Running Facebook promos – now without the need for 3rd party apps!

by on September 5, 2013

Previously, Facebook promotions (ie. running a contest or offering prizes) had the need for a 3rd party application (another company you had to pay to manage your contest for you) if you wanted any sort of Facebook activity (likes, comments, posts) to count for the contest entry. Well, no more!  The latest Facebook news is that you can now run a Facebook based promo yourself right from your Facebook business page. This will certainly be helpful to many a small business owner that shied away from using apps or just wanted to do something really simple for a bit of buzz. But, there are still important things you need to know before you power ahead with your own self-managed promo on Facebook.

How it works

You can invite fans to join your promotion by liking, commenting or messaging your Facebook business page. Super simple and easy with no cost (or a small cost if you plan to use promoted posts to boost visibility).  Also, there is absolutely no tech skill required (for those of whom are leery of setting up such things on 3rd party apps).  It’s as simple as a Facebook post!

Facebook Promotions vs. 3rd Party App

It now begs the question: what is BETTER for your business promotions – using Facebook or using a 3rd party app?

I would say that depends on your business size and intensity of your promotion.

Are you a small business looking for an easy, no cost way to engage others on Facebook and draw a bit of attention to your biz? Want to do something really quick and easy to thank your fans or customers? Facebook promotions all the way!

Are you a small business with quite a large fan base looking to expand not only Facebook interaction but your customer email contact list and would need some help handling a high volume of response to a contest?  Thinking long term marketing efforts and actually generating and converting leads?  Need fraud detection from possible cheaters? Want advanced functionality such as including shares as part of your content, requiring a “like” of your page to enter and other audience boosting, viral friendly tidbits? Then a 3rd party app is for you.  I suggested some third party apps in a previous post.

Warning: There are still rules with Facebook promotions… it isn’t a free for all!

What’s allowed for entry:

  • Liking a post
  • Commenting on a post
  • Posting on the page
  • Sending a message to the page

What’s not:

  • Sharing the post
  • Liking the page (not the post itself)
  • Tagging

Other considerations for running a promo on your own:

  • Don’t forget about posting contest rules, even if it’s a simple little thing you’re running. This is a legal obligation in most countries.
  • You will have to figure out how you will pick the winner, whether random or not.
  • It can be a bit challenging to contact winners on Facebook.
  • This only applies to your business page. You can’t run a content or promo from a personal profile.

So in a nutshell, if you want to collect email addresses or run a contest with formalized lead generation and ROI tracking, use a 3rd party app. If you’re just looking for a simple little promo or giveway that you can put together really quickly, you can now do it yourself without breaking the rules.

Additional resources:

  • The official Promotions guidelines from Facebook here.
  • Here’s an infographic on AllFacebook that highlights pros & cons of Facebook promo vs. 3rd party app.
  • A discussion around why running your own promos might not be that awesome, especially when considering things like ROI and converting new customers, from Social Solutions Collective.
  • An in-depth look into the good and the bad (with examples) from Jeff Bullas.
  • An excellent run down of what the new promotions rules mean for you over at tabfoundry.

So what do you think about the new Facebook promotions rules? Will you run your own promos on your page? Share you thoughts and concerns in the comments!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mallie Hart September 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

Thanks so much for linking to our article. We really appreciate it. It’s still a hot topic, isn’t it!
Mallie Hart recently posted..Fall Back On Great Social Content: Post Ideas For Your Non-Profit


Martina September 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

You got it Mallie! You brought up really important points in your post that any business owner needs to think about carefully. Thanks for your comment!


Francisco Rosales September 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Hey Martina,

Thanks for the post, you certainly made things very clear. And also thanks for the mention of TabFoundry. We’re barely taking baby steps but we’re building on top of a very solid foundation that will soon be competing head to head with other solutions.


Martina September 6, 2013 at 7:05 am

My pleasure Francisco! Great post you put together. And I look forward to following your progress on TabFoundry! Exciting stuff 🙂 Thanks for popping by!


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