How to Use Apps to Create Customized Giveaways and Contests on Facebook - dummies

How to Use Apps to Create Customized Giveaways and Contests on Facebook

By Jamie Crager, Scott Ayres, Melanie Nelson, Daniel Herndon, Jesse Stay

The biggest complaint most businesses have about the Facebook promotions guidelines is “But it’s just so easy to do it on the business page. I don’t want the hassle of setting up an application! That sucks the fun out of it.”

What these complaints mean is that the page admins think setting up a promotion via a Facebook application will be hard and they’d rather just post a status update because that’s easy and they already know how to do it. Well, here’s some good news for you: The companies who create Facebook promotions applications understand the need for an easy way to set up promotions.

With most of these tools, you can be up and running with a promotion in less than 15 minutes. It’s true that setting up a promotion via an app is still not as fast as creating a simple status update, but this way, you don’t risk losing your business page!


ShortStack offers Facebook applications that allow you to create custom tabs for your business page. The one that concerns you is the app that allows you to create a Facebook promotion (including Like-gating if you want; note that ShortStack calls it “fan only” content).

You could also create a printable coupon or a contact form. Or you could share images and video from an external site or pull in PDF documents using and a ShortStack app. ShortStack has five plans, ranging from free up to $300 a month, depending on the features you choose.

A few things to know about ShortStack:

  • You can use ShortStack for free if your Business Page has fewer than 2,000 Likes.

  • You can Like-gate content on a custom tab with the click of a button.

  • You can schedule your promotion to auto-publish in the future, and ShortStack takes care of everything.

  • You can include custom CSS or templates featuring your logo or design in ShortStack widgets to reinforce your brand.

  • You can manage multiple client sites with a single account.


Wildfire has a robust cache of applications to help you create a contest or giveaway as well as to customize your business page. Wildfire is social marketing software for enterprise companies.

A few things to know about Wildfire:

  • You can publish your campaign to multiple outlets at the same time.

  • You can run several types of promotions, including sweepstakes; coupons; user-generated photo, essay, and video contests; and quizzes.

  • Use the dashboard to publish campaigns and view analytics, leads, and results.


Strutta enables you to create promotions that can stand alone or live on Facebook. It’s a premium tool, and pricing starts at $399 for sweepstakes and $999 for contests. If you want to customize your promotion, you need to upgrade to the Pro version. The interface is very user friendly, which makes creating your promotion a breeze.

A few things to know about Strutta:

  • You can optimize your promotion for mobile devices.

  • You can use Strutta’s analytics or your Google Analytics tracking code to track your promotion’s success.

  • You can use Strutta’s promotions tools outside Facebook. Embed your contest or giveaway on your blog or website.

  • The basic templates are clean and attractive.