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Running Promotions on Facebook Just Got Easier or Did It?

Facebook recently changed the long standing policy that required page owners to use 3rd party apps to run contest and sweepstake type promotions.

Facebook contests

Image source: Woobox

This change allows page owners to run such contests directly on their wall and use likes and comments on the post as entries rather than a separate tab from an app. (Does not apply to personal profiles.)

The fact is that while running contests directly on the wall was a violation, Facebook didn’t seem to police this and many people abused it. So the change simply makes it legal.

This change in the terms will likely launch an onslaught of contests right there front and center on the wall but I’m not so sure it should.

I think Facebook promotions can be very powerful for just about any type of business in terms of generating attention and even leads when done right, but most wall type promotions I’ve seen are poorly done and don’t generate much but a bunch of meaningless likes.

To run an effective promotion on Facebook I contend that tools like Shortstack, Woobox and Offerpop have a lot to offer over the self run wall contest.

Below are a couple reason why I believe Facebook contests should still be deployed with an app.

Promotions should be branded

The apps mentioned above all allow you to create branded graphics to go along with your promotion pages (description, entry form and sharing dialogs) and make it much easier to keep your promotion in sync with your brand. Now that all comers can run wall based contests I’m betting you’ll see some poorly thought out spammy looking promotions that may make this type of promotion less than appealing to businesses wanting to stand out.

Promotions should be well run

Even though you can run a promotion on your wall there are still rules and practices for running promotions. You still need to manage submissions, get agreement on your terms of service and make sure that participants feel the contest was fair and fun. All of these elements are pre-built in the app platforms and allow you to run a much better promotion. (A poorly managed contest can do serious harm to your brand.)

Promotions should be about email capture

Finally, and for me this is the biggie, in order to make your promotions pay you should be collecting the email addresses of participants rather than attracting random likes. Obviously this means you’ll get fewer participants and that your contest must be more compelling, but email capture tools, sharing and engagement built into apps assure that if you run a great contest you’ll have more to show for it with the ability to continue to communicate with participants after the fact.

Considering a promotion on Facebook? Take a good look at an app to run it all.

Weekend Favs August Thirty One

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr or one that I took out there on the road.

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photo credit: pasma via photopin cc

Good stuff I found this week:

Just Delete Me – a directory of links to delete your account from a variety of web services. Also rates services on how hard the process is.

Shortstack – service allows you to customize your Facebook Page with promotions, contests, videos, custom forms, and more.

26 Marketing Blogs – Impressive post that reveals the “hidden treasures” contained in 26 well known marketing blogs.

How to Guarantee ROI With Social Media Participation

Now that more and more organizations are investing time and money into social media participation, people are looking for ways to measure the return in terms of direct business rather than fans, friends and followers.

But, this seems to be in direct opposition to the common advice offered about social media participation. I mean, everyone knows you can’t sell on Twitter and Facebook.

The fact of the matter is that you can’t really sell anything, anywhere, until you build trust.

If you want to guarantee ROI with your social media participation you must first build trust and then turn trust into sales.

Investing in social media in this manner has a higher cost, but it also brings a measurable, consistent and predictable return when practiced fully.

The social media lead system

Today, smart marketers are using free content as a way to attract fans and followers. Many other are creating and hiding content in an effort to get Facebook and Twitter users to Like their page or submit their email to get to the good stuff.

Facebook Offers

Promoting free content using a Facebook Offer

If you want to generate a far greater return and see the full power in this idea, you must combine these approaches.

The first step in this systematic approach is to create and share valuable content with no gate or requirements. Then you may offer readers that consume this content even more content when they Like your page or visit a landing page to sign up for more updates.

The power behind this 2-step approach is that it not only tempts more people to acquire and interact with your first wave of content, the people that then take your call to action are much more highly qualified as you’ve already built a layer of trust with them before you asked for anything in exchange.

This approaches works in most any social network and is particularly effective using a when enhanced using paid promotion such as Facebook Offers and Sponsored Updates.

Here’s an example campaign

  • Create an eBook with a compelling title and allow people to download it with just a click – no email address, no like, no share.
  • Place a call to action in the eBook that points to a series of video that demonstrate several of the most enticing points from the eBook.
  • Direct eBook readers to “unlock” access to the videos by Liking your gated Facebook page using a tool such as ShortStack, sharing a page in social media using Viral Lock or simply visiting a landing page to exchange their email to gain access.
  • Amplify access to the original eBook in all social channels
  • To increase participation, invest in advertising to promote your original eBook with things such as Facebook Offers and Google AdWords

This trust building system borrows from proven business building tactics and brings them directly to the growing world of social media marketing.

The 2-step approach allows you to more easily build trust and capture highly targeted leads from your social media participation. With these elements in play you can guarantee a return on your social media investment.

Weekend Favs December Fifteen

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr or one that I took out there on the road.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Good stuff I found this week:

Statigram – Powerful set of Instagram management tools

Shortstack – Use ShortStack to create Facebook sweepstakes and promotions, feature sharable virtual gifts, and run voting competitions

Google Maps for iPhone – With the failure of Apple’s mapping initiative, Google Maps becomes one of the most popular iPhone Apps.