Last week Facebook updated their terms to allow for contests to be executed outside of Applications and on your brand’s Timeline using Likes, Comments, and Messages to enter. Every one-person agency and self-named social media “expert” has been posting and shouting about how this is greatest thing ever and that you should run out and do promotions in this manner as soon as possible. After all, now it’s easy and you don’t need a pesky third-party.
But just because something is easy and you can do it yourself, does that mean it will accomplish a business goal?
(For those self-named social media “experts” and “gurus”, a business goal is something that grown-ups use. It has more to do with revenue than Likes. More on that later…)
Which do you want: more Entrants or more Customers?
Before running out to do the first contest that comes to mind – be aware of a few things. First, by doing a contest via Likes, you’re making winning easier for non-committed consumers to win. These are people who will dog pile onto your contest, maybe win something, but will never be a customer of your brand, store, or business.
Missing in Action: Emails
Second, do you know what your brand page and your local pages will really miss? Your customers’ email addresses! If you start doing promotions only on your Timeline and not using an application, you can’t collect email addresses or other desired data from your fans and customers.
We’re social media focused here at Engage121, BUT we do know the value of a customer’s email address. You still want to be able to collect these for newsletters, announcements, or future plans. What’s the value of a Facebook Like? I don’t know, but it’s less than an email address!
Don’t create temporary Fans
Lastly, by not requiring a Fan-Gated entrance to your app for the contest, you’re diminishing the likelihood of gaining a new Fan. Consumers may Like your status update once to enter the contest but never actual Like your page or engage with you further.
Solution: Let’s do both!
Run your contest as an App and hit your Timeline with it often! Here are four steps to success in the new Facebook dynamic:
1. Run the contest as an Application on your Facebook page. Here’s an awesome example of a successful just-finished contest from our friends at Scooter’s Coffee.
2. Talk about it, share it, and promote it frequently on your Timeline so your fans know it exists.
3. Create good content in the contest: I always recommend against being too self-promotional in your status updates. So the contest itself should be interesting on its own add some value to your fans’ day. If it’s not, then maybe rethink the contest!
4. Advertise: Along with sharing the contest as a status update, think about spending some budget on some well-targeted ads too!