How To Run A Photo Competition On Facebook: Introduction

A photo competition (or contest) is an easy way to engage and generate Facebook likes and convert them into email signups. It’s also a great way to uncover some user-generated content.

Above all else, though, a Facebook photo competition is one of the best ways to achieve your business’ social media goals. A single Facebook photo competition can yield the same return on investment as hundreds of posts and hours of time spent finding content, writing witty copy, and throwing money at Facebook like it grows on trees.

For small and medium business owners, the time and money you can save with a photo competition is priceless. This article will show you exactly how to run a successful Facebook photo competition to grow your brand’s Facebook profile and generate more Fans and email subscribers.

Before we dive in, let’s check out a couple Facebook photo competition examples:

How To Run A Facebook Photo Competition: A 5-Step Guide

#1. Choose A Prize

Your photo competition’s prize is the most important element of a successful campaign, as it’s what entices people to enter. It’s essential that your prize is relevant to your business in order to maximize the chance of your competition’s entrants actually buying from your business down the line.

The best idea for a photo competition is a gift card or certificate to your business.

Why? There are two main reasons:

#1. Gift cards are appealing to all potential customers (in other words, it’s a prize that appeals to the largest group of people). If you give away a specific product or element of your business, you will only have entrants who want that specific product. Gift cards attract everyone interested in any part of what you sell.

#2. Gift cards are only attractive to people who are actually interested in your business. We hear all the time from critics of online competitions who say that because participants are only interested in winning the prize, the return isn’t worth it. If you use gift cards or store credit, this isn’t true at all. When it comes to photo competitions, you shouldn’t necessarily be looking for the most possible entrants, but rather the most valuable entrants.

For example, if you give away cash or an iPad (unrelated to your business’ products or service) you will get a ton of participants, don’t get me wrong. But those people will only be interested in cash or iPads, not your business – not your products. It will make it far harder to convert your competition entrants into genuine sales down the line. Offering a gift card, however, ensures that each and every one of your entrants is someone genuinely interested in the things you sell – making it far easier to nurture them into customers once the competition has finished.

#2. Build Your Facebook Competition Page

Your photo competition’s entry page needs to be simple but exciting. It needs to get visitors enthused about the prize and equally make it easy to convert and enter to win. Here’s the 5 things your photo competition needs on Facebook:

#1. A Title That Grabs The Eye: We’ve found time after time that a shorter title, phrased in actionable terms (like “Enter to win a $50 gift card from AcmeBrand!”) is the best way to maximize entries. A title like this is simple and informative. It focuses on the value of entering and tells page visitors exactly what they stand to win, what they can do on the page, and who is running the competition: everything they need to know.

#2. Image Of Your Prize: An image of your photo competition’s prize is essential in order to motivate visitors to enter to win. If you’re offering a gift card, include an image of a product (your best-selling or most visually-appealing) that people can buy with it. Alternatively, include a selection of prizes to maximize the chance of visitors being interested.

#3. Entry & Prize Info: Include a short paragraph with information about your photo competition’s prize, how to enter and any rules or restrictions. To keep from overcrowding your competition’s page, add a link to the full rules and restrictions on your website or in a PDF.

#4. Entry Submission Form: An entry form for a Facebook photo competition includes a box to upload an image and fields prompting visitors to submit personal information. The amount of information you ask for is entirely up to you (so long as you know that asking for more tends to reduce conversion rates). The form also includes an “Enter Competition” button (called a “Call-to-Action button”).

#5. Share Buttons & Facebook Comments: Make it easy for entrants to share your competition with friends by including share buttons directly on the competition page. A good third-party competition app includes built-in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest share buttons as well as Facebook comment section which boosts interaction on the page.

#3. Promote & Share Your Photo Competition

Once your photo competition is set up, with a good prize and an optimized page, you need to promote it as much as possible. True, there will be some organic growth as entrants share it with friends and colleagues, but you’ll still need a couple promotional strategies to really get the word out there.

Here are the five best ways to promote your Facebook photo competition:

#1. Email: Emailing your existing customers is a great way to get your competition started. They’re clearly interested in what your business has to offer and will enter and share right at the beginning to get you rolling. Ensure you direct them to Facebook so they become Fans as well as clients.

#2. Social Media: Promote your photo competition on Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest. A photo competition is a great way to introduce all your non-Facebook social media Fans to your Facebook Page.

#3. Website Promotion: You can almost guarantee that if you have a website it’s receiving more traffic than your social media Pages. Make the most of these people by creating a banner on your homepage that links to the photo competition on Facebook.

#4. Facebook Advertising: Facebook ads are a greatly way to drive non-Fans towards your Facebook competition. Facebook ads can be targeted to exclude your current Fans as well as by interests and demographics. Check out Wishpond Academy for a step-by-step (free) Walkthrough of how to Create and Manage Facebook Ads, alternatively, check out our article on How to Ensure a Successful Online Contest with Facebook ads.

#5. Listings: There are many great online contest and competition websites that allow for free listings. Listing sites are a great way to expose your competition (and brand) to new prospective merchants and entrants. Check out our list of 19 websites to list your competition.

#4. Follow your Facebook Photo Competition’s Success

Your photo competition’s objective is entirely up to you and your business. You could be interested in simple brand awareness (in which case you’d be tracking entries and the number of votes on entered photos), new Facebook Fans, or end-sales from your competition’s entrants.

Here are 3 methods for monitoring the metrics of your Facebook photo competition:

#1. Facebook Insights: This free tool (from Facebook) allows you to track the number of shares, comments and Likes your competition posts receive, as well as the total new fans your Page received during your photo competition.

#2. Google Alerts: Google Alerts allow you to monitor every “mention” of your photo competition across the entire web. You’ll receive an email every time someone uses the keywords you set as an alarm.

#3. Wishpond Campaign Reporting: The Facebook Photo Competition builder within Wishpond includes campaign reporting and monitoring in real time, allowing you to track views of your competition page, entries, bounce rates and overall votes in real-time. This is also powerful as you can adjust your strategy depending on how your competition is doing.

#5. Post-Competition Follow-up & Promotion

Just because your Facebook photo competition is done doesn’t mean you’ve gotten everything out of it you can. Here are a few ways you can leverage your competition’s success (and entrants) to get more out of your investment:

  1. Do a quick profile of your photo competition’s winner (or winners). Post it on your blog and share it on Facebook (and other social networks).
  2. Create a video showing you choosing the winner (and, ideally, ask them to film their reaction). This increases the chance of those entrants who lost entering your next competition.
  3. Send a planned series of emails to your competition’s entrants, creating relationship, commiserating with their loss, and (eventually) nurturing them into customers.
  4. Ensure you’re posting your plans for future competitions on Facebook as soon as your competition has finished (when entrants are still engaged). Many businesses find success creating photo competitions (or other types of competitions) every single month of the year.

All of these activities keep your business’ momentum moving forward and will prime followers for future engagement with your brand.

For more on post-competition strategies, check out “The 5 Follow-Ups You Need to Convert Contest Leads into Paying Customers.”

Pro Tip: In order to better drive your Facebook Fans to your competition, create a custom cover photo which has an error pointing to the competition’s tab. It looks like this:

facebook photo competition

Bonus Ideas For A Kickass Photo Competition

  • Create a photo competition which prompts entrants to submit a photo of their pet using, or simply with, your product.
  • Ask entrants to submit a picture of their child’s art or summer activity for a back-to-school competition.
  • Run a photo competition before a holiday (like Thanksgiving, Halloween or Christmas) showcasing your entrant’s favorite related recipe or food.
  • Run a photo competition giving away a spa or date night to stressed parents. Prompt entrants to post the most ridiculous pictures of their kids (covered in spaghetti sauce, next to a broken TV, etc).


Hopefully, this walkthrough has given you a better idea of how you and your business can run a successful photo competition on Facebook.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comment section below. We’ve been doing this for a while now, so I’m sure we can give you the guidance you need!