Here's a handy tutorial on how to correctly enter any giveaway you encounter -- and increase your chances of winning something great!
Get started: Narrow down the type of giveaway you're trying to enter. Then follow the steps for that type of contest. No two giveaways are the same, so be sure you read the rules carefully before deciding your type.
[Find a specific type quickly: Basic Facebook Giveaway ~ "Perform an Action" Facebook Giveaway ~ Blog/Website Giveaway]
Type 1: Basic Facebook Contest
You’ve seen it more and more often. A business or public entity on Facebook is hosting a giveaway of one of its products or services when a certain number of likes is reached. To enter the giveaway, you must first like the page.
Once you no longer see the like button at the top of the page, you know the like “took” and the page administrators will see you in their list. If you get an error message, try closing Facebook. Then re-launch the site and try again.
Type 2: "Perform An Action" Facebook Contest
There are many different subsets of this giveaway type. No matter which subset of contest you’re trying to enter, you’ll want to start by liking the page. This is always your first step.
Next, determine what action you must perform. The most common are:
1. Go like a different page. Usually, the page you need to like is “tagged” so that you can just click on the name. If you aren’t sure, hover over the name to see if you’re able to click on it. When the page isn’t tagged, there’s usually a link attached to the status. If all else fails, type the page name in the Facebook search bar.
2. Leave a comment on the page wall. In these cases, you should type your comment directly in the “Share” field. Pay special attention to whether the page administrator wants a specific response. For instance, you may need to answer a question, share a testimonial, or upload a photo.
3. Leave a comment on a specific status. This action-based giveaway type can be the trickiest because you have to track down the specific status. Hopefully the page administrator has made it easy for you by linking to the status, but if not — make sure you only post in the correct area.
Tips: Try to find where everyone else is posting. If most statuses have one or two comments and then there’s another with 30 comments, you can safely assume you’ve found the correct one. If you still can’t find the specific status, contact the administrator and let him/her know you’re on the hunt for it.
4. Have the most popular photo. More and more photographers are giving away their services based on how many people like or comment on a specific photo. To enter these contests, you need to upload your photo to the page (unless instructed otherwise).
Once it’s there, tag yourself in the photo, share the URL with your Facebook friends, and otherwise direct your friends to come “like” the photo. The photo with the most likes (or comments — make sure you read the fine print) will win the prize.
Type 3: Blog/Website Contest
For bloggers or those who read blogs often, this giveaway type is the most common. However, Facebookers aren’t always as used to navigating non-Facebook websites. Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Click on the link that leads to the blog or website post that’s hosting the giveaway.
Step 2: Read the giveaway post. This is extremely important because giveaway rules are often woven into the content. Also, you’ll often find that you must perform another action before you’re eligible.
For instance, if the giveaway is for a reviewed item, you may need to go to that product’s website and look around. You may need to go back to Facebook and like something. You may even need to head over to Twitter.
Often, if you do all of these things, you’ll receive extra chances to win — so you don’t want to overlook the fine print.
Step 3: Respond in the comments section. You may read about the giveway on Facebook and post a response there — but it won’t count. You have to leave your comment on the specific giveaway post on the blog or website.
Bonus: If you've read the details on the giveaway post, you may find that you can perform additional steps for extra entries. Be sure you leave one comment per step. If you only leave one comment and group all the actions your performed into that comment, you won't get the credit -- or extra entries -- you've earned.
Bottom line: If there’s anything you should’ve picked up in this guide, it’s that you must read carefully and follow the specific directions given for each individual contest. Just doing that will increase your chances of winning tenfold.