What makes a Facebook Promotion Work?


By Brian McNeil-Smith

Whether you are running a promotion for the first time or a seasoned pro, it’s time to Facebook promo ‘app up’ and make your promos Facebook compliant, but also save yourself time and money in the process.

A few years back Facebook decided on a set of rules regarding promotions and contests, one of which is the requirement to use an application (aka: app). Facebook’s Promotion Rules, when you cut to the chase, make sense and here is some insight as to why:

Facebook doesn’t want any connection to your contest, it’s in your hands, and yours to manage and ensure it meets external guidelines such as promotions laws. In addition, Facebook is a place where friends meet up, and to preserve this culture it is important to reduce unnecessary spam. Play within these rules and you have a magnificent opportunity to be a big hit on the world’s largest social stage.

The Start-up with EasyPromos*

So you’ve got your app in hand, actually installed directly to your Facebook page having automatically created a new tab in, oh, say 30 seconds. To get your contest up and running you create a nice graphic design max width of 810 px and upload it as a gif or jpg right into the app. Then you type directly or copy and paste your title and description and terms into the apps admin panel. The app supports some 23 languages so it’s quite versatile depending on where you are in the world.

Now you spend about 10 more minutes clicking a few boxes to activate the features you fancy, whether you are running a sweepstakes, quiz, photo contest, voting, etc. Next, select your start and end dates and voila your promotion is live and it looks great.

Your app will auto detect if users already like your page or not upon entry, and you can require non likers to like your page. Your entry form collects and captures entrant data in an exportable CSV file so you can load this information into your CRM or email program for further follow up and marketing activities.

Once your app is up and running you don’t have much to do other than ensure your time is spent on worthwhile promotion activities.

Some of the best promotion activities are completely out of your hands as your entrants make use of the ‘share features’ built right into the app. Conveniently located share buttons have your users sharing your contest via Twitter, Facebook, and email or other platforms in seconds and these shares can be attractive, eye catching and targeted to the right audience.

Respect Facebook’s rules

Be sure to stay within Facebook’s promotion rules and do not reward people for sharing. This is often overlooked by many admins. You can trust people will share. They have the tools all throughout the app but rewarding them to share is considered spamming and counter to the intent of Facebook. And if you create a voting contest your users will send messages to their friends to attract vote and your app can collect likes from these voters.

How to Make Your Promotion Work

In order to make your promotion work, you’ll need the following:

  1. Graphic design to highlight the important aspects of your contest.
  2. Title and description
  3. Terms and Conditions – who can enter and win, contest limitations, process for selecting a winner, etc.
  4. Prize(s)
  5. Start and Finish date and time.
  6. A plan to promote your promotion.
  7. A means to pick your winner.
  8. A great app that automates everything, gives you control over your user data and is compliant with Facebook rules.
  9. Creativity and the ability to put yourself in the shoes of your entrants.

Not all contests are the same, meaning you should have the flexibility to run sweepstakes, or quiz’s or photo contests within the same app as well as easily select a variety of features by activating or deactivating them to suit your preferences.

If you are new to contests we suggest you start small, keep it basic and after one or two contests you will quickly grasp what does and doesn’t work, you’ll also get the creative juices flowing and see opportunities you didn’t previously see. Mixing up different types of promotions throughout the year is a healthy way to create engagement.

Where to Start?

A good example of starting small is to run a sweepstakes for a prize that is desirable to your audience. We’ve seen companies offer up a T-shirt with huge success. The prize doesn’t have to be a $1000 cash reward and sometimes a T-shirt type of prize is more suitable to attracting relevant audiences. It also doesn’t make sense to give away $1000 if you don’t have a large enough budget to do the types of promotional activities to really get the word out that your contest even exists.

Avoid getting trapped by tunnel vision.

Many admins focus one or two aspects of the contest or are emotionally overwhelmed by what they perceive to be restrictive Facebook rules.

For example, an admin may feel they didn’t receive enough entries to justify giving away an iPad. They didn’t believe or understand the contest is really truly in their control and that they could have simply stated in the terms and conditions 300 entrants are required for the contest to be valid.

When I explain this to admins, a light bulb goes off in their head as they realize they establish the terms of their contest, terms that make sense for their business.

Contests work!

We had an admin who created a winning contest by offering to give away a can of pet food to the local shelter for every entry in his contest. He figured he’d get 50 entrants. So rather than think to cap the contest at 50 entrants, 900 cans later he was the shelter’s best friend and scratching his head at the same time.

So, you as admin can set the rules as you deem necessary so you don’t extend yourself beyond your budget and you don’t give away the farm unless the results are there. It all depends on how you state your rules.

The important thing is to state what the contest represents and then represent the contest as you have stated it. If you say the winner will be selected on Tuesday the 2nd at 12:00 pm by a jury appointed by the admin then do exactly that. If you state otherwise, then follow your script.

Learn more! Sign up to join our free live webinar with Brian on Thursday Jan 24!


More about Brian: Expert in the field of Facebook Promotions, Director North America Easypromos, supported over 60,000 promotions working with agencies and businesses of all sizes. Lover of the outdoors can be found in the forest or canoes and kayaks.

* links are affiliate links, SBC receives a commission if you sign up via our link. Thanks!

6 Social Mistakes That Will Cost You!

6 Social Mistakes That Will Cost You!

Depending on who you talk to, social media is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or it’s the biggest waste of time imaginable! So why isn’t it working for everyone? Why do some people seem to hold the key to success while others are still struggling? The answer may surprise you!

Although there are many reasons why some people aren’t seeing results for their social media efforts, we’ve identified 6 common social mistakes that brands don’t even realize they are making. These will cost you BIG TIME!

1. Leaving Out a Key Piece

Have you ever worked a puzzle and found that the last piece wasn’t in the box? The end result is never as pretty as if you’d had the entire series of pieces working together to form a lovely image. Social media works in much the same way.

Very often businesses find once piece of their strategy distasteful or unfamiliar and so they decide not to do it. They are willing to do Facebook, but they won’t let people comment on their wall. They will open a Twitter account but they won’t share anyone else’s content. They want to ‘do social media’ but they aren’t willing to share anything of themselves online. These are all missing pieces to a very intricate and profitable puzzle.

Imagine trying to drive a car without oil. It might run for a bit but it won’t run well and it won’t run for long. Imagine baking a cake and refusing to use any type of sweetener. It might bake and your guests might take a bite but no one is going to ask for seconds!

Does this sound like what you’ve been experiencing with your social media strategy?

2. Trying to Do Too Much

There’s a very common phrase businesses use when they come to us to manage their social media strategies. Very often we hear, “I want to dominate the space!” Becoming the expert in your industry is an excellent goal! Becoming the only person to have a profile on every social site in existence is not!

Every social site doesn’t necessarily fit with the goals of every business. Some simply don’t support overall objectives and offer no real benefit for that individual client. If you’ve been spending time on sites that aren’t producing results for you then it’s time to reevaluate your strategy. Are your social sites getting you in front of your target audience? Are they offering you quality visibility? Are they helping you to be found in the search engines?

If your web traffic doesn’t reflect your efforts then you are throwing away valuable time and effort you could be using on more productive activities!

3. Thinking Too Small

Recently I received a call from someone who was interested in hiring my team. During the course of the conversation we followed each other on Twitter, friended each other on Facebook and connected on LinkedIn. We had a lovely conversation but ultimately we decided that they wanted a solution that we just couldn’t provide.

I had found some of the services they provided fairly intriguing so later that evening I was reviewing their website again. I decided to re-connect with them and inquire about retaining their services. Just a few hours after the call I found that I had been unfollowed and unfriended.

I decided to reach out online anyway and ask about one service in particular that they offered. They never responded. I imagine they decided that since they didn’t need one type of relationship with me that I could be of no further benefit to them. They ignored my communication. They lost a potential client. They lost someone who would have shared their content. They lost someone who may have referred further business to them. All because they were thinking too small. They didn’t consider the future benefit of a full scale business relationship with another entrepreneur.  They didn’t get what they initially wanted from me and so they moved on.  So did I.

4. Not Engaging In Conversations

Networking is all about building quality relationships with potential clients, partners and alliances and identifying mutually beneficial opportunities. Social networking is a two way street.

Using sites like Twitter and Facebook to blast your message to the masses is NOT an effective strategy. Identify people on each site that you would like to interact with. Reach out and say hello. Share their content. Engage them in conversation. See where this path of relationship building leads you!

If you own a business then chances are you already know how to network. Simply consider sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ tools that will allow you to network with far more people than you ever could at a physical event! Get out there and talk to someone! Listen to them too! Act on what you’ve learned and you might be surprised by what happens!

5. Ignoring Balance

Most entrepreneurs these days have had at least one social media class, attended one free social media webinar or read one or two free articles about social media strategies. They typically end up taking away one really good idea to implement.

The problem here is that one really good idea by itself is just that. It’s one really good idea. It isn’t a strategy. It isn’t a carefully crafted plan that is intended to produce the exact results you are looking for! The end result is a business that blogs three times a week but doesn’t promote their content effectively. It often also results in a business owner who chats endlessly online but doesn’t create content for their own business. In addition brands can end up using automation tools in a way that do more harm than good, using sites that don’t support their goals and connecting with large numbers of people who will never buy from them.

Too much of a good thing is never a good thing! Moderation and balance along with a complete understanding of how it all works together, go a long way towards producing quality results in a reasonable timeframe.

6. Believing You Already Know What Will Work

Of all the social mistakes you can make, this one can prove to be the worst.

  • Do you think you already know how to implement a successful social media marketing strategy?
  • Do you think you understand content marketing?
  • Do you believe that you already know where you need to be online?
  • Are you confident that you are already communicating in the right way with your target audience?
  • Then why aren’t you more successful?

No matter how far along you are in your marketing efforts, there is always more you can learn. Sometimes only a nugget of new information that you implement can make you thousands of dollars. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of doing something old in a new way.

There is an old quote that says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Are you open to new ideas? Are you willing to admit that there could be a new way of doing things that could catapult your business to the next level? Are you willing to change your preconceived notions and let go of what you’ve been doing in return for bigger and better results? If you want to see changes then you’d better be ready to make changes!

By now you may have realized there are some holes in your social media marketing plan. If you haven’t been getting the desired results, consider the items above. Are you making any of these social mistakes? Is your strategy well rounded? Does it include content creation as well as promotion? Does your strategy involve actually meeting new people online and having conversations? Do you have a strategy at all or are you just moving through the tasks?

Once you’ve identified the areas where you are challenged, the picture becomes much more clear and you can begin to identify ways to make your social media strategy complete. Results are sure to follow and soon you’ll have an endless supply of new contacts, new partnerships and new business!

Pinterest for Business Exposure

How To Use Pinterest for BusinessSocial media influencer, Kim Garst, gave a fabulous training for our Social Buzz U chock full of Pinterest tips for business. Here are some of the highlights she shared:

What is Pinterest? 

Pinterest is a social network that allows you to organize and share almost anything you find on the web. Since it is imaged based sharing, you create virtual bulletin boards (or pin boards) by topic. Then you pin images from pages online that contain information related to your bulletin board topics. Topics or themes can include everything to personal interest areas like weddings, decorating ideas, exercise, fitness tips, recipes, to business interests.

Tip: Browse others pin boards created by others to find pins for your boards.  Continue reading

Social Media Marketing and Branding Expert Pam Brossman Rocks Social Buzz U

Pam Brossman Social Buzz Club expert

Pam Brossman, Author, Your Millionaire Attitude

This week we featured Social Buzz Club Charter Member, Pam Brossman, and her Elevation Formula on Social Buzz University. We were all blown away by the combination of valuable branding and social media marketing information, positive inspiring reminders, and new approaches to goal getting. Below are some of the important highlights the webinar. If you are not regularly attending our LIVE webinars but want access to the replays, every Basic and Premium member receives access to these incredible webinar replays. You can also purchase the replay here.  Continue reading

Time Management Strategies: Expert Tips for Managing Workflow

…So Your Business Moves Forward Successfully

Plan your marketing RIGHT to use your time bestI recently read material from both Payson Cooper and Bryn Johnson’s websites and wanted to share some of what I’ve learned.

Between working each day for clients and my own blogs, and managing all that comes with that, it’s not easy anymore to fit everything in, and I need better time management strategies, as I’m sure you do!

I will say this: We all have missions and causes that we care deeply about, but if they don’t generate revenue, they take a back seat to the work we must do to earn a living. I know that seems harsh, and I say it knowing how much I love the causes and missions I’m on, but I have to be realistic as well. If I don’t take the time to do the work I must, I won’t have the extra time to do the other things I want to.  Continue reading