Running sweepstakes, competitions and giveaways on your website

My site Scullywag Astrology is coming up to its first birthday, so I thought I would run a competition or sweepstakes to give away a few natal horoscope reports. And so began my journey into what the legalities of running a competition or game of chance on social media.

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I was fairly certain that you were not allowed to solicit Facebook page likes or ask people to share a Facebook page to enter the competition, but I had seen other companies do it, (and some of them quite large companies) so I did a little research.

So off to Google I went to search out what I could do and any good programs to help me do it. One of the best articles I found was from SEM Rush and it had a lot of information in it.

You can use Facebook likes or check-ins to find a winner, but you can’t ask people to like your Facebook page as a requirement for entering the competition as that is construed as being of benefit or having to make a payment of sorts. Facebook does not allow you to run a contest that requires you to have to make a purchase to enter on their platform.

What I did like about the SEMrush article though is that they spelled out exactly what you need to do when it comes to meeting your obligations when it comes to your terms and conditions for the contest/sweepstake/giveaway. SEMrush is also a great place to find keywords and lots of information about your website. You can get a limited view for free or sign up for their plans. I first came across SEMRush while doing my social media course.

And so I looked around at what was available for free, because money can be tight, and who doesn’t like to save money. Plus, I always like to try before I buy.


Woobox is a site that gives some great apps that you can use on your facebook page. I use them on the Scullywag Astrology Facebook page to show my feeds from my YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram on my page.

With Woobox, you can add your Facebook page/s and use their software to select a random winner from people who have liked or commented on a selected post. You can also do this with Twitter or Instagram posts if you upgrade to a paid account with Woobox.


Rafflecopter image

Rafflecopter is an interesting site that allows you to do some limited stuff on the free plan. You can have different ways for a person to enter your competition, and give different weightings to how they enter (e.g. more points for liking a page or tweeting a comment) and make certain actions mandatory to enter.

Rafflecopter makes it very easy to select winners and to promote your contest, however, if you want your sweepstakes to look like the one above, you need to upgrade. The prices on the paid plans are not too bad though and there are no long-term contracts.

Contests for Pages

Contests for Pages allows you to run various contests on Facebook. You can choose from simple giveaways, photo submission or voting contests, instant contests, and timeline comments contests. To run these effectively you need to pay for a plan. While the pricing given are per month, you are required to pay in full for a year, no monthly plans exist.

For a timeline comments contest, you would probably be better off using Woobox to select a random winning comment for yourself. The photo uploading contest seems quite good, as after you have entered you can have an option subscribe to a newsletter, invite friends or post it on Facebook.


Agorapulse also allows you to run free contests on your Facebook timeline as part of their free package. You have the option to run sweepstakes, a quiz or photo contest on a post on your timeline.

Their article on running Facebook promotions is well worth a read to, packed with lots of information you need to know before running a contest.

Two other free tools that Agorapulse includes that are well worth trying out are the Facebook Page Barometer and the Twitter Report Card.


Shortstack looks great and comes with lots of options to customize the look of your contests. There is a wealth of knowledge to dip into, with plenty of documentation on how to use the system as well as a YouTube Channel to walk you through it.

The free version only works for 100 entries so you may find yourself needing to upgrade to one of their plans but there are no minimum contracts and no cancellation fees.

They have written an excellent article on how to promote your contest.

Running a competition is also a great time to change your Facebook page cover photo to feature the contest details. You could also do up an event for the drawing of the competition.

Canva is a great place to make up a cover shot and you can find lots of templates and all sorts of goodies to help you create graphics.

Featured Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay