Facebook has previously been extremely cautious about running competitions on their platform. Prior to August last year, page admins had to administer competitions and promotions through apps, the thinking being, that apps approved by Facebook would provide much more control and a better overall user experience. For example, the collection of non Facebook data such as email address or telephone numbers.
There were numerous scare tales in the media of pages being shut down for breaking the rules, however many page admins ran the gauntlet and flouted the rules – the thinking being that it was simply too difficult for Facebook to either automate, or manually review every post that looked like a competition to see if they were sticking to the rules.
Eventually Facebook just gave up.
That however, for the average Joe means that there are now loads more “Like and Share” to enter type competitions available in your news feed, and like them or loathe them, they are here to stay – at least that is, until Facebook manage to build their own native competition app into the platform that makes things for page admins much easier.
Currently, there are plenty of inherent flaws with Facebook design, that can be exploited to increase the chances of actually winning a “Like and Share” type competition. As someone who manages a page myself, I’ve first hand experience as an admin as to where those flaws are.
1) Make sure you comment
If a page admin asks you to like and share a status update, it is EXTREMELY difficult for them to see if you’ve followed the instructions. In many cases you’ll see that the LIKE AND SHARE count for a post doesn’t tally. Do you think the page admin is going to try and tie those together. Nope. If you’ve comment to say you’ve liked and shared, chances are you’ll be in with a chance.
The reasons for this are two fold. Firstly, many people have different privacy settings on Facebook, and as a result, sometimes the share will and like will not actually be publicly available by the page admin when it comes to finding a winner. If you are unsure what exactly your privacy settings are currently, then make sure you comment underneath the post to at least stand a chance at being selected.
2) Timing is Everything
A popular competition might run for a few days, and with Facebook comments being sorted by last comment, you don’t really want to be the person who was first in. When viewing the “Like and Share” dialog, the Facebook algorithm will sort by Friends of the Page admin, and then date descending. So if you leave both your liking and sharing, and commenting to the last few hours of the competition, you stand a better chance of being seen.
3) Make your comment stand out
Facebook comments have the ability for threading and embedded photos now. So a bit of humour in your entry could infact spark either likes on your comment, or an entire thread. This could drive further engagement and awareness of the competition which the page managers will appreciate you for, and swing things in your favour. Overdo it and you’ll make it obvious what you are up to though.
When a page admin has to trawl through hundreds of randomers saying “Liked and Shared” you can bet your bottom dollar if your thread stands out that bit more you’ll catch their eye.
4) Be available to win
With Facebook EdgeRank only showing updates to a small percentage of an audience, there’s absolutely a chance you are going to miss the status announcement of who won. If you subscribe to the page for updates, you will see EVERYTHING they post. If the page owner isn’t asking you for your contact telephone number or email address, then they are going to have to:
a) Announce the winner on Facebook and hope you see it [OR] b) Send you a Friend Request or private message
Make sure your privacy settings are open enough during the competition lifespan so if you miss the Facebook announcement they can at least send a direct message to someone who isn’t their friend.
5) Enter More Competitions
It might seem a little sneaky, but to avoid me having to see the crap many brands want to push out to their audience, I’ve setup another Facebook profile, just for entering competitions. No one has to see it, and I can like and share until my hearts content, knowing that no one is either going to care that I’ve liked some random Cupcake business, or sold my soul to a Solicitors firm. There are also plenty of pages and groups on Facebook advertising the promotions:
I’ll add more here if any of you have any other resources. Just leave a comment.