4 Ways to Boost Your Facebook Engagement With Promotions

social media how toDo you want to boost your Facebook engagement?

Are you wondering if promotions will help?

79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked, so pursuing more fans and deeper engagement with existing fans is a huge priority!

While there are many core methods for increasing engagement such as creating highly shareable content, posting images and videos and posting succinctly at key times—a powerful method is to run promotions.

Promotions have the ability to draw visitors to a Facebook Page, and when used correctly, can be a very valuable tool to accomplish your business’s engagement objectives.

Selecting the Right Type of Promotion for Your Page

A key question when thinking about running a promotion on a Facebook Page is, “Which type of promotion will work best for my goals?”

The answer: It varies. Certain promotion types lend themselves to different objectives. In addition, certain promotions may work better for certain industries.

Below you’ll find an outline of 4 types of Facebook Page promotions and keys for selecting the right type to run on your Facebook Page.

All of the types of promotions mentioned below must use third-party apps displayed on a Facebook Page tab. This is necessary to comply with Facebook’s promotion policy.

#1: Sweepstakes Promotion

A sweepstakes is a chance-based promotion that is simple to set up and allows for easy entry. Visitors typically enter by completing a simple form with fields for their name and email address, and then a winner or winner(s) are drawn randomly after a set date.

As with most promotion apps available for Facebook, there can be a fan- or like-gate image that requires the fan to Like the Page in order to access the entry form.

Pros of using a sweepstakes:

  • Low barrier to entry (simple form completion)
  • Can work for a wide variety of industries
  • Sweepstakes can gather key user information, such as email or location, important for future marketing

Cons:

  • Because little is required for entry, there may be more entries that are outside of the target customer profile
  • Users can potentially enter more than once by using different email addresses
  • There is often limited additional engagement tied to the promotion once a visitor has entered
mari smith sample

Engagement increases with a Sweepstakes App requiring sharing before entry.

A sweepstakes may limit each user to one entry or allow users to enter repeatedly. Allowing users to enter daily enables more potential interaction with visitors, because it brings them back to the Facebook Page more often.

A sweepstakes promotion can work for a wide variety of businesses, including B2B and B2C. Sweepstakes help draw fans in to enter, though the engagement potential is not as high as some other promotion types.

Tips:

  • Keep the entry form simple—too many fields and fewer will enter.
  • Make the prize relevant to your company. An iPad is not very relevant if you own a craft store.
  • Ensure the prize value equates to your product. A $30 gift card toward $600 watches is not an overwhelming deal, nor do you want to offer a $1500 Macbook Pro for your women’s clothing boutique promotion. The prize doesn’t relate to the business, nor does the value equate to the low barrier to entry.

#2: Deals and Offers

A deal or offer is another promotion option that typically has a low barrier to entry. Often a deal or offer app on a Facebook Page asks the user to do something, and when the task is completed, the user is granted access to the deal.

For example, “Like our Page to access this 40% off coupon” is one method commonly employed on deal tabs. Other app offerings include sharing a post on your Facebook news feed or sharing a post on a friend’s timeline in order to access the deal. Like sweepstakes, deals are useful because (1) users respond to deal offers and (2) a task helpful to the company (more Page likes or spreading the deal message) is accomplished as well.

Pros of using a deal:

  • Low barrier to entry (simple task completion)
  • Expands reach to additional social networks—This can help the Page reach a wider audience or another type of audience than currently reached
  • Can work for a wide variety of industries
  • Pages get something of value in return, such as further exposure, a like or an email address

Cons:

  • Again, low barrier to entry means those accessing may or may not be your target client
  • Users can potentially enter more than once by using different email addresses
  • There is often limited additional engagement tied to the promotion once a visitor has entered
deal revealed

Deal Apps boost reach by fans needing to share before they get deal access.

Tips:

  • Make it valuable! The deal must be significant enough for the user to feel it’s worthwhile to proceed.
  • Clearly outline the steps involved (such as “Click here and pin this image to Pinterest”).
  • Keep the process simple! If it involves too many steps, more people will bail out on the process.
  • Make it easy to share—deals are often something like “Get 40% off XYZ.” Make it easy and part of the process to encourage social sharing of the deal by those who have accessed it. This is how reach is expanded!

#3: Contest Promotion

A contest is different than a sweepstakes or a deal offer. This type of promotion requires more from the user and can be called a “skill-based promotion.” It typically requires more effort and skill for the entry submission, such as taking and submitting a photo entry that meets certain requirements.

Instead of a random drawing to determine the winner, contests typically involve voting by the public or judging by a select group in order to determine the winner. While photo contests are the most common type routinely used, there are other types of contests such as video entry, essay or caption.

Pros of using a contest:

  • More opportunity for engagement—Entrants are one segment of those participating, while those coming to view entries and vote are another participating group. Together, this can add more overall reach, exposure and interaction to the Page.
  • Entrants are motivated to share with friends—Entrants want votes, so they extend the reach of the contest to their network of friends asking for their vote. This social sharing by entrants to their friends increases the overall reach of the contest. In addition, this friend-to-friend introduction of a Page by an entrant can be a positive referral mechanism. It can add trust and credibility to the Page and its products and services via the friend’s invitation to vote.
  • Better qualifying of entrants—Entrants are meeting a certain criterion for entry, which is a sifting mechanism. It adds a barrier to those who simply enter any promotion because it’s easy and they might win, regardless of their interest in the company providing the offer. Depending on the guidelines needed to enter, this process can serve to qualify or pre-screen entrants as potential customers. If they need to submit a picture of themselves with your product in the picture, this is one level of qualification and connection with your product. An even greater level of sifting would be if the entrant needs to produce a 30-second promotional video related to your service/product and why they should win. This would require entrants to become familiar with your product to submit a relevant entry.
  • Access to user-generated content—If the promotional rules outline that the entries can be used by the company holding the contest, this can be an excellent method to gather user-generated content relevant to your brand that can be used in future social marketing.

Cons:

  • The barrier to entry can be too high, and thus participation lower—The converse of the benefit of the contest can also be a detriment. If the specifics of a photo entry take too much time for not enough reward, then people just pass the contest by. Finding the sweet spot for your audience is key.
  • Attempts can be made to manipulate fan voting—Yes, there are those folks out there who will try to buy votes or spam users for votes. Using a contest app that allows the manager to set limits on voting per fan and that tracks the voter IP address can be helpful in ensuring a fair contest.
  • Fan voting does not mean the best entry necessarily wins—An entrant may barely meet the requirements for submission but may be phenomenal at getting the word out and drumming up voters for their entry. This can have a negative impact on the overall promotion and may cause negative comments, exactly opposite of the type of engagement you hope for!

A contest offers more potential for engagement simply in terms of having two ways to participate—both as entrants and voters. The motivation for entrants to spread the word to their network to come and vote for their entry adds to the engagement potential.

Another option for a contest is to consider a two-stage process. This adds the benefit of an initial round of voting, then the need to return to view and vote again in the final round.

photo contest

Contest entrants become social catalysts driving friends and followers to the promotion in their quest for votes.

Contests may not work for some industries and types of businesses that simply do not lend themselves to this type of engagement. For instance, it might be a stretch for a medical practitioner to run a photo contest due to privacy concerns or relevance.

Tips:

  • Be very clear about what the entrant needs to submit to meet your entry criteria.
  • The prize value should be in line with the time commitment the entrant will invest in order to develop the entry. (A $30 gift certificate won’t cut it for being required to create a 30-second video trailer that involves actors and editing!)
  • Keep the contest moving! Do not run a month-long contest. The attention span of a Facebook user is not geared toward keeping track of an entry and voting once a day for 30 days. A better span is 5-7 days, or perhaps 10 days if it’s a two-stage contest (initial and final rounds).
  • Set voting to once per day. This encourages entrants to get voters to come back each day, a perfect situation for your Page!

#4: Multi-Network Social Promotion

A multi-network social promotion is an additional promotion option that involves Facebook and at least one other social media platform such as Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Similar to a deal, the users are asked to accomplish a task and upon completion, they are given access to the deal offer.

The difference is that the task is centered around doing something on different social platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram. In this case, the user comes to the Facebook Page and the promotion is outlined. The user then accomplishes the task such as adding an image to Instagram with a certain hashtag or using an integrated pin tool to pin an image to Pinterest.

In some cases, the images can be pulled in from the other social network to appear on the tab or the image is simply on the other network. The result is that a user has to engage with a brand’s Facebook Page and simultaneously extend information about the brand to another social network.

Pros of using a multi-network social promo:

  • Extend the brand to more social locations—This type of promotion can work well for a company whose audience is active on more than one social network or for a company seeking to continue gaining Facebook traction along with expanding and enlarging visibility on Pinterest, for example.
  • Image-driven—Images are powerful in social media and a multi-network social promo using images can capture the attention of viewers and invite engagement such as sharing and comments, all of which can serve to boost visibility and drive referral traffic.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of businesses—A multi-network social promotion can work for apparel firms to credit unions, venues to radio stations and more.

Cons:

  • Narrower audience—To be relevant, your audience must be users of both Facebook and the other social platform. This can decrease the number of users who participate.
  • Not as easy to complete—The pinning, tweeting or posting could require a login to the second social network, which can increase the dropout rate.
  • Limitations of the social network—In the case of a Facebook and Instagram multi-network promotion, the fact that Instagram does not allow desktop users to load photos can cause higher abandon rates. Users on a PC would have to switch to their mobile device to load the image to Instagram. Anything not easy can decrease follow-through.
multi network promo example

Multi-Network Social Promo Example using Facebook and Pinterest together.

Tips:

  • Know your target audience—Is your target audience using Pinterest or Instagram already? If so, a multi-network social promotion could work well.
  • Ensure the process is seamless—To ensure the highest completion rates, make sure the promotion is doing the work for the user and providing the best possible experience. Apps integrating OAuth for login or other integrated means to access the second service within the process (no ”open in new browser window” issues) are critical. Users must come, understand and be able to complete in short order.
  • Be active on the second social network! Make sure your company has a solid presence on the second social network. It is of less value if you want users to tweet or pin if your brand isn’t also there to follow!

Conclusion

Promotions for Facebook Pages offer the power to draw fans in, boost page engagement and accomplish tangible marketing goals such as increasing email list opt-ins. Deals in the form of coupons and discount codes continue to be attractive means to help increase traffic to a Page.

While not an end in themselves, contests and offers can be part of a larger marketing strategy and a key piece of helping a business grow its social community.

What do you think? Have promotions helped your Page? What type of promotion are you thinking about using next? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Mike Gingerich

Mike Gingerich is co-founder of TabSite, a leading Facebook page management software for contests and promotions. He leads the Product Development Team. Follow Mike on Twitter @Mike_Gingerich. Other posts by »




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