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6 Facebook Timeline Contest Tools: An Opinionated Review

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Within mere days of Facebook relaxing its fan page contest rules, six companies came to market with tools to manage timeline promotions. How do these new products stack up?

There was only one way to find out. I held my first Facebook timeline contest and ran it through all six contest tools. Let me guide you through the tools as I experienced them.

My first stop was Shortstack, a product I’ve lovingly used for years. Its “Contest/Like Importer” was available to me as a paid subscriber of its services. (The importer is currently not available to Shortstack users with a free plan.)

I simply picked the fan page and post that hosted the contest then decided what data from the post I’d like to be downloaded. For example, if I had a contest that required an entrant to “Like” a post, I could tell Shortstack to just give me a download of the likes of that post. (My contest was a “leave a comment” type, so I got the tool to just download the comments.) This data download feature is handy if you need to sort entrants, check for duplicate entries, or share the entries with your colleagues.

If you’re stuck on whom to pick as a winner — or you’ve promised entrants that a winner will be chosen at random — you can have Shortstack pick a name out of a digital hat by choosing its “pick random winner” button.

It wasn’t the right time for me to think about a winner — so off I went to tool number two: Tabsite. The Timeline Contest App is available with basic functionality to folks like me who have a free plan. (More options are given to those who have paid plans.)

The download process is somewhat similar to what I’d just seen earlier with Shortstack, but what caught my eye here was Tabsite’s ability to create the contest post directly from its Website.

I then hit Woobox, a company like Shortstack and Tabsite that offers all sorts of neat features for Facebook pages. The good news: Woobox offered a downloadable list of contest entrants to both paid and free users. The not-so-good news: the contest functionality was not as intuitive as the ones offered by Shortstack and Tabsite. Truth be told, I couldn’t figure out how to use the tool without constantly referring to the directions.

Needing something easier, I moved on to Contest Capture, a free tool created by EdgeRank Checker. It provided a simple download of entrants’ likes and comments and didn’t require me to sign up for EdgeRank Checker in order to use the tool (although it did ask for my Facebook credentials).

The final two tools in my research were the easiest to use. The first of the two was the free “Facebook Flash Giveaway” offering from Rafflecopter, an app I typically associate with blog contests. The Flash Giveaway didn’t offer a download of folks who’d liked or commented on my contest post. The focus on this tool was simply to pick a winner at random.

Fanpage Karma’s “Good Luck Fairy” was run on a similar premise — it waved a wand and chose a winner at random.

The “Good Luck Fairy” gets a thumbs up for being the option out of all six tools that didn’t require access to my Facebook account. All I had to do was paste the URL of my contest post and click “Identify winners.”

While I like the simplicity of the tools from Rafflecopter and Fanpage Karma, I recommend an old standby, Random.org, to select a random number. Not only can you use it for Facebook timeline contests, but you can pull it up for blog giveaways, door prizes at speaking engagements, or any occasion when you need to choose a number without bias.

So which tool should you use? If you less than a handful of entries, a simple option like Contest Capture, Rafflecopter, or Fanpage Karma might work just fine. Photo contests or general promotions with a hearty amount of entries might fare better with the more sophisticated tools (Shortstack, Tabsite, Woobox).

Use this tool comparison chart to examine other factors before you run your next Facebook timeline contest.

Facebook Timeline Contest Comparison Chart

Which tool seems best suited for you?

Headline photo credit: iStockphoto

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  1. Appreciate the inclusion of TabSite’s features in the review Lisa!

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Why of course, Mike! Like I mentioned in the post, I liked how it integrated timeline contest building with contest management. Well done!

  2. Hi Lisa, thank you for including ShortStack in your review; we are so happy to hear that you’ve “lovingly used us for years” and we’re sending love back to you through the interwebz!

    By the way, if there are ever any features you wish we offered please do let us know because we constantly add stuff that our users ask for ;). Happy Wednesday and thanks again.

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Thanks, Dana. I noticed that you’ve added the kinda like-gate feature today. Sweet!

  3. Hey Lisa, Great post! Thanks for testing all these for us and creating the cool & handy info-graphic that’s so clear (pinned!) Going to share this a few other places. ~ Kristy

    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Many thanks, Kristy. I hope that others can learn from my testing — so share on!

  4. Hi Lisa,

    many thanks for including Fanpage Karma! :)
    Just wanted to mention that there is an Excel-export feature. It’s a bit further down and maybe not prominent enough ;)

    Best regards from Berlin


    • Lisa Kalner Williams

      Thanks for the info, Stephan! I just noticed it beneath the fold. Any possibility of making it a button or having a call to action like “Download all participants?” or “Download as Excel?”

  5. Hey Lisa,
    thanks for including Fanpage Karma :)

    We really appreciate your comments and are happy, that you recommended us as a simple and fast solution for picking winners.


  6. Hi All

    There’s also this one, according to my testings, it’s the easiest and the most precise one : https://fast-contest.com/en/concours-timeline/

    it’s got it all :
    - easy set up
    - full participant export
    - 3 types of winner selection and automatic random draw from backoffice
    - statistics

    Other contests types are also quite cool on this plateform.

    Timeline contest is enterely free by the way, and all contests allow for unlimited number of fans.

    Hope this helps ;)


    Johnny !

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