In something of a shock change to the way businesses were required to host contests on Facebook, the social network announced in August 2013 that Pages are no longer required to run promotions through apps such as Woobox or Squarespace. Now, brands can launch giveaways right from their Page's Timeline. For smaller businesses, this turnaround - despite the advantages of apps (e.g. e-mail collection, like-gating, better branding opportunities, etc.) - could really help to boost engagement rates among existing fans, at least.
Here is an overview of the new ways that entries can be collected on Page Timelines:
Collect entries via comments or likes
Collecting entries for a contest is now as easy as asking fans to "like" and/or comment on an image, as in the example above. Note that you can't ask users to Share a post as a means of entry, but you can encourage them to Share out of the goodness of their hearts.
Collect entries by having users message the Page
This method obviously requires a bit more effort on the part of your fans (and you'll take a hit engagement-wise through the lack of likes and comments), but it could help weed out those people who aren't genuinely interested, especially if you ask them to message you with something that takes a little bit of effort, like the answer to a riddle, a poem, a positive experience they have had with your business, or something similarly "taxing."
Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
The last major change in accepting valid entries is that likes can now be used as a voting mechanism. In the mock-up above, the bar asks users to vote on new flavours of smoothies throughout the week; the one with the most votes will be added to its menu.
So there you have it. Hopefully this new flexibility will help you and your brand boost engagement rates on your page, and help you on the way to attaining your overall business goals as a result! For more information and for some handy best practices regarding the new contest rules on Facebook, check out the social network's FAQ page here.