Engagement is one of the most valuable Facebook page metrics a company can track. With active engagement a brand increases their fan community, extends reach, and increases visibility of their posts in the News Feed of those actively interacting with the page.
As well, for a business, active engagement can translate into more dollars, i.e., increased sales.
Research data reported by Vocus notes that 79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked. Thus, pursuing more fans and deeper engagement with existing fans is a valuable priority!
The million dollar question, though, remains, "how can a company boost engagement for their Facebook Page?" While there are a number of core methods for increasing engagement such as creating highly shareable content, posting images and videos, and posting succinctly at key times, another powerful method is to run promotions.
A key question when thinking about running a promotion on a Facebook Page is, " what type of promotion will work best for my goals?"
The answer: It varies! Certain promotion types lend themselves to different end-goal objectives. In addition, certain promotions may lend themselves better to certain industries.
Below I'll outline a number of promotion types and give keys for selecting the right type to run on your Facebook Page. Each type can draw fans to your Facebook page as well as be the incentive for new visitors to come and explore your Page. All of the types mentioned below are Facebook approved apps to add to a Facebook Page tab that comply with Facebook's promotion policy.
A sweepstakes is a chance-based promotion that is simple to setup and allows for easy entry. Visitors typically enter by completing a simple form with fields for their name and e-mail address, and then a winner or winner(s) are drawn randomly after a set date. As with most promotion apps available for Facebook there can be a fan or Like Gate image that requires the fan to "Like" the Page in order to access the entry form.
A sweepstakes may limit each user to one entry or allow users to enter repeatedly. Allowing users to enter daily enables more interaction potential with the visitor, because it brings them back to the Facebook page more often. A sweepstakes promotion can work for a wide variety of businesses including B2B and B2C. Running a sweepstakes helps draw fans in to the page to enter, and if the app has a sharing mechanism that increases their entries it can help boost viral sharing.
A deal or offer is another promotion option that typically has a low barrier to entry. Often a deal or offer app on a Facebook page asks the user to do something and then when this task is completed the user is granted access to the deal. For example, "Like our Page to access this 40% off Coupon" is one method commonly employed on deal tabs. Other app offerings include sharing a post on your Facebook news feed or sharing a post on a friend's timeline in order to access the deal. Like sweepstakes, deals are useful because (1) users respond to deal offers and (2) a task helpful to the company (More Page Likes or spreading the deal message) is accomplished as well.
A contest is different than a sweepstakes or a deal offer. This type of promotion requires more from the user and can be called a "skill-based promotion". A contest entry typically requires more effort and skill for the entry submission, such as taking and submitting a photo entry that meets certain requirements. As well, instead of a random drawing to determine the winner, contests typically involve voting by the public, or judging by a select group in order to determine the winner. While photo contests are the most common type of contest routinely used, there are other types of contests such as video entry, essay or caption as well.
Entrants are one segment of those participating, while those coming to view entries and vote are another participating group. Together, this can add more overall reach, exposure, and interaction to the page.
Entrants want votes, so they extend the reach of the contest to their network of friends asking for their vote. This social sharing by entrants to their friends increases the overall reach of the contest. As well, this friend-to-friend introduction of a Page by an entrant to their friend can be a positive referral mechanism. It adds trust and credibility to the Page, and it's products and services, via the friend invitation to vote.
Entrants are meeting a certain criteria for entry which is a sifting mechanism. It adds a barrier to those who simply enter any promotion because it's easy and they might win, regardless of their interest in the company providing the offer. Depending on the guidelines needed to enter, this process can serve to qualify or pre-screen entrants as potential customers.
If the promotional rules outline that the entries can be used by the company holding the contest, this can be an excellent method to gather user generated content that is relevant to your brand and which can be used in future social marketing.
A contest offers more potential for engagement simply in terms of having two ways to participate, both entrants and also voters participate. As well, the motivation for an entrant to spread the word to their network to come and vote for their entry adds to the engagement potential. Another option for a contest is to consider a two-stage process. This adds the benefit of a initial round of voting and then the need to return to view and vote again in the finalist round.
Note: Contests may not work for some industries and types of businesses that simply do not lend themselves to this type of engagement. For instance, it might be a stretch for a medical practitioner to run a photo contest due to privacy concerns or relevance.
A multi-network social promotion is an additional promotion option that involves Facebook and at least one other social media platform such as Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Similar to a deal, the user is asked to accomplish a task and upon completion they are then given access to the deal offer. The difference is that the task is centered around doing something on a different social platform such as Pinterest or Instagram. In this case the user comes to the Facebook page and the promotion is outlined. The user then accomplishes the task such as adding a image to Instagram with a certain hashtag or using a integrated pin tool to pin a image to Pinterest. In some cases the images can be pulled in from the other social network to appear on the tab or in other cases the image is simply on the other network but the result is that a user has engage with a brand Facebook page and also simultaneously extended information about the brand to another social network.
Promotions for Facebook pages offer the power to draw fans in, boost page engagement, and accomplish tangible marketing goals such as increasing e-mail list numbers. Deals in the form of coupons and discount codes continue to be attractive means to help increase traffic to a page and offer a incentive method to help visitors begin a fan relationship with the page.
Now that Facebook has also integrated with Instagram, you have more opportunities than ever to increase your fan base. Consider using apps to get genuine Instagram likes and build your business.
While not an end in themselves, contests and offers can be part of a larger marketing strategy and a key piece of helping a business grow their social community.
Let's hear from you! Have promotions helped your Facebook page? Interested in trying a promotion on your Facebook Page?