning will be much easier, simpler and smoother, that I guarantee!

So, decide what’s the goal for the competition.

Is it too:

  • Increase Facebook page likes
  • Increase Instagram followers
  • Reward customers/clients
  • Create brand awareness
  • Boost low sales
  • Collect user generated content
  • Get feedback or conduct research
  • Increase page engagement

Step 2: Decide on the type of competition

Once you have the goal in mind, you know exactly what you want from the competition, the next step is the type of competition you’d like to run.

Competitions are run all the time on social media, you’ve probably entered loads yourself. So have a think, which ones engaged you, which ones have worked really well for your competitors or failed. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box here – what’s something different you can do to stand out from the crowd?

Some suggestions of types of competitions might be

  • Like/follow to win – increase followers.
  • Create a survey and offer prize for completing – getting feedback/doing research.
  • Get customers to submit photos of them using your product and award prize to best submission – generate content.
  • Tag and share – (NOT ALLOWED on Facebook, allowed on Instagram – must be a photo they are actually in though – you can’t ask someone to tag themselves on Instagram in a photo they aren’t in)
  • Tag friends – (NOT ALLOWED on Facebook, allowed on Instagram)

So basically, it’s against Facebook rules to ask someone to

  • Share one of your posts
  • Post on a friend’s timeline
  • Tag people in posts
  • Change their cover photo

So, what can you do ask them to do:

  • Post on your timeline
  • Message your page
  • Check in at a location
  • Visit a Facebook page (and optionally like it)
  • View a Facebook post
  • Select one of their photos from Facebook

Every time I stand on stage and talk about this, people are up in arms. But everyone asks people to like, tag and share. And YES, they do, but it IS against Facebook rules and you are breaking them. You are taking the risk of getting shut down if you break the rules. Simple as that. Sorry!

I will add though that to the best of knowledge there is no one sitting in Facebook land looking for rule breakers. You are much more likely to be dobed in by another Facebook user – maybe a Facebook user who has been wronged in the past – (not by you necessarily but by another user or Facebook) so just be aware of that.

Step 3: Decide on your target audience

So, let’s move right on from that, Step 3 is choosing your target audience.

Who do you want to target with your competition – keep in mind your end goal – if you want, for instance, to get more brand awareness from the competition – then who do you target with that?

Hint your target audience for the competition should also be your target audience in general business! Makes sense yes!!

Step 4: The Prize

Ok, now the fun bit! The prize! What are you going to give away?

Some of you might already have the prize – that might be exactly why you want to run a competition, because you’ve landed an awesome prize! But if you don’t ready have a prize in mind you need to decide on a prize that would appeal to your target market and either purchase the prize or organise the prize if it’s a holiday or something like that.

For people entering the competition, it’s going to be about the prize. They want that prize! So, thinking about what your target market might want – that’s the prize you need. You want to give this away and reach your objective that we set in Step 1 – so you want to get as qualified a lead as you can.

Step 5: All the legal bits

Whether you’re on Facebook or Instagram doing this competition or other platforms or through you shop front – there’s got to be terms and conditions.

Here’s a run down on the rules for Instagram and Facebook


  1. Acknowledge that your Instagram contest or giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram
  2. Include the name of the company hosting the Instagram giveaway or contest
  3. Include the dates the campaign will run, including time zone
  4. Include participation restrictions — such as age and location
  5. Write clear guidelines on how to enter
  6. Outline how and when the winner(s) will be chosen
  7. Share details about how and when the winner(s) will be announced and how/when winner should claim prize
  8. Disclose details about how the prize will be delivered, including whether the recipient is responsible for delivery (shipping costs) or pick-up

And for Facebook all the above and again a complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant; and acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

Things you need to also put in the terms and conditions are

  • Who can enter
  • How they enter
  • The prize (and that it isn’t redeemable for cash)
  • The drawing date and process
  • A liability release as I spoke about before – saying it’s not sponsored by Instagram or Facebook etc
  • Your details as the promoter
  • Decide whether your competition will be a game of skill (does not require a license) or a game of chance (may require a license if it is open to NSW entrants regardless of value, ACT if over $3k and NT and SA if over $5k).
  • Purchase license/s if required. Remember to allow time for it to be processed and granted.

If you’re running your promotion on your Facebook timeline it’s a good idea to put together a landing page with all of your terms and conditions, as well as any additional information about your contest. This will save you from having to include too much dense content in your contest post.

Step 6: Content creation – how you are going to SELL your competition

You need to create some engaging content for your competition, so it reaches the goals you have set for it!

It’s coming up to Easter at the time of this recording and so many small business owners decide to run Easter Competitions in stores or online.

Whether it’s an Easter competition or a holiday one or whatever, you still need to come up with an engaging tagline or message and create some copy around it – making sure you include the legal terms and conditions we chatted about in Step 5!

Other than a great tag line/message you’ll need to create stand out images to post on social media (DO NOT use stock images they are overused and not great for your brand identity).

Get creative with your copy.

  • Have coming soon posts/images/videos,
  • countdown to launch posts/images/videos,
  • reminder posts that competition is live,
  • paid advertising images/videos,
  • countdown to close posts/images/videos,
  • Thank you posts and
  • competition closed post

The more effort and energy you put into this competition the more leads you’ll get with more prospects that you’ll be able to nurture until they are ready to buy from you!

As I’m such an advocate for list building, I highly, highly recommend that you build a landing page in like say Mail Chimp or Leadpages and point people over there to enter the competition.

I think the biggest goal for running a competition should be to take your audience off line – so gather email addresses – so you can have conversations with them at a later date offline.

Yes, not as many people will enter but you will get much more qualified entries than a free for all on social.

I’ve seen them work very successfully and again as an email marketing lover, I would highly recommend this process.

If you’re not sure about list building and email marketing, I suggest you go back and listen to Episodes 9 & 10 of this podcast, they are all about list building and email marketing!

Step 7: Timing

Now it’s time to decide on a launch date, get a promotion timeline going and closing dates. And of course, the date for drawing the prize! The important bit! YAY!

How long your competition should be really depend on Step 1 – what’s the goal? Or perhaps even be time sensitive like an Easter or Christmas competition or a holiday giveaway.

If you have a goal of wanting 100 new likes to your page or gather 100 email addresses – then think logically how long, it will take for that to happen?

Competitions, done well, can be amazing but can be a lot of work and energy. So, the reward for running them should reflect that.

There’s no science to how long a competition should be, but you do need to keep in mind your end goal, the quality of the prize and any time sensitive issues, and your target audience.

Step 8: Promotion

Hooley Dooly now it’s time to promote it!

Here’s some tips for promotion:

On your website

  • Add a banner to site or a link to your landing page
  • Write a blog post to tell people about your competition – repurpose that blog everywhere!

On social media

  • Update your Facebook page pinned post/announcements
  • Update your Facebook cover photo
  • Update your call to action button
  • Create some awesome graphics to promote competition (less than 20% text if going to be used in ads)
  • publish a note
  • use stories – video, live video, posts
  • use social media groups to tell them about your competition
  • update your bio on Instagram
  • Update your link in Instagram
  • Arrange for influencers to repost
  • Request that friends in similar businesses within niche repost/promote
  • Do some paid advertising if you have a budget for that

In store

  • posters and banners in your windows and at your counter
  • Display the prize if possible
  • You could take photos of people physically entering and post that on social as part of your marketing mix!
  • It might be suitable to use print media or radio advertising for your competition – dependant on your budget and your target market of course!

Don’t forget to use your email list and tell them about your competition too or use direct messaging or DMs to spread the word!

Step 9: Drawing the prize and picking the winner

Winner, winner chicken dinner! This is the best part! I love, love, love drawing prizes. It makes my little heart sing seeing the delight people get from winning!

Build up to the draw. If say it’s going to happen at 5 pm – spend the day pumping it on social media – especially through stories, build the momentum! You’ll get lots of last-minute entries that way too!

I would HIGHLY recommend you draw the prize live. For lots of reasons, including legitimacy – but also marketing wise!

Of course, you need to notify the winner and deliver the prize! Make sure you always ask the winner for a photo, a quote and/or a testimonial you can use on your social.

Tag them in any and all posts – if they have a big audience it’s a great way to getting some new engagement and perhaps likes and followers!

Step 10: The next bit

Now you might be thinking, it’s over, done – competition drawn, winner announced, done. BUT NO!

So many people forget the gold that they can still get from the competition. Yes, there’s only 1 winner of the prize but consider offering everyone who entered something – perhaps a discount to a product or service.

Write to everyone who entered, telling them who won, perhaps put the photo and/or testimony from the winner in the email – make it personal, make them feel like they mattered too!

If your prize was a weekend away, then consider offering everyone else a discount to book or a free bottle of local wine on arrival or a free late checkout – think outside the square – make it valuable to them.

The idea here is to offer value to them, make them feel valued, and to give yourself another excuse to start a conversation with them. They may not have won, but they are still important to your business!

Step 11: The Analysis

So, you’ve made it to step 11. Competitions are marketing and marketing is all about testing and measuring. So, make sure you take some time to gather your data and see if you’re reached the goal you set in Step 1.

Finally, give yourself a HIGH FIVE and start planning your next piece of marketing because we are ALWAYS marketing!

Feeeew … that’s was a lot to take in yes! I thought so too. So, to help with your next competition, I’ve made a checklist.

Seriously, who doesn’t love a good checklist!

So, to get all these things in a quick, concise checklist, head to www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/checklist and download it from there!

So that’s it for Episode 11. I hope I have not only inspired you to run a competition but also help you understand your obligations in doing so.

So, the 72-hour rule. I forgot to do that last week! For those who aren’t sure – the 72-hour rule is what are you going to do in the 72 hours to move you towards your goal. I always use it from stage and thought I should enact it here on my podcast for my podcast family too.

So, if the goal is to run a competition soon, what are you doing to commit to doing, in the next 72 hours, to help you get it from an idea to a reality?

Write it down or to be held accountable, put it in social and tag @smallbusinessmadesimple!

I’ll be back next Thursday with some more marketing know-how and another discovery.

If you’re liking the podcast – please head over to where you listen and leave a rating and even a review – those things are GOLD for podcasters like me! I’ll be eternally grateful, and it helps others find this podcast and enjoy the free training, tips and tricks too. It could be the best gift you give them!

I am very grateful to have you as part of my world, listening in, but I’d also love to catch up between podcasts – and get social on social – all the links are in my show notes.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave me a DM on Instagram! The DMs seriously make my day!

Catch you next week, go check out Leadpages from our discovery of the week, ……

…….. and remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!





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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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