Skip to main content

Sweepstakes and contests are an easy and quick way to increase “buzz” as well as traffic on Facebook pages. Quite often I come across the question of how to pick the winner among the participants. There are several tools for this purpose, but since using them has required a Facebook login, I decided to create my own as well.

But let’s begin with Facebook’s competition rules first. (Please note that the rules live on, you should always check the Facebook terms of use as well. Mine can always be out-of-date).

In contest you MAY demand user to

  • Like the post
  • Comment on post. In competitions, it is advisable to use comment as a condition, because in this case a private message can be sent to the winner in the name of the page. It is harder to reach the winner based on just “like” because not everyone may be actively following the page’s publications.

In contest you MAY NOT demand user to

  • Like your Page (a like limit can be set as a condition for the contest to take place, but the participant is not obliged to like it) In addition, one may use the so-called Fangate, that is, forcing the user to like the site in order to enter the competition. In this case, the competition must be built on a separate form, not as normal post on the wall.
  • Share post
  • Tag friend to post
  • Contest that requires a purchase is strictly prohibited (Lottery)

In addition, the competition must clearly state:

  • How long can you participate
  • When the winner is drawn
  • How the winners will be notified
  • Notify that competition is not part of any partnership with Facebook, and that it is entirely independent of the social network.

Tip: Write fixed rules for competitions / draws on your website so you can just link to them. In that case, write “Facebook has no part with this competition. More detailed rules at xxx ”.

How to draw the winner of Facebook competition

I have created a tool called Onnetar to make this process easy. This app requires a Facebook login, as the data on the pages cannot be accessed through the API otherwise. The advantage over others is that the face of the service provider can be seen on this page and in addition you can send a message to the winner from Onnetar, because the result includes a link to the winning comment. Onnetar is easy to use,

  • Log in with your FB credentials
  • Grant access to your pages and page comments
  • Select the page you want to draw from
  • Select the post from which you want to draw
  • Pick random winner
  • Click on the link to the comment and reply to the winner

NOTE. Onnetar is still a strictly Beta app, and I can’t guarantee it will work if the API changes. However, I will do my best to keep the app up to date.

Open Onnetar

Other tools

This page has previously introduced other similar tools. If you do not want to use Happiness, choose one of the following:

Fan Page Karma

  • Pro-tip: If you use Google Chrome, you can install a bookmarklet that opens all comments with a single click. Fan Page Karma or Commentpicker do not provide a direct link to a valued comment, so you will have to dig it yourself. Use at your own risk. It took me a while to open more than 10,000 comments and the machine completely froze during the process. Bookmarklet can be found here: