Sweepstakes vs. Contests - There's a Difference?

Posted: May 22, 2012 by Kevin Homer

If you follow me or The Homer Group on social media, then you already know that a few weeks ago, after using the product with clients for about 6 months, we launched the self-managed version of our Facebook sweepstakes application – Fans With Benefits. It’s the first product we’ve launched through our newly-established business, Grow My Audience, which will market a variety of digital media products that are design to be affordable, self-managed, and all with the ultimate goal of growing your online audience.

In talking with Fans With Benefits’ customers, users, and friends, one pattern I’ve seen is that everyone uses the terms “sweepstakes” and “contest” interchangeably. While we do plan to launch a contest platform eventually, right now Fans With Benefits is strictly a sweepstakes application. Which frequently leads to the question: What IS the difference between a contest and a sweepstakes?

A sweepstakes is when a winner is selected randomly by chance. Nothing is required when entering a sweepstakes – there’s no entry fee (that would be a lottery), no purchase required, you’re not answering a question, sending in a picture, writing an essay, etc. It’s really that simple.

A contest has a level of skill or requirement associated with it. Send us a picture, sing us a song, give us the best joke, provide the best answer. Contests may require a purchase prior to entering, or there may be an entry fee required to participate. While there is a level of effort required to enter a contest, you typically have more control of the final outcome.

Shameless plug: Check out our new Fans With Benefits program. It’s a self-managed sweepstakes application that adds a sweepstakes tab to your company’s Facebook page. With incentivized share tools, entrants will share your sweepstakes with their networks and help exponentially grow our online audience. It provides a back-end data analytics dashboard that provides some great statistical analysis that can be integrated with your marketing strategy.



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