Facebook Competitions: to do or not to do

You have this AMAZING idea of hosting a Promotion or Giveaway on your Facebook page to boost fans, brand awareness & hopefully in the long run sales, but then FACEBOOK put up a roadblock and tell you that you cant run one on your page UNLESS its done on their terms. If its not done on their terms your page could be DELETED and you would have to start all over again.

BUT! Just because there are rules doesn’t mean, you CANT run one. In fact many people have been a little disheartened by the system. TRUTH is, you can run a promotion, completion or giveaway for your Business it just needs to be done in a certain way with particular guidelines followed.

Ive just read a great article by Open Forum which sums up the reason why a business should consider a promotion. Four Reasons why Contests should be run:

1. Contests are a great tool for building your fan base

2. Contests enable you to engage your audience

3. Contests are a rich source of data

4. Contests empower consumers to do your marketing for you

http://www.openforum.com/articles/4-reasons-why-contests-should-be-part-of-your-marketing-strategy

A promotion is one of the easiest, most time & cost effective forms of promotion, especially on Facebook where you don’t need to go to the extent of printing flyers and promotional material. By not running a promotion, because of the retraints put on us, we are missing out on amazing opportunity for growth.

How many times a year should you host a promotion? Well its really up to you, but put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. If a business has sales all the time, they don’t grab your attention after a while. They know what to expect, they just wait for the next sale if they don’t have the money now. So my suggestion is, plan for 2 major promotions a year in your quietest times, talk it up for a month before you start, and do a BIG promotional push for the length of the promotion (something like 3-6 weeks). Make sure the prize is of a decent value and something

Karen from @build a little Biz has written a great post on the Cans and Cants of Facebook. If you haven’t read this, I totally recommend that you do.

The basics are that you MUST use a 3RD PARTY APPLICATION approved by Facebook, to run your competition. It cannot be run ion your wall, or in your photo albums it must be run in this way. Here’s a few to check out:

Wildfire

Fanpage Promotions

Yes you may need to pay but isn’t $15 or even a few hundred dollars money well spent? j

So there are limitations in what you can and cant do, but don’t let that stop you! Facebook is a FREE Platform that we are using for Business, sometimes I think we’re a little too hard on them! They are just trying to do whats best for the overall community of over 50 Billion users. When you think about it every Company that offers a platform for Business has terms and conditions. All we need to do is adjust our ideas to suit what we CAN do, and not be put off by what we CANT do!