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Boost Facebook Engagement w/ Promotions

I am a huge believer in the power of social media but for you to make the most of it requires engagement from your friends/fans.   According to a Mashable article, by 2015 online sales will reach $30 billion annually and half of those sales will be made via social media.  Currently Facebook drives 26% of referral traffic and 89% of agencies use them to advertise their business clients.  The key to your piece of that pie is engaged fans/friends who not only like you page, but also comment on it and share your posts/promotions/offers with their friends.  There are several types of Facebook promotions and it’s important to choose the right one for your business and your promotional objectives.  Below is a breakdown of those promotion types from Social Media Examiner.

Sweepstakes Promotions.  Sweepstakes allow visitors to fill out a simple form and then a winner is chosen at random on a specified date.

Pro

  • Simple form means easy entry
  • Works for a variety of industries
  • Can gather user information such as email address or location which can be tremendously helpful for future marketing campaigns
  • Because users can enter more than once, they may return to your fan page more often.

Cons

  • Because little is required for entry, more people outside your target customer profile may enter.
  • Users can potentially enter more than once
  • There is often little additional engagement tied to a Sweepstakes once the visitor enters.

Tips

  • Keep entry forms simple
  • Make the prize relevant to your business.
  • The prize value should be equal to your product.

 

Deals and Offers.  This promotion asks the visitor to do something to receive the offer.  It may be to simply like your Facebook page or share your post in his or her newsfeed.

Pros

  • Engagement is as simple as the Sweepstakes.
  • Expands your reach to other social networks and can help your Page reach a wider audience as well.  Especially if you are asking for Shares.
  • Works with a variety of industries.
  • Pages get something of value in return such as further exposure or email address.

Cons

  • Like Sweepstakes, lower barrier of entry means you are more likely to get attention from people who are not your customer.
  • Users can potentially enter repeatedly using different email addresses.
  • There is limited engagement because once the visitor enters and receive their offer the engagement is complete.

Tips

  • Make your deal valuable enough to incentivize your visitors.
  • Clearly outline the steps involved in receiving and using the deal.
  • Keep the process simple.
  • Make it easy to share by encouraging sharing by those who access it.

 

Contest Promotion.  This type of promotion requires more effort and skill such as submitting a photo for entry that meets your requirements.  As opposed to random drawings or every entry receiving a deal, this requires a winner or winners.  Fan voting is one method of judging that allows two ways to participate, as a contestant or as a judge.

Pros

  • Greater engagement, which ultimately means more reach, exposure and interaction on the Page.
  • When visitors enter a contest they are more likely to share with friends.
  • By requiring certain criteria for entry you are better qualifying your visitors as potential customers.
  • Access to user-generated content, which can potentially be used in future social marketing.

Cons

  • The barrier to entry can be too high which may mean fewer entries.
  • Contestants may try to manipulate fan voting if that is how the winner is chosen.
  • Fan voting does not necessarily mean the best entry wins.

Tips

  • Be very clear about the rules for submitting.
  • The prize value should be in line with the time commitment the entrant will invest in creating their entry.
  • Keep the contest moving.  5 to 7 days for a contest with one stage and 10 for a contest with an initial and final round.
  • Set voting to once a day so that visitors can come back everyday to vote again for their favorites.

 

Multi-Network Social Promotion.  This type of promotion combines Facebook with another social network such as Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.  Similar to the Deal, users must accomplish a task to receive an offer.  The difference is the promotion is outlined on Facebook and then the user ads a photo on Instagram with a specific hashtag or uploads an image to Pinterest.

Pros

  • Extends your brand to more social locations.  This can work well for a company whose customers are active on more than one social network.
  • Image-driven.  Images are powerful so if your brand is image driven, capturing engagement by incorporating sites like Instagram and Pinterest can generate a larger buzz.
  • Suitable for a variety of businesses.

Cons

  • You are now looking for a visitor who is also a visitor of the other social network.  This will narrow audience and participation.
  • Not as easy to participate because it requires taking action on another site.
  • Limitations based on other social networks.  Instagram for example will not allow for use on a desktop.

Tips

  • Know your audience and that they are active on multiple social networks.
  • Ensure the process is seamless.  Apps integrating for login or other integrated means to access the second network are critical.  If users have to work to hard they will likely pass.
  • Make sure you are active on that other social network.  If your brand is not on Twitter to be followed, then a user Tweeting about you will

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