Facebook Contest SteakWho wants to win free food, textbooks, trips, thousands of dollars, iPads and all kinds of other gadgets? Apparently millions of Facebook fans do.

Who knew back in 2004 that Facebook would become a sweepstakers heaven and a business owners dream come true?  With the evolution of Facebook over the past few years, companies have been able to expand their business much further and faster (and for cheaper) than ever expected.  In some cases Facebook has actually saved many businesses from ultimate doom.

However there is still that lull that every business hits, which forces some to get creative. Thus, Facebook contests and sweepstakes were born.

What do Facebook contests mean for the business owner or company?

Make Money with FacebookFacebook contests save companies time and money. This way companies can instantly attract new customers and connect with their current customers, without having to spend thousands (in some cases millions of dollars) on printing and mailing promotions that are just going to end up in the garbage anyhow.

People are more likely to see a promotion on Facebook versus mailings because mailings typically get buried and thrown out with the junk mail, whereas people are on Facebook all the time. How many people look at their junk mail at least five times a day?

There are all kinds of creative Facebook contest ideas. Some contests reward you for having the most friends “like” their company page, while others simply have you fill out a form with your contact info. It’s amazing how much more inclined consumers are to fill out a form when the reward is enticing enough.

Wendys Facebook Contest win $5000My most recent favorite Facebook contests is this interactive Wendy’s “design a shirt and win $5000”. Even if you don’t win, it’s still fun to play with.

What do Facebook contests mean for the consumer? Can you make a living off of Facebook contests and Sweepstakes?

The contests allow the consumer to stay in touch with all the great deals and happenings at your leisure without feeling harassed. Besides, it can be fun.

There really are people whose full time “job” is entering contests and sweepstakes and yes, it actually puts food on the table for their families. But I wouldn’t quit your day job just yet.

With recent television shows having aired on this subject, a lot more people have jumped on the wagon and starting entering these contests. It’s good news for business owners and companies, because it gives them a larger audience, recognition and ultimately more sales. However for you and me, our odds of winning these contests decrease with the increasing volume of people that enter. So banking on making a living this way probably isn’t the smartest idea.

So the answer to the ultimate question…

Yes, business owners can certainly promote their business and make a living thanks to Facebook contests. And yes individuals can, have and do make a living off of Facebook contests and sweepstakes, but you may want to keep that one as a hobby.

Jamie Bates