Last week, Facebook announced via blog post that it updated its guidelines for running promotions. The most notable change was that pages wanting to run a promotion on the social networking platform no longer have to use a third party app. Business and fan pages are able to collect likes, comments, posts and messages as entries. Facebook likes can now also be used as a voting mechanism for promotions under the new guidelines.
These new, less-restrictive promotions guidelines means business pages who weren’t keen on spending the money or time to source a third party app can now run promotions in their own way directly from their page. Those who will benefit most from the updates are small businesses that can now tabulate promotion results on their own. For extremely large promotions, brands may still find it useful to use third party apps to help accurately count results.
If your business or brand is interested in running a promotion on Facebook without an app, try implementing one of these four kinds of app-free promotions that are now allowed under the site's new guidelines.
1. Collect entries to a contest by having users post a comment on a post. Not only is this a completely free way to collect entries for a contest, it will also increase engagement on that post, ensuring it will appear in more followers’ newsfeeds. One of the ways Facebook’s EdgeRank determines which posts appear in the newsfeed is by the number of likes or comments a post receives. The popularity of one post can also increase your page ranking in general, meaning other posts will have a better chance of appearing in newsfeeds, as well.
One example of this type of promotion would be to have a “caption contest” for a photo. Post a candid photo, the funnier the better, that relates to your brand. Then, tell followers that the best caption will win a prize. Keep tabs on the comments for the post and then choose a winner from those comments.
2. Collect entries to a contest by likes on a post. Facebook’s EdgeRank also takes into consideration the likes on a post when it determines what makes it into the newsfeed. For this reason, likes should be part of your promotions strategy.
The advantage to collecting likes over comments is that the effort required of a follower is minimal. It takes thought and effort to come up with a comment for a post; plus you often get a notification every time someone comments on that same post after you. This can scare away many followers. Liking a post, however, requires little thought and doesn’t follow with a bunch of annoying notifications from other contest entries.
To inspire likes on a post using a promotion, all you have to do is ask. For example, ask a question like, “Who is glad it is finally the weekend? Like if you agree and you could win a prize.” You will increase engagement from followers quickly with this tactic.
3. Collect entries by having users message your page. This tactic for collecting entries for a promotion is a bit more involved for users. Because of this you may not receive as many entries, but the quality of the entries will be much higher. The best part about requiring followers to send a message is that once a user enters, they can no longer change their entry. With comments and likes, users can delete comments or “unlike” something and mess with the results. Once you receive a message from a follower, they cannot take it back or change
This tactic will not increase your EdgeRank, but it could give you some amazing content to share. For example, you could run a contest where you asked followers to share their favorite experience with your product. After you post, watch the entries roll in and eventually you will have a great list of customer testimonials to use in marketing materials. Just be certain to post a disclaimer in your contest rules that says all entries could be used for marketing or promotional purposes.
4. Use likes as a voting mechanism. This tactic ties into No. 2, but in a different way. Instead of trying to win a prize, your followers are giving you feedback to shape your brand.
For example, your brand could run a promotion to help choose a new logo. You would announce to followers that you have narrowed the choices down to four options. Ask followers to vote on their favorite logo by liking the photo on your page, and then declare the logo with the most likes the winner. The reason this type of promotion is effective is because it involves fans in your brand decisions. Consumers want to have a personal connection to the brands in their life, and feeling like they were part of an important decision like a logo change helps to build those type of relationships.
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