It used to be a real hassle to run a promotion or promote a contest on Facebook. In fact, they were much less than cordial if they caught us trying to do so on what was then called our Walls. They always caught us. The last year and a half has seen massive changes in marketing that include heavy doses of Social Media stratagem. This has forced Facebook to rethink their “promotions must be through apps” policy. It is now easier than ever to run promotions and contests on our “Timelines.”
- We may now use our timelines as entries into a promotion. People may now enter a promotion on our walls… ah… excuse, our timelines. We can even use likes as entries. We just have to adhere to certain guidelines when we do so.
- We cannot ask someone to repost our promotions on their walls
- We cannot ask anyone to tag a photo or other image (Unless that person is actually in the photo or image in question)
- We must post a set of guidelines or rules for those entering to follow and clearly define our promotion parameters for all to see
This is not that bad considering the alternative of having to purchase an app or download a free app to run promotions on Facebook. On the other hand, running a timeline promotion is a marketing nightmare. If your goal is to collect data, you are pretty much out of luck. With that said, here are five tips for running a straight, Facebook promotion.
1. Think it through
Before you set a timeline promotion up on your Business Page, think it through. Try to be prepared for the fallout of your actions.
- How many participants do you expect?
- How hard will it be to keep track of if the participation is great?
- Is your winning selection process valid and beyond reproach?
- Is the value of the prize enough to generate the type of response for which you are hope?
2. Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best
If you are giving away an Alaskan Cruise… prepare for trouble. The more valuable your prize, the more scrutiny you will receive from other participants and Facebook itself. Unless you have a clear-cut way to choose a winner and evaluate each entry to ensure no Tom Foolery, you could have a huge and disastrous debate as to the handling and voracity of the winning entry as well as your methods. Keep your prize proportionate to the amount of time you have to spend, how much help you have to follow through, and how much ground you will have to defend should things go awry.
3. Post Your Process
When running a straight timeline promotion, make sure you are very clear about not only the rules, but also how you intend to enforce them. Carefully cover in writing for the entire world to see how you intend to choose a winner, screen the entries, and all the rules that must be followed to qualify for the promotion successfully. Diligence and details pay dividends in Facebook promotions. If your sole purpose is to collect data, you would be better off with an app that specializes in Facebook promotions.
4. People Cheat… Be Prepared
Take cheating seriously. Even if you are only giving away a flyswatter with a hole in it, there are people out there that will do anything for an edge. Before you begin, lay out some type of plan for catching cheaters and know in advance how you will handle it. Make sure you include this information when you post the rules to avoid any surprises.
5. Understand and Follow all of the Facebook Rules
Sure, Facebook has loosened the purse strings a little bit. That does not mean that they are prepared to look the other way. Anyone who has been with Facebook for more than a minute knows that if there is one thing Facebook is good at, it is covering its legal butt. Post these Facebook rules and guidelines somewhere in yours to help cover yours.
Be sure to follow any state and local guidelines so do your homework carefully. Know what you are getting into because playing catch-up will be next to impossible.
Run a Tight Ship
If you run a tight Facebook timeline promotion, follow all of the rules set forth by Facebook. You should be able to pull a good promotion off with little or no trouble depending upon the value of your prize and how prepared you are.
Use Apps for Marketing Promotions
A timeline promotion is a great way to please your current customer base and increase your brand awareness, but little else. If you want to collect data for an email list or other marketing purpose, you are better off with an app that is made for such… like Pagemodo.com or Grosocial.com. If your goal is to collect marketing data, you simply have to have an app to pull it off.