Facebook contests are a great way to drive engagement and increase brand visibility, which is why they’ve become a staple for many marketers. Although the social network has strict rules in place, the quick access to more than 1.35 billion active members can prove alluring and successful.

Whether you’re gathering user-generated content or simply rewarding loyal fans, Facebook is often the most obvious and easiest platform on which to host your contest. For more proof or inspiration, here are several recent, successful examples of contests hosted by brands.

1. Eggo

Earlier this year, Eggo announced a contest released in conjunction with International Waffle Day. The 2014 Eggo Your Way Contest asked waffle lovers to submit their own unique waffle-based recipes, taking the traditional breakfast snack beyond just morning meals.

Entrants submitted their best dish through the brand’s Facebook Page and Eggo fans voted for their favorite. The grand prize winner was awarded $10,000, two finalists received $2,500 each, and eight weekly winners were given a year’s supply of Eggo waffles.

Prior to Eggo Your Way, the brand launched the Great Waffle Off. The structure of the contest was pretty similar — although this one specifically targeted moms — with fans submitting their most original waffle recipes along with a photo of their best work. The fan with the best recipe won a cash prize and her recipe became the Page’s cover photo.

The contests were so successful that they’ve become a repeat strategy. Not only did demand from stores exceed expectations, the brand dominated social conversations and was able to reposition itself from a simple breakfast food to a “tasty means of expression.”

2. Dove

Another fantastic example of user-generated content in a contest setting is Dove’s Share Your Beautiful Self promotion. The company found that 82 percent of Canadian women describe themselves as camera-shy and as such, it sprung to action and asked women to step out in front of the lens.

Participants were asked to upload a photo of themselves and a friend, and tell Dove why they think the featured friend is beautiful. The brand then turned each entry into an e-card that could be shared with Facebook friends. The contest has already received hundreds of entries.

As for the winners, they’ll receive a trip for two to Toronto for a weekend of pampering from Dove. They’ll also be featured in a photo shoot and will have their photos shared as part of an upcoming Dove Real Beauty campaign at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Not only does this contest tie in perfectly with Dove’s message, but it also gave fans another reason to connect with and feel empowered by the brand.

3. SportsCenter

In this next example, SportsCenter asked its Facebook fans to rank their favorite “This Is SportsCenter” ads for an hour-long TISC countdown special on ESPN. Through an interactive voting app, fans were able to determine the order of the Top 10 in the show.

The television program drove interest through strategic posts on Facebook and promotional spots on the show. Tt also gave away 20,000 Burger King gift cards to the first fans to rank all 10 videos; all 20,000 were claimed within the first 10 hours of the promotion going live.

It was a huge success and even resulted in a Best Facebook Contest Shorty Award. According to its entry, fans stayed on the voting app an average of four minutes. More than 1.1 million votes were cast on the app, and it resulted in the single biggest week and the two biggest individual days in brand Page history.

These are just a few out of the many successful Facebook contest examples launched by brands. Although these focus heavily on user-generated content, there are other methods you can employ. But before you start structuring your contest or promotion, make sure that you’re up to date on the social network’s rules, restrictions, and best practices.