How to Create a Facebook Promotion - dummies

By John Haydon

Facebook offers a compelling environment from which to host a promotion or giveaway on your Business Page. You can use your Page as a starting point with a link to your website for promotion entry details or have the entire promotion contained within the Facebook community.

Promotions can be very creative and challenging, or can simply require a simple yes or no answer. They can motivate users to upload a video or simply complete a contact form. Some promotions require a panel of esteemed judges to determine the winner; others select winners randomly. Other promotions allow the users to vote for the outcome.

Although promotions are as unique as the companies that host them, these tips can improve your chances of success. Here are some best practices for creating Facebook promotions and giveaways:

  • Offer an attractive prize. The more attractive the prize, the better. For a prize to be attractive, it doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot. The best prizes tend to be those that money can’t buy, such as a chance to meet a celebrity, or to attend a product’s prerelease party. Offering your products or services as prizes is a great way to get exposure for your brand too!

  • Use your existing customers and contacts to start the ball rolling. Getting those initial entries is the toughest part of running a Facebook promotion. This is when you need to reach into your network of family and friends. Reach out to your mailing list of customers with a friendly invitation. Promote the promotion on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Myspace, and your Facebook Page. Wherever you have contacts, use them.

  • Cross-promote via your website. You need to promote your Facebook promotion across all channels to gain maximum participation; that includes your website. Adding a promotional banner with a link to your Facebook Page is a good start, but you can do so much more: issue a press release via one of the many news wire services or add a message to your phone answering system. The possibilities are endless.

  • Keep the promotion simple. This goes for all aspects of a promotion: Don’t make the rules too complicated. The fewer the questions on a form, the higher the rate of completion. Keep first prize a single, valuable item and then have several smaller second-place prizes.

    The fewer the clicks to enter the promotion, the better.

  • Don’t set the bar too high. If you ask the participants for an original creation, keep the requirements to a minimum. For example, don’t place a minimum word count on an essay promotion. Or don’t require a video for the first round of submissions because videos are a lot of work.

  • Run promotions for at least one month. Things like word-of-mouth marketing require time. The more time you spend promoting the promotion, the more entries you get. The more you build up the excitement by keeping the promotion in front of your fans, the more often they take note of it and look forward to the big day when the winner is announced!

  • Integrate your promotion with a media campaign. Facebook Ads are an ideal complement to any promotion. By combining a Facebook Ad campaign with a promotion, you maximize the viral effect and amplify the number of engagements.

  • Make your promotion fun, interesting, and uniquely you. The main thing to keep in mind when planning a Facebook promotion is that members want to be entertained. Promotions should offer an outlet to self-expression, engage members, encourage them to share with friends, and communicate something unique about your brand.

  • Make it fair and transparent. Make sure you clearly explain how your winner will be selected. Include all details about the selection process. For example, if you plan to judge a photo contest based on creativity, artistic statement, or image quality, include these criteria in your rules.

You also want to explain how you’ll contact the winner. For example, how many days does a winner have after notified to reply and accept her prize? Finally, state that you have the right to change the winner selection process at any time — just in case you run into an unforeseen issue.