What To Do (And Not Do) When Running A Facebook Promotion

This was originally posted on Likeable Media’s blog.

There are many strategic reasons for your brand to run promotions on Facebook. You can generate leads and drive sales by collecting customer information and promoting new products. You can engage with customers and delight them by giving away great prizes. You can grow your fan base and increase page visibility online. You can also use promotions to gain user data and insight. I can go on and on for why you should run a promotion but the real question is how do you make it successful. Here’s a list of what to do and what not to do when running a Facebook promotion.

DO use a third party application. In order to run a Facebook promotion that complies with terms of service, you have to administer your promotion through a third party application. Platforms such as Wildfire allow you to create a Facebook tab through their site and administer a legal promotion.   

DON’T administer directly through Facebook. If you are not conducting the promotion through a third party you are in direct violation of Facebook terms of service. Any time when a user can enter your promotion without having to fill out a separate form, you are improperly running the promotion.

DO require a like to enter. Facebook allows for you to “like-gate” your promotions. This is a great way to attract new users to your page and have them like your page. 

DON’T automatically enter someone for liking. Although you can require that a user likes your page before entering a promotion, it can’t end there. Make sure you clearly state that users have to like your page and then continue to enter. Liking the page should be step one. 

DO announce winners in a Facebook post. Although you can’t choose winners through Facebook you can still announce winners on Facebook. Highlighting a liker who won a promotion is a great way to make that person feel special and also give you engaging content for your page. 

DON’T use Facebook to notify winners. When creating the form for your promotion, include a place for email or phone number. When you want to contact the winner you will have separate means of communicating with them besides Facebook. 

DO include the fine print. With every promotion you run you should have a set of rules that outlines all the fine print. Maker sure to include a privacy policy, why and how you plan on using their information and a statement that says your promotion has no affiliation or endorsement from Facebook.  

DON’T forget to include the fine print in shareable versions. You will likely cross promote your promotion on your website, email list, and other social networks. When doing this, don’t forget to make the rules known and accessible on these platforms as well. This can easily get lost in translation. 

DO promote using Facebook and other social channels. It is a must to cross promote! If you weren’t planning on doing it before, change your strategy. You can run Facebook ads for a Twitter promotion and vice versa. Promote your promotion, otherwise no one will know about it. 

DON’T over complicate things. The harder it is to enter, the less entries you will have. You always want to have a promotion with a low barrier to entry. In cases where the barrier to entry is higher, the prize needs to be better as well. 

The dos and don’ts are endless but this is a good place to start. Take a critical look at the promotions you run on Facebook. Are they in compliance with Facebook terms of service? Are you promoting your promotion properly to get the most exposure?


What tips would you include? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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