Unless you know very little about Facebook or have been in hibernation throughout the month of August, you will probably have become aware of significant changes that have been made by Facebook with regard to how you set up Promotions or Contests.
You may also be wondering whether this has good or bad implications for any campaigns you may have been planning to run. Hopefully this article will help you decide!
In fact, the short answer is maybe a little of both BUT be reassured, the changes may have a lot more advantages then downsides
But let’s just take a step back for a moment – what are the key changes in a nutshell ?
Well basically Facebook have just removed the previous need to run all competitions / promotions with a 3rd part App. arguing that this will ‘make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook.’
Facebook have also made it possible to run your promotions directly in your Timeline.
So what does this mean?
Well when it comes to a business putting out competition and then collecting people’s entries, it can now do this through:
- Counting Facebook ‘Likes’ as if they were votes.
- Allowing users to post or message directly onto a page and then counting this as an entry.
So as we said above – while you CAN still choose to use a 3rd party app to run a competition it is now NO LONGER a requirement. In fact a simple status update, photo or message can now act as an entry into your competition.
So what are the advantages?
- As a small businesses you can get far more rapid engagement from your fans – with fewer hoops and technical wizardry to concern yourself with.
- You can run ( providing you plan them properly) a more rapid sequence of competitions and promotions than perhaps you were able to previously
- Many businesses were doing similar things already – by running things such as: ‘like this comment or photo to win’
- It’s not necessarily about how you collect the ‘likes’ or comments anyway – but more about how you engage with these potential prospects afterwards, through such things as e-mail marketing, driving them to an external opt-in page, driving them to another offer / service etc that makes the difference to your business.
- Less ‘up-front’ cost potentially – as you don’t necessarily have to pay for a specialist app. any longer.
And the disadvantages?
- This could be very time-consuming given that now you may have to manually moderate, check and choose your winners yourself – rather than let an app do the ‘heavy-lifting’
- You will still need to be mindful of local and national laws within the geography / country in which you are operating your competition.
- It may be harder to collect valuable marketing data ( such as e-mail addresses etc. ) when all you have to go on are registered ‘likes’ or comments
- You may run the risk of being seen as a ‘spammer’ which may lead to complaints and even your Facebook account being suspended.
So what do YOU need to do?
If you ARE looking to run promotions or competitions under Facebook’s new rules – and after you have considered the advantages & disadvantages listed above you will need to consider the following:
- There are almost certainly going to be more competitions being run than by your competitors than ever before – so any prize you now offer will need to be attractive and better thought through than perhaps what you may have chosen to offer previously.
- Any prizes must also not only fit you’re your promotional budget but now perhaps even more than ever be very specific to your particular niche, so that they will stand out against all of the other competitions being run out there.
- You’ll also need to consider whether some of the tasks that would previously have been automated when using an app, will need a new process that you have to create. EG data collection etc. – and if so, how are you going to bridge that gap.
So in SUMMARY?
The changes probably do give you some extra flexibility and allow you to engage even more readily with your audience than before. As long as you remain mindful of the type and quality of your promotion and ensure that you do find properly follow up afterwards, then I am sure that all will continue to be well in the exciting environment that is Facebook Marketing