This is a guest blog post by Natasha Attal, a social media marketer from Composure Marketing. She helps businesses expand their presence online and writes on the Composure blog where she discusses social media news and optimizing content for effective outreach. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and via email at Natasha@composuremarketing.com if you want to get in touch with her directly.
Today is the second part in our four post series on custom Facebook tabs and how to effectively use them. As mentioned in last week’s article, there are more than 500 million people on Facebook and reaching out to target audiences through custom tabs is the equivalent of creating a mini website for your brand. Promotions are being used to incentivize people to “like” pages and connect more with brands on Facebook.
However, many companies don’t realize that in their quest to engage with customers through promotions, they may be breaking Facebook guidelines. In this article we will take a look at the rules of Facebook promotions, the proper ways to launch giveaways/promotions and tips on running a successful promotion. Just like you would make sure to be a well-mannered guest at a cocktail party, we will show you the do’s and don’ts for Facebook promotions. Facebook can be great at getting exposure but make one bad move and they can shut your party down in no time!
Facebook Promotion Guidelines:
If you haven’t already taken a look at the promotions guidelines before running a contest/giveaway/promotion, I suggest you visit their website to better understand all the information you will need to follow the rules from A to Z. Some key guidelines to keep in mind include the following:
No Status Updates, Commenting on Walls or Uploading Photos to Enter:
Section [4.2] In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on a profile or Page, or uploading a photo. You may, however, condition entry to the promotion upon becoming a fan of a Page.
You CAN have people submit photos or stories to enter a promotion but this has to take place on a third party application within Facebook (not through your profile or Page wall).
Don’t Mention Facebook as a Partner
Section [3.3] You will include the following language in a clear and conspicuous manner adjacent to any promotion entry field: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclose any way that you plan to use the user's information].
While marketing your promotion, in no way should you name Facebook as a partner or sponsor unless you have consent from Facebook.
Products That Are Prohibited
Section [2.4] The promotion’s objective is to promote any of the following product categories: gambling, tobacco, firearms, prescription drugs, or gasoline;
Section [2.5] The prize or any part of the prize includes alcohol, tobacco, dairy, firearms, or prescription drugs;
Dairy?? That is an interesting choice to go along with alcohol, weapons and drugs. Does not seem to be quite as harmful but US state laws prevent these items from being prizes. Keep in mind that you can promote items in Section 2.5 but you can’t offer them as prizes.
The full list of restrictions can be found in Section 2 of the guidelines.
Running Your Promotion on Facebook:
Most of the rules Facebook has set forth are reasonable although the one in Section 4.2 makes it difficult for brands to launch giveaways/promotions without using 3rd party applications. However, you do not need to use a 3rd party application to run a promotion on Facebook although sometimes it seems that is the best way to work around their guidelines. Keep the following restrictions in mind when doing a promotion without a 3rd party app:
1) There is a 10k /month minimum ad spend to run a promotion on Facebook.
2) You cannot condition entry or contact winners using Facebook communication channels (Likes, Messages, Comments, etc).
3) Most people accept entries by creating a custom tab where people go to enter their email address. This allows brands to track entries and receive contact information so they can reach out to the winner in a single step.
*Should you use choose to use a 3rd party application to help with your promotion, we suggest using Wildfire App or North Social. Wildfire works with agencies, bloggers, non-profits, small and large businesses to publish promotions.
Running a Successful Promotion:
K-I-S-S (Keep It Simple, Stupid) – The KISS principle is one that should always go at the top of a brands’ list when trying to engage with customers on Facebook. When creating a Facebook promotion you want to keep it as easy as possible for users to enter. One example is to just have people give their email address to enter – this does not require a lot of work for your fan and will give them something in exchange for their contact information. Pirates Booty offers fans a $1 off coupon on any bag of Pirates Booty or Potato Flyers if you give them your email address. What I love about this promotion is that you can choose to submit your entry and share with your friends or you can submit without sharing. Most people will typically just click the Submit button but it’s nice that they give you that option.
Definitive Incentive – In addition to using the KISS principle, brands should make the incentive to enter clear to the participants of the promotion. On Oprah Winfrey’s fan page she has a No phone Zone pledge which promotes safety while driving. She asks you to sign a pledge that you won’t text or call while driving and once you click on the image you can view how many other people have entered the pledge. People know that by signing this pledge they are taking part in the movement to stop “distracted driving.” Once you sign the pledge, a video appears where Oprah thanks you for making this commitment.
Incorporate Sharing – Make the experience of entering the promotion fun for your fans and give them a reason to share it with their friends online so that your contest goes viral. Ramm Fence, a company that sells horse fencing and stalls, ran a promotion through Wildfire where people had to submit photos and get their friends to vote for that photo in order to win prizes worth up to $350 in fencing materials. In addition to the voting, they also give you the option to leave a message with why you are voting for that particular photo. They will be choosing 5 winners for this contest which is a great incentive since there won’t only be a single winner.
**What are the best promotions you have seen from both small and large companies on Facebook? Also, how big should the “prize” be for you to be willing to give your contact information to a company? Let us know in the comments.