Facebook Timeline Contests and Tab Contests Compared - Appetizer versus Full Meal

Timeline contest or contest hosted on a tab on your Facebook Page?  Which is better?

Since Facebook loosened up the promotion policy and allows contests on both the Timeline via a post, and via apps on tabs, what are keys for choosing the type of contest to run?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each.  The key is understanding your overall strategy and goals to help decide which one should be used, or if both should be used in collaboration!

In short, think of Timeline contests as the Appetizer while contests on Tabs are more of a full-course meal.

Here’s a guide to  to help you decide!

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Timeline Contest

Timeline Contest or Tab App Contest...

Timeline Contest is best if:

  • If you want to launch right away (like today!)
  • If you want fast engagement (like’s and comments on a post)
  • If you have no budget at all

Facebook timeline contest will give you a quick boost in engagement and can be deployed quickly.

Think of it as the APPETIZER!  

It's a good snack, usually comes out quick, and can in a pinch, serve as your full meal.

A Contest hosted on your Facebook page Tab is best if:
  • You want to grow Page likes.  (Offers Like Gate to ensure fans like the Page to access the contest)
  • You want to capture lead information such as email addresses for future marketing
  • You want more design control
  • You want advanced features
  • Particularly if you want to capture email addresses

Facebook contest on a tab will give you greater control and better lead capture.

This is the full course meal!  

Greater customization, longer term value of lead information. Takes more time to prepare well.

That’s the quick overview.  


Yes, TabSite offers both types;

- TabSite’s Timeline Contest app

- TabSite’s Tab app Contest tools

SEE ALSO:  5 Types of Timeline Contests you can run, as well as 10 Example Posts to use!

Timeline Contest eBook Guide


Advantages of a Timeline Contest

  • Quick and easy to setup, simply create a post!
  • Fun way to engage fans & visitors
  • Free to run
  • Runs totally in News Feed where users spend the most time
  • Offers way to increase your Reach and Engagement
  • The more Reach and Engagement, the more potential to grow your community

Advantages of a Facebook Tab App Contest

  • As noted, gathering email addresses is significant for future marketing
  • More design and branding control for the contest
  • Can ensure Like Gate is in place so entrants/voters become fans of the page
  • Contest has a “home” on Facebook so it is easy to share and link to for promoting
  • Rules and Terms have simple way to be displayed, viewed, and accessed
  • Great user experience of seeing all entries, voting, and sharing a entry you like
  • Can be accessed on Facebook or also off of Facebook on a web page
  • Can integrate other tools such as a Instagram Image contest


Disadvantages of a Timeline Contest

  • Cannot collect email addresses
  • Cannot have a Like Gate to ensure entrant Likes your Page
  • The Page cannot re-share the post easily to tell people about the contest multiple times
  • Need to post or link to full rules and the required release of Facebook’s responsibility for the contest, which can be cumbersome to do in a post
  • Without email address, it can be harder to notify the winner

Disadvantages of a Tab App Contest

  • Requires entrants to click from a post to go to the tab
  • Takes more time to setup, add graphics, and customize to deploy
  • Typically is going to cost at least $19-$30+ dollars to run
  • Pages must use a Smart URL to overcome Facebook mobile limitations

That ‘s the low down!  


Can a appetizer meet the needs and goals of Facebook marketers?  It can, depending on the goals!

Do I always need to go for the meatier solution?  Not necessarily.

Here's one idea.  First, run a Timeline Contest to generate some buzz on your page, alluding to "more to come".  This can build engagement and activity on the page, giving a boost to the launch of your full-course contest hosted and launched a few days later on a tab!


Any questions or further thoughts?

The TabSite Timeline Contest is a free tool to use.  The  Contest Engagement App  offers a 14 Day Free Trial.

Timeline Contest eBook Guide

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