Running a competition on your business’ social media profiles is a simple and popular way to gain new followers online. If your business is looking for a quick way to grow followers, Business Foundations has compiled a list of dos and don’ts for running a social media competition.


Follow the law.

First and foremost, your competition needs to abide by the law. To make it simple, you should only open your competition to Australian residents so that you only need to be mindful for Australian laws. In Western Australia, you do not need a permit to run a game of skill or game of chance competition, but the competition must:

  • Be free to enter (or a free entry is provided with the purchase of a product or service)
  • Clearly outline the start and end date of the competition,
  • Explain how you will notify the winner.

This information should be clearly outlined in the caption of your social media competition post.


Set clear goals for your competition.

You should not run a social media competition without first deciding what you want to gain from the process. You may decide your business wants to gain followers, exposure, a library of user generated content, or to learn about how customers use these products. Once you know what your goals are, you should quantify them and outline when you plan to have achieved them by.


Develop your competition.

Your business needs to decide how people will enter the competition and should make it as easy as possible to maximise the number of entries. Surprising to many, it is important to note that Facebook and Instagram have their own rules on competitions, which are as follows:


  • You cannot ask entrants to tag a friend,
  • You cannot ask entrants to share to their own timeline or a friends,
  • You can ask entrants to like your post, like your page, comment on your post, or send a message.


  • You can ask entrants to like your page, like your post, comment on your post, share your photo, or share a specific hashtag.
  • You cannot contact Instagram Support for any issues related to your competition.
  • You must include a statement in your caption that the competition “is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.”


Choose an appropriate prize.

Giving away an extravagant prize can bring a lot of engagement to your social media, but it may be costly and draw in entrants that are not interested in your business. Instead, you should consider giving away one of your products or a trial of your service. It is also important to note that if you are planning to run your competition beyond Western Australia, other states may require a permit depending on the value of your prize.


Measure your results.

Based on the goals you developed earlier, you should also decide on the key metrics to measure the success of your competition and how often you will track them. This may include the number of entrants, engagement levels, follower count, web traffic, sales, or public sentiment. Measuring the results of your competition is essential to determine whether the time and effort spent has led to a good ROI.

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