Promotions on Facebook are a fun and unique way to get the word out about your brand. They allow you to connect with a larger audience that can potentially become customers and loyal fans. They can be an effective method for marketing on Facebook, drive traffic towards the company website, and drive engagement…if done correctly.

Know your Goals

When it comes to running a promotion for your brand, you should always have a set of goals that you want to achieve. Ask yourself what you want to get out of it. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Highlight a new product line? Increase the number of likes on your Facebook page? Everyone has their own goals, but once you know why you’re doing a promotion, you’ll be able to run a more clear and focused contest. You’ll also have a way to measure the success of your promotion.

Learn the Rules

Now that you know what you want to do, hosting a promotion on Facebook seems easy right? Actually, Facebook has their own promotional guidelines in order to host a Facebook sweepstakes or giveaway, and if you don’t follow them you run the risk of having your contest shut down. That’s why it’s very important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the game before you even start: Facebook Promotional Guidelines.

In August, however, Facebook updated their promotional rules. So what did they change? Before, you couldn’t ask users to like or comment on a post to be entered into a promotion. You were also required to host a promotion through a third-party app. Now it is no longer necessary to host a contest via a third-party app. This means that businesses can now run promotions on page timelines and in apps on Facebook. For instance, businesses can now collect entries by having users post or like a page/post and they can now utilize likes as a voting mechanism. These changes offers a lot more flexibility in handling promotions; however, you should still know all the rules.

The Design and Prize

There are four types of promotions that you can run on: Facebook:

  • Sweepstakes
  • Essay
  • Photo
  • Video

Each type of promotion appeals to a different audience so make sure you know who your target audience is. Make the contest fun and creative. Rather than just clicking a like button, allow the participants to express themselves and interact with their friends and community. Just make sure that the design and prize of your promotion is relevant to your brand and message. Offer an attractive and desirable prize. Unless you are Apple, offering an iPad is not a viable prize because it doesn’t promote your brand.

Keep things simple. Make sure the rules, limitations, and deadlines are understandable and not overly complicated. Be up front about them and make them loud and clear. Keep the requirements to a minimum and make it easy to enter. Remember, you want as many participants to take part in your contest, and having them jump through complicated hoops will discourage them from do so. It shouldn’t take any longer than 60 seconds to enter.

Promote and Monitor

Now that you have your Facebook promotion up and running, make sure you cross-promote! Promote across all social media and not just Facebook so that you can generate the most engagement for your promotion. Need to get the word of mouth going? Reach out to already existing fans. Let the contest run for 1 or 2 months so you can get more people to join. Add share buttons to the contest so that fans themselves can share it across multiple social media sites. A successful promotion is when the brand is regularly engaging with its fans. But remember, no one likes a spammer. Listen to comments and feedback. The best kind of contest will be able to provide you with useful customer information. And always follow up with the winner and congratulate them.