Facebook has removed the requirement that brands and Pages run competitions and manage entries to them via third-party apps.
This is huge news for Page owners because it really simplifies the way they are allowed to run competitions/sweepstakes, and drastically increases the potential to drive engagement – and reach mobile users.
Now, Page owners are allowed to run and manage competitions /sweepstakes on their Page posts as well as in apps, whereas before, driving on-Page engagement by using posts as a way of collecting entries or votes could land a Page in serious trouble (i.e. it could be suspended indefinitely), because Facebook deemed that this could make it too easy for Page owners to drive up their Talking About figure.
Page owners can now:
- Collect entries by having users post on the Page;
- Collect entries by having users comment on a Page post;
- Collect entries by having users Like a Page post;
- Collect entries by having users message the Page;
- Utilise likes as a voting mechanism on Page posts.
However, they can’t…
Page owners are not allowed to collect entries for competitions/sweepstakes by getting users to tag themselves on pictures. Facebook says:
“In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in.”
What does all this mean for marketers?
You’ll save time and money
It means that they can set up competitions/sweepstakes really quickly and easily, rather than having to buy subscription to customisable-app services (e.g. Shortstack), or spend time setting them up or coming up with clever mechanics.
You can increase reach by paying to promote your competitions
Page owners can make their post-based competitions go even further by paying to sponsor them (the Promote Page Posts advertising option), which will get them in front of a bigger audience, which should work extremely well to drive interaction and even Page Likes, given that competitions and giveaways are great engagement drivers anyway.
You can engage mobile users more easily
Facebook apps (/tabs) generally not compatible with mobile (unless you invest a lot of money in getting a custom, mobile-friendly app built), which cuts a huge proportion of users out of the game when it comes to engaging with competitions/giveaways.
Now, with these brilliant rule changes, mobile users will be able to get involved and enter competitions/giveaways when they see a post in their Newsfeed, they’ll be able to enter by liking or commenting.
You can ensure your posts will stay in people’s Newsfeeds for longer
Another particularly exciting consideration with this update is when you factor in Facebook’s recent change to the way it determines what we see in our Newsfeeds. Now, the most popular content (the content with the most likes, shares, comments etc.) will be seen more and for longer, depending on its popularity. So – naturally, engagement-driving competition posts will benefit hugely here.
Think about EdgeRank
If you’re going to run a competition/giveaway on your Page posts, consider your EdgeRank score.
Try and make the entry mechanic based on comments – or, better still, comment and share… Although, of course, you won’t be able to see everyone who’s shared (because private profiles won’t come up), the mere implication that sharing is an entry mechanic is all you need to incite people to share a post.
Don’t abuse the power
Utilise the engagement-driving power of the competition post very wisely – don’t rely on them, because you’ll build up an audience of competition hunters – i.e. people that just take, take, take. Structure good competitions into an engagement-driving content plan and use them sparingly!