Facebook has long made running contests using their social network difficult because of strict regulations that prevented page owners from running these contests directly on their page. Even though Facebook didn't seem to enforce these rules as often as one would think, I have heard of a few instances where pages had been shut down temporarily and permanently as a result.
Thankfully now, though, Facebook has lightened up on these rules to make giveaways and promotions easier for Facebook page owners. You can now use the Facebook Wall to hold a contest and do not necessarily need to use 3rd-party app software as required before, which is great news for us marketers & business owners.
Even though performing LIKE and SHARE contests is easy, though, there are still quite a few advantages to using 3rd-party app software to host your promotions. I've listed a few below:
- Privacy Settings - When executing a contest on the Facebook wall, some companies just ask their fans to "SHARE this post for a chance to win...". Because of most users' privacy settings within Facebook, page admins will not be able to see ALL of the Facebook fans who actually shared the photo. So when running a promotion like this, be sure to ask the fans to LIKE the post as well so that you can fairly enter all participants.
- Building Your Database - With most 3rd-party app software, a database of information is already provided through the app that allows you to record all contest entries along with valuable information such as full name, email address, mailing address, phone number, job occupation, etc. Having this information allows you to build your business' database in ways that a simple LIKE and SHARE contest would not.
- Organization - Using a 3rd-party app for your Facebook contest will help you to keep your submissions organized and in one place. If using a LIKE and SHARE contest, it may be difficult to tell who has entered the promotion successfully and if the submission was before/after the contest deadline. This method also makes photo contests much more difficult.
- Longevity of your Campaign - While running a contest or giveaway on your Facebook wall may create a boost in virality, site traffic and brand awareness, it can also die as quickly as it began. Facebook posts generally only "live" within the Facebook news feed for a short few hours. If you create a LIKE and SHARE contest that is not appealing to your fans, then it may not attract as much activity as you had planned, which will leave you with an unsuccessful promotion. Creating a long-term contest via a 3rd-party app (with concrete rules and dates of eligibility) will allow you to house the contest within Facebook where your fans can always have access. This method also allows you to easily cross-promote the contest via other channels as well.
Both types of Facebook contests can prove successful for your business but require a consistent and well-thought out strategy. Try one of each type of Facebook contest to see which works best for you!
Have you seen any awesome Facebook promotions or giveaways recently? Type in the link of the contest in the comments below to share with us!
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