Guest post by Zach Magnum, CEO and co-founder of GroSocial.
Facebook is big. Really big. It’s no secret that over one billion people worldwide now use Facebook. It’s the place that many of us go to hangout with friends and family, to get news, to browse and share photos and/or videos, etc. Which is why businesses large and small have been flocking to Facebook to use it as a marketing platform for the past several years.
Big deal, though, right? Are any small businesses actually making money from their Facebook marketing efforts?
Some are. Particularly the businesses that are serious about running promotions.
Believe it or not, the top reason that consumers interact with businesses on Facebook is to enter into a contest, promotion or sweepstakes, which makes sense.
Generally speaking, Facebook is not a place that people visit every day with the intent to browse products or services that businesses are selling. People log into Facebook each day because it’s fun. They login to temporarily remove themselves from reality.
All of this activity creates clutter – lots of it. As a business, your competition for the attention of Facebook users is not only your direct business competitors but also everyone else on Facebook.
The Facebook News Feed is an unending stream of “stuff” to look at. Stuff that people enjoy looking at. Your business’s best shot at producing content that is more interesting than all of the other “stuff” Facebook users are consuming is to run an attractive, strategically-sound promotion.
So what is a Facebook promotion? There are lots of different types; but for simplicity’s sake, in this article, we’ll talk about Facebook promotions in the context of simple sweepstakes, photo/video contests, “like-gates” and more.
The act of creating a Facebook promotion is surprisingly easy if you use a third-party app builder (full-disclosure, GroSocial is one of many third-party Facebook app builders). The tricky part is building a promotion in a way that results are maximized. So, on that note, allow me to share five steps to generating more leads and customers through Facebook promotions:
1. Keep the promotion duration to 10-14 days. This piece of advice can feel a bit counterintuitive for many folks. Isn’t 10-14 days too short?
After monitoring tens of thousands of Facebook promotions over the past couple of years, we have found that engagement on most Facebook promotions starts to decline around the 10-14 day mark.
Furthermore, the reason behind the decline is most often tied to the decreasing attention span of the people that enter into the promotion. People struggle to stay engaged with a promotion for that long a period of time. In summary, keep it short, but not too short.
2. Make the giveaway item good. Do not confuse this with “spend a lot of money on your giveaway item(s).” Although it does not hurt to be generous, it is not a mandatory step in creating a successful Facebook promotion.
“Good” is defined as choosing the most universally interesting, targeted giveaway item(s) possible. This is best done by understanding who your Facebook fans, and overall target market, are.
If your business is a local business, consider offering tickets to local events or other localized prizes. If your market is national or global, be sure to offer something that coincides with the interests of your target demographic.
3. Require a like, email, and share. This might be better said as “get a subscriber, lead and viral sharing.” As you already know, a “like,” or “fan,” of your Facebook page is essentially someone that is opting in to receive your status updates in his or her Facebook news feed.
Facebook is unlike any other social network in that users spend absurd amounts of time on Facebook. The more “likes” you get, the more your marketing messages are viewed, which will ideally results in more business for you.
Requiring that users share their email address with you is equally as, if not more, important. An email is a lead that you can follow up with and market to outside of Facebook as well.
And lastly, by incentivizing users to share your promotion with their friends (e.g. receive three additional entries each time that you share with your friends), you dramatically increase the likelihood of your promotion spreading virally.
4. Play on trends. On any given day when you log into Facebook, you might find commonalities in what your friends are talking about. In December, you see photos of kids sitting on Santa’s lap in your News Feed. In the summer, you see your friends talking about blockbuster movies that they went to see and how amazing/terrible the movie was. Your business can capitalize on these trends by creating promotions that related to these them.
For example, running a “12 Days of Christmas” giveaway on your business’s Facebook page during the holiday season is a smart move. Running a “Ironman 3 Giveaway” where you offer two tickets to the movie just a couple of weeks before the movie is released is a no-brainer. In short, talking about what everyone else is talking about with your promotions creates increased engagement with your promotion.
5. Do them often. Lastly, we recommend running 1-2 promotions per month to keep things fun, memorable and interesting. Give your new and existing fans a reason to come back to your Facebook page often.
If you haven’t tried running promotions on your business’s Facebook page, give it a try. Let us know how it goes. And don’t give up after your first attempt! Facebook marketing, although very learnable, is an acquired skill. Stick to the tips and best practices outlined in this post and see what happens!