Facebook Promotions: The Contests Are Coming.

It just got a lot easier for brands to create and administer promotions on Facebook.

With the recent update to Facebook’s Pages Terms, brands can now host contests and giveaways through posts directly on their Page Timelines. No more pesky tabs or applications required to host those contest rules! It’s a new opportunity to present users with promotions and giveaways that have minimal barriers to entry.

Breaking Down The Changes
 
Pages can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page directly
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism

But they still can’t:

  • Ask users to share any content to their own timeline, or another timeline, as entry criteria
  • Ask users to tag themselves in content where they aren’t actually depicted (photos OR comments)

Scaling Reach & Engagement

Since hosting a promotion on the Page Timeline doesn’t require people to register or click through to additional pages, brands can expect to see high participation rates. Shares aren’t an action that can be framed as criteria for entry, but all contests should be made shareable by design maximize the potential for earned reach.

That old saying “content is king” holds true here; to really make an impact, brands will need to offer prizes that the audience will actually care about. Use of compelling prizing will be one of the biggest factors in generating engagement, earned reach, and overall awareness.

These prizes don’t have to break the bank, but they should have brand relevance and offer some type of intrigue or emotional value that will make people care. Strong imagery should always be included within promotional posts to grab the audience’s attention and encourage their participation.

From a paid standpoint, Facebook is presenting a straightforward pathway for amplification by: (1) allowing contests and promotions to be hosted through posts and (2) framing basic interaction with those posts (with the exception of shares) as valid entry criteria. The result is that promotional posts can be easily served to a targeted audience as sponsored stories and/or paid posts, where users can opt to participate through an action as simple as a click or comment.

It’s also possible to build contest participation through traffic on external sites; promotional posts can beembedded outside of Facebook to increase participation and awareness. By placing embedded contest posts on partner sites and blogs, brands can make these Facebook-hosted contests work harder for them across the digital landscape.

Keep In Mind

The call to action in promotional posts should always be clear, and language should be concise. To create a good experience for users, brands must adhere to whatever terms and timing they initially specify. Promotional posts should be moderated carefully and attentively to answer potential questions from users and manage spam.

With these revised terms, promotions and giveaways have the potential to be used in a many different ways, like: to reward loyal fans, promote brand advocacy, surprise and delight, or to directly support specific campaigns. Brands should consider what approach makes the most sense for their current business and channel-specific goals, using any available insights to find the best opportunity.

The Contests Are Coming

We can expect to see a moderate surge of giveaways and contests on Facebook in the coming months. The brands that you and your friends end up talking about will be those that offer cool prizing and use a smart media approach that extends outside of Facebook.

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