Running a competition on social media can be a great way to boost engagement, build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. However, there’s a surprising amount involved in running a social media competition. You’ll need to design a competition, think of a compelling prize, and consider the terms and conditions of the social media platform you’re using. 

In this blog, we’ll run through how to run a competition in 7 simple steps so you’re fully prepared to run one yourself. 


1. Set your goals

The first step for running any promotion or prize competition should always be to set your goals. It’s impossible to measure your content’s success without knowing what you want to achieve. For example, you might want your content to promote the launch of a new product. In this case, you’ll likely be measuring the success of your campaign in product sales. However, if your aim is to grow your reach on social media, you might look at the level of engagement the competition generated or how many new social media followers you gained. 

Outlining your goals will also help you choose the right platform to run your competition. Set clear SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound) goals. For example, your goal might be to gain 2,000 new followers in the month you run your competition. 


2. Choose a fantastic prize.

The next step should be choosing an amazing prize relevant to your brand and target audience. You’ll need to consider what will motivate your customer base to enter your competition and create a buzz around your brand. 

You’ll also have to consider the number of prizes on offer and if their value aligns with what you’re asking users to do. For example, if you’re asking users to take a photo of themselves wearing your product or write a story about why they love your brand, your prize should be of higher value than just asking users to click a link or comment.


3. Promote your contest ahead of time 

Start promoting your content before it starts. This is the best way to build anticipation and hype about your brand’s competition. 

How to promote a competition on social media

Here are a few ways you can promote your social media competition:

  • Post about it on multiple platforms (social media and your website).
  • Send out emails to your mailing list. 
  • Create a landing page on your site with a countdown timer and all the information about your content. 
  • Advertise your competition on your website and blog pages (where relevant).
  • Create a unique branded hashtag for your competition. 
  • Collaborate with an influencer who will engage your target audience. 


4. Follow the social media competition rules

When running a social media competition or giveaway, you’ll need to follow the social media’s competition terms and conditions and the legal requirements set out in the 2005 Gambling Act. 

According to this act, you don’t need a licence to run a prize competition or draw in the UK, provided it meets certain conditions. Either your competition or draw must be free to enter (or provide an alternative free entry route), or it must satisfy the ‘skill test’. We’ve got more information on what this involves in our blog, ‘Running prize competitions in the UK’. 

If you’re running a competition on social media, entry will likely be free, whether it’s through a landing page or by commenting on a post, which means your competition should meet the Gambling Act’s requirements. However, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to speak to an expert prize management agency

As well as the Gambling Act, you’ll also need to follow the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (‘CAP Code’). This requires that all competitions and draws provide consumers with important information before or at the time they enter the contest. You should include clear terms and conditions, information about how to participate, the start and end of the competition, and how the winners will be notified and receive their prizes. 

You’ll also need to follow the rules of the social media platform you’re using for your competition. Here’s a breakdown of the most common platforms’ rules on competitions and giveaways. Even though we’ve summarised some of the main information, it’s also best to check their full guidelines so you don’t accidentally break any rules. 

Facebook competition rules

Facebook has fairly strict rules for running competitions on its platform. Check out their Monetization Promotion Guidelines for all the details. 

Here are some of the most important rules to follow. 

You must:

  • Make it clear that Facebook does not sponsor the contest in any way.
  • Not ask for likes, tags, or shares as a way to enter the contest. 
  • Get explicit permission to use User Generated Content (UGC).
  • Provide detailed contest rules. 

X’s competition rules

X has slightly more relaxed guidelines for promotions. Here are the main ones you should be aware of. 

You must:

  • Discourage dishonest behaviour, such as creating multiple accounts or posting the same post repeatedly. 
  • Encourage the use of relevant topics and hashtags. 
  • Follow any applicable laws and regulations when running a contest. 

Pinterest competition rules

Pinterest has similar relaxed contest guidelines. Here’s what you need to know.

You must:

  • Not allow more than one entry per person.
  • Not require users to save a specific image to enter the contest.
  • Follow the Pinterest brand brand guidelines and terms of service. 

Instagram competition rules

Instagram has similar promotion guidelines as Facebook (as they are both owned by Meta). Here are the main takeaways.

You must:

  • Make it clear that Instagram does not sponsor or endorse your contest in any way.
  • Not encourage users to tag themselves in images inaccurately. 
  • Provide clear rules and terms and conditions for your competition. 

TikTok competition rules

The newest social media platform has its own unique competition guidelines.

You can:

  • Ask users to join a live stream to enter the contest (‘join to win’).
  • Ask users to comment to enter the contest (‘comment to win’).

You must:

  • Use the TikTok Shop’s Gift Tool For Free Giveaways (where available).

If the Gift Tool is unavailable, competition runners must:

  • Award the prize within 30 days of the giveaway.
  • Ensure the prize is equal to or lower than £20.
  • Avoid unnecessarily disappointing entrants and be honest at all times.
  • State the terms of the giveaway in the product listing or content. 


5. Create your contest’s terms and conditions 

To follow both UK regulations and the social media platform’s guidelines, you’ll need to provide clear terms and conditions and competition rules. You can place these in the giveaway post, but creating a specific landing page on your site with all the information users need to know is the better option.

Writing terms and conditions can be tricky, and it’s something that’s best left to experts. Working with a prize management agency means they’ll provide comprehensive and legally abiding terms and conditions to protect your brand. 


6. Pick and announce your winners

Once your contest is over, you’ll need to pick the lucky winners. Make sure you’ve been upfront about how the winners will be picked. This can be done randomly or by the sole discretion of an independent judge or panel (for example, if you’ve run a photo contest). 


Then, it’s time for the giveaway winner announcement. Make sure to mention the winners on social media so everyone else can see who has won!

We’ve got all the information you need in our blog, ‘How to select a winner for a giveaway or prize draw’. 


7. Measure your results

Although most of the hard work is over, it’s still important to measure how successful your social media competition has been. How you measure your results will depend on the goals that you set out initially. For example, if your aim was lead generation, you might look at the number of leads the contest generated. If your goal was to improve brand awareness, you might measure the number of likes or new followers the contest generated. 

Analyse your results and see what worked and what didn’t – this will inform future competitions and marketing campaigns so they can be even more successful. 


Prize management agency 

When running a social media giveaway or prize competition, there are lots of things you need to get right. Especially when it comes to the technical and legal aspects, like terms and conditions, competition rules, and winner selection. The last thing you want is to make a mistake which could have huge negative consequences for your brand. 

The best way to ensure your prize competition runs smoothly and gets the incredible results you’re after is to work with an experienced price management agency. 

At Another Way, we’re experts in prize promotions, competition and giveaways. Our team can design compelling and engaging competitions with bespoke ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ prizes that genuinely resonate with your target audience. We’ll handle the legal terms and conditions, winner selection and prize fulfilment to protect your brand. 

Our founder, Andrew, has worked in the Promotional Marketing industry for over a decade. He’s created incredible promotional campaigns for big brands, such as Airbnb and Ocado, that have boosted customer engagement and led to long-term brand loyalty.

Check out our campaign inspiration to see what we can achieve, whatever your budget. 

You can rely on our professional team to take care of every aspect of your social media competition. 

We offer:

  • Unique prizes and experiences 
  • Prize promotional mechanics
  • Pan-European and global prize fulfilment 
  • Winner management, selection and entry judging 
  • UK and multi-territory terms and conditions
  • Complete campaign management

If you’re interested in working with us on your next social media competition or giveaway, call us at 0778 948 5123 or email us at

Or complete our online form, and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.