Why fans loved this Facebook contest (psst: our client won big, too)


Facebook contests can suck up time and resources and produce unusable information. Or, they can powerfully build awareness, generate engagement and attract the right new fans.

The difference depends on:

– What you ask people to do

– How you promote it

– The prize(s)

Really effective Facebook contests also gather valuable information that clients can use in subsequent marketing communications.


For one of our client’s products, SunButter, we developed and ran an effective Facebook contest that recently wrapped up. SunButter is a spread similar to peanut butter, except it’s made from sunflower seeds in the company’s completely nut-free facility in Fargo.

SunButter is particularly valuable for those with nut allergies and people looking to eat gluten-free and following a paleo eating lifestyle.

Dubbed The Sweet Swap, the Facebook contest ran from U.S. Thanksgiving to just before Christmas. This is prime baking and cooking time, made even more challenging for those with nut allergies.

Website banner promoting the contest, linking straight to it on Facebook.

Website banner promoting the contest, linking straight to it on Facebook.

What we asked people to do

We asked entrants to submit a recipe (from the SunButter online recipe box or their own creation). They were asked to share up to 10 step-by-step photos and the instructions.

We included a disclaimer so SunButter can now use all the submitted recipes. We typically give credit back to the person who submitted the recipe and photos (most are bloggers), but we can also modify and share these great recipes.


How we promoted it

Facebook ads, status updates, a banner on SunButter’s website, a post on the SunButter blog and some direct blogger outreach helped us spread the word about the contest.

Sweet Swap Facebook cover photo

Sweet Swap little banner ad

Of course, Facebook users, bloggers and others also helped create buzz to generate more entries.

The prizes

We sent SunButter product coupons to the first 50 entrants and selected five grand prize winners, who each received a stack of SunButter on-the-go snack packs and a $100 Amazon gift card.

Winner, winner, SunButter dinner

Results included:

– The number of people talking about SunButter’s Facebook page almost doubled compared to the previous month

– Viral impressions (people seeing SunButter because their friends were interacting with it) increased 40%

Best of all, SunButter now has lots of great new recipes and photo content to share, including submissions from the five winners:

Sweet Swap winners

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