I have been threatening to write this post for some time, but I wanted to be sure that by sharing the points below that you would come away with actionable solutions that are easy and cost effective to implement and will help you to market your business on Facebook the right way that will benefit you and serve the fans who LOVE you! The Magic “M” The magic “M” is a term I often refer to with our clients and it stands for “Marketing”. Too often as business owners we get bogged down by the terminology and technical aspects of Social Media Marketing that we forget that social media is designed so that we can connect with more of the people who love our brand. Social Media gives us the opportunity to market our businesses by helping customers make informed decisions based on the questions they have before making a purchase. Notice the last sentence ” Social Media allows us to market our businesses by helping customers make informed decisions based on the questions they have before making a purchase” The old days of broadcasting your messages have changed, unless you have a multi-million budget! How we connect with customers is by positioning ourselves as the expert in our industry. What does this have to do with “like & share” competitions I hear you ask. There are a number of reasons outlined below not withstanding that running this kind of contest will attract a big number of low quality fans who may not have an interest in your brand, are only in it for the prize and may never again interact with your page in the future. The Rules Explained Simply I posed this question in the TweakYourBiz community today and @_Sians made a really valid point: “I don’t believe the rules and regulations of Facebook competitions are explained simply enough. Remember that it isn’t necessarily a technical person doing it or someone who is working in the online sphere. It’s quite possibly someone who doesn’t understand the terminology or even that the rules are there to look them up”. I know when my clients see their competitors running Like & Share there is the urge to keep up and do the same, but how do you know that your competitors are really doing better? Do you know what sales they are generating from Facebook? The rules for promotions and contests can be found here, but I have outlined them simply below: What Can & Can’t I Do? You no longer need to run a contest via an app or your website. It is possible to use a post on your page and these are known as timeline contests. You Can Ask Entrants To: Like a post Comment on a post Post a comment or picture to your timeline Use likes as a voting mechanism – but only on the timeline post You Can’t Ask Entrants To: Share this post to win Ask people to tag or post on their own timeline or the timeline of a friend as a condition of entry Like our page to enter There are other considerations here too. Due to the privacy settings on Facebook it may be difficult to contact winners which is unfair to entrants. When lots of people share your posts they show up in other newsfeeds, and you risk getting lots of negative feedback from people who have no interest (and can be downright abusive) in what you have to offer. Do you really want to attract that kind of fan? What Are Your Options? If you want to build a Facebook community that will engage with your brand and convert into customers there are a number of simple ways to do it. Before you consider the options below make sure you have clear goals. Do you want to build your subscriber list? Drive web traffic? Introduce a new product? Increase sales by X%? These are the kinds of goals you need to consider before running contest’s on your page. Timeline Contests engage new fans re-engage old fans Get positive feedback about your brand Conduct a survey of your fans Reward your fans for their loyalty Give a prize that has your branding Westnet is a broadband company in the West of Ireland, and they run a regular timeline contest on their page. The goal is to engage fans, broaden the reach of their brand and attract people who need their services. The contest helps them to: Drive website traffic = Ask a question related to their business (hint is on the website) Give a prize that includes Westnet branding – there are 100’s of people in Mayo walking around with the Westnet logo on their head Increases engagement The questions are asked so that fans are educated about the benefits of using their service This is really simple, and the prize value is not huge but during the winter month’s in Mayo they come in very useful. Don’t forget to include your T&C’s and this can be done by using the notes section of your page or even a page on your website. So what are you waiting for if you have a fanbase you want to ignite try to run one of these contests. Contests via Apps The mere mention of apps usually sends the majority of people running for the hills in fear. They sound technical and have had the reputation to be really expensive and difficult to implement. I have good news – the technology available for business owners today is helping companies to develop solutions that are simple and cost effective. Here is a list of my favorites and the best thing is that most of them have either a free version or free 30 day trial with loads of video tutorials. I’ve also included an Irish company, e-concepts who design bespoke apps for your Facebook page. Agorapulse Antavo E-Concepts Heyo Shortstack Tabsite Woobox Remember earlier we spoke about the magic “M”? Marketing is what you are using Facebook for. Running contests on apps are a great way to:- Build a relevant audience – get new fans Promote your brand Build your email subscriber list Increase reach & engagement Drive traffic to a landing page on your website Promote a new product or service Get fan feedback on new concepts These are strategies that will help you to build a fan base that has a genuine interest in your brand. Building your list via these contests is powerful and gives you the opportunity to send your fans updates and special fan offers. If you would like to know more about promoting your contests please comment below so I can help you further. Images: ”Hand Shaped mouse Cursor thumb up like man facebook share good social media share 3d symbol icon button illustration / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. 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