Run a Photo Caption Contest on Facebook

Are you looking for creative ways to engage your Facebook community? Facebook Photo Caption Contests can be an effective marketing tactic for small business. Facebook Photo Caption Contests help businesses attract new Facebook ‘Likes’, engage existing Facebook community members, learn from their community, provide a fun way to interact with customers, and can lead to increased sales. With that said, there are a few things all businesses need to know before they can run a successful Facebook Photo Caption Contest.

Facebook Contest IdeasBefore you actually set up your Facebook Photo Caption Contest, you must first determine a few things: your goal(s) for the marketing campaign, the action you want contestants and fans to take, what you will offer to the winner(s), and what photos you want to use. Without establishing what you want to achieve (your goals) for the contest, you’re just running a Facebook Photo Contest for the sake of running a Facebook Photo Caption Contest and you will probably not see much return on your investment. By establishing your goals, you’re able to structure the contest in a way that will help you achieve those goals.

Normally, contestants participate in Facebook Photo Contests by leaving a caption that describes the image(s) and then do their best to get their Facebook friends to ‘Like’ their caption. This is how you will engage existing Facebook community members and attract new ‘Likes’. The offer is super important. You need to offer something of enough value that contestants think it’s worth their time to participate. Things like gift certificates, free gifts, etc. are usually good offers. Finally, the photos that you will use are very important. You want photos that get people talking, but you don’t want to insult anyone. For example, if you own a baby products store and you’re using baby pictures for the Facebook Photo Contest, be sure to pick images that are engaging, but won’t solicit rude captions. If you take time to plan for these 4 things, you will be well on your way to running a successful Photo Caption Contest on Facebook.

Setup a Facebook Photo Caption Contest

Step 1: Write a blog article explaining the rules of the contest and describing how people can participate (if you don’t have a blog, do this within the Photo Album you setup on Facebook). Use social media, in-store marketing, etc. to promote the event/drive traffic to the blog article.

Step 2: Add your photos to a Photo Album on Facebook. Use the “Description” feature to explain the contest. Feel free to link to your blog article so that interested participants can read more details.

Step 3: Launch the contest and start using all available marketing channels to promote the contest. Use the ‘offer’ to capture interest in participating in the contest.

Step 4: After the contest deadline has passed, determine the winner and promote the winner on Facebook and your other social media channels. Be sure to provide the winner(s) with the prize.

Benefits to Running Facebook Photo Caption Contest

If you are able to successfully setup and run a Facebook Photo Caption Contest for your small business then you should see both immediate, and longer-term benefits. First, you should have captured additional Facebook ‘Likes’ on your Facebook Business Page. You should have also had a few conversations with contest participants throughout the event, so that usually leads to stronger relationships with customers and can increase sales in the short-term. Some of the longer-term benefits are more awareness for your small business, which over time should lead to more Facebook ‘Likes’ and increased sales.

If you need help running a Facebook Photo Contest, feel free to reach out to us. If you have successfully executed a Facebook Photo Contest for your business, please share any advice you have for our readers by leaving a comment below.


  1. Solid idea. Validates what I am thinking of for a food client. Contests are a great way engage/build community, generate buzz, but more importantly personify the fun side of business. People always like to work with fun businesses.

  2. Jim -

    I agree! Glad to hear it validates some of the work you’re doing. If your client executes the tactic, please stop by to let us know how it goes.


    Ryan Taft

  3. Have you read the promotional guidelines on Facebook?

    There are certain rules for promoting as you suggest in you post. I know everybody does it, but is actually illegal and Facebook do not hesitate to close sites that are violating the guidelines.

    But maybe you are aware of this,the post just made me think if it was a proper way to promote. I have used Facebook a lot for promotions like that in my former company Manostiles, but it has recently come to my attention that it is actually not allowed.

  4. Heidi -

    Good point. With that said, too many people run contests for Facebook to enforce this policy. It’s a flawed policy in my opinion and I don’t think businesses run a real risk of being shutdown. I think it’s something people will have to think about, but the chances of being shutdown are close to 0%.



  5. Facebook is innovating and offers room for promotion for any businesses.There may be limitations on what or how to promote but so long as we’re not stepping on anybody’s foot,we’ll be okay.

  6. That is exactly right John. The trick is to know what you want to use Facebook for, figure out the best way to do it with the features Facebook makes available, and then jump in. Measure along the way to ensure it’s worth your time. I like to analyze our client’s Facebook data every quarter. We tweak our approach based on what we see.


    Ryan Taft

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