When it comes to marketing your business with Social Media, Facebook is a place where you absolutely have to make sure you are being represented. With more than a billion users, Facebook is a place you will find a large audience. The potential reach of Facebook is huge thanks to the “share” function and its capabilities. Once you’ve got the ball rolling, you will find that your Facebook community grows the fast and Facebook is a great platform for sharing your content. With all the positives of utilizing Facebook as part of your Social Media marketing campaign, it’s hard to find a drawback…until you try to run a contest, giveaway or promotion, that is. When it comes to Facebook, the ever changing rules and regulations surrounding the governance of your company’s Facebook page makes promoting yourself on this platform a bit more challenging than many other Social Media platforms.
There are a number of hoops to jump through as you promote yourself on Facebook, and the penalties for not complying with Facebook’s sometimes bizarre rules and regulations are steep. Going against the grain, and thumbing your nose at Facebook by not playing by their rules can lead to the embarrassment of having your page shut down. While often, this is a temporary punishment which can be appealed, the appeal process is lengthy and might be quite damaging to your online reputation. You also run the risk of your page being shut down permanently meaning that the audience you spent a considerable time developing is suddenly gone, and you are back at square one. How then, do we work within Facebook’s rules and regulations to promote our pages? Here are some tips:
Running a contest or giveaway on Facebook is an easy way to garner fan engagement. Nothing will bring someone to your Facebook page faster than the promise of getting something for free! The problem with this is that announcing a contest on your Facebook page will get your page removed pretty quickly. There are a number of ways around this, however. The most obvious way to promote your Facebook contest is to use your other Social Media assets like your Twitter account to draw your followers to your Facebook page. Running a contest such as “Once we reach 5,000 ‘likes’ we’ll give away a free pair of shoes to one of our Facebook Fans” can easily be promoted via a few well timed and appropriately hash tagged Twitter posts. Further, this is a great way to bring your Twitter audience to your Facebook page. Once you’ve planted some Facebook seeds within your Twitter audience, you will also want to try a Facebook Page app which will allow you to run a Facebook promotion from your page without really running it from your page. When it comes to Facebook contest apps, however, not all a created equally. For a functional, user-friendly contest app, you’re looking at spending some money. Good Facebook apps generally require skilled programming and good design to pull off, but if you are interested, call Guaranteed SEO and we would be pleased to help. While this seems contrary to the point of Social Media marketing as many view internet marketing as free promotion, this is not the case. Investing money in a well designed and functional Facebook contest app can make all the difference when it comes to the success of your Facebook promotion. Whatever you do, make sure you do not run your contest on your timeline, this is one of Facebook’s biggest no-no’s.
While Facebook is the hub of your promotion or contest, it is important that you specify Facebook is in no way affiliated with the promotion you are running. Without distancing your company from Facebook, you run the risk of ticking the Social Media giant off. It’s important to remember, at all times, Facebook is running the show, not you. When running your Facebook contest or promotion, make sure you stipulate that Facebook is not involved with your company and is not affiliated with your contest or promotion. It is also imperative to specify that any information provided to you is information you are asking for independently and is not information that is being shared with Facebook. While this seems small, it matters a lot to Facebook and the consequences for not following this rule can be harsh.
Creating and maintaining a Facebook page essentially costs you nothing. When it comes to making money with your page, Facebook isn’t willing to let you make money through them without giving them a piece of the pie. For this reason, entry into any Facebook promotion cannot hinge upon the sharing of your content, promotion of your page, or any other action which leads to you directly profiting off of Facebook’s free service. Facebook does offer promotional services, however, this is going to cost you a bit of money. When it comes to the terms of being entered into your Facebook contest or promotion, you are not allowed to ask anything more of your audience than to like a page or check-in to a specific place. For example, if you are promoting a retail store, a user is not required to do anything more than walk into your store, check-in then walk out again to gain entry into your contest. This could mean that the user who wins your Facebook contest did little more than walk into your retail outlet and then walk out again without buying anything. While this might seem like a waste, the benefit here is that their audience has now seen you and knows about your contest. This is marketing and branding and not directly sales. The potential for growth here is boundless, so it is imperative that you not mess it up by breaking this Facebook rule. Further to this rule, and in keeping with Facebook’s wish to be distanced from your promotion, Facebook stipulates that you are not allowed to use any Facebook function as a means of entry. What that means is that a Facebook “like” cannot mean automatic entry into your contest. There are two easy ways around this, the first is to have a function, similar to Facebook’s own ‘like’ function, built into your contest app. The second is to alter the terms of your Facebook contest to be hinged upon your page reaching a certain number of fans meaning that rather than stating “like our page and you’ll be entered to win _____”, your contest will be “Once we reach 5,000 ‘likes’, we’ll give away _____”. When it comes to a “check-in” function to monitor entry into your contest, use Four Square. This free app has great Facebook integration.
This is pretty straight forward – you are not allowed to notify the winner of your Facebook contest through Facebook. That means you are not allowed to send a message, or write a post on the winner’s wall. What you can do, however, is ask the winner for their e-mail address and notify them that way. While running a promotion via Facebook seems convoluted, and maybe a bit cumbersome, the benefit to you is worth all of the hoop jumping you’ll have to do. Make sure you have a careful read through Facebook’s Page Guidelines and have a clear understanding of exactly what they’re asking of you. For more information and some hands on support in conducting your Facebook giveaway, please contact Guaranteed SEO, we’d be happy to handle your Facebook promotion and grow your online audience for you