When Facebook was created back in 2004, it was meant as a place for college students to share photos, meet new friends, and keep in touch. But in the 12 years of its existence, Facebook has become so much more than that.
The social media platform began expanding its reach by allowing people other than college students to sign up. As it grew even bigger, the Facebook powers-at-be launched a new endeavor: the business page. Now any business person – whether an entrepreneur, author, store owner, musician, real estate agent, or multinational brand manager etc. – can create a business page and connect with their audiences.
But is Facebook still the game-changer it was a few years ago?
The Challenges of Using Facebook for Social Media Promotions
When the business community first joined Facebook, shouts of joy could be heard ‘round the world. You could finally market directly to customers, clients, and prospects where they already interacted on a regular basis. This was a huge step for in-bound marketing, and the beginning of the social media promotions craze.
But the evolution of Facebook marketing has created some barriers to businesses, making it harder than ever to get your brand noticed on the platform.
The Like-Gating Ban
Back in the day, Facebook allowed – encouraged, even – businesses to participate in like-gating. This is when a user was forced to “like” your business page in order to gain access to certain content. Unfortunately for businesses, Facebook eventually banned that practice, increasing the difficulty of obtaining page likes.
Algorithms and Engagement
Add new Facebook news feed algorithms to that like-gating ban, and you’ve got a recipe for failure. Facebook now controls how many people see each promotional post by only serving it to those who’ve interacted with your page. Additionally, Facebook earns money by giving you the opportunity to pay to “boost” your posts.
While this is great for preventing spam, it can cause business pages to experience a lack of engagement. Basically, the more engagement your promotions receive (namely, shares and comments, since likes don’t make much of a difference anymore), the more people Facebook will serve them to.
Is Facebook Still a Contender in the World of Social Media Promotions?
So with all the changes Facebook has implemented regarding the way business pages are handled, is it worth the effort to run Facebook promotions (think sweepstakes, instant win games, contests)? All things considered, yes – when done right.
It is still possible to experience significant brand awareness, and even an increase in sales, with Facebook promotions. Promotions boost engagement which, in turn, drives the organic reach of posts. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will enhance your efforts and boost ROI.
- Develop clear objectives for your promotion and from there determine if Facebook is the right channel to accomplish those objectives.
- Once the objective is determined, develop a strategy and in doing so, make sure that ALL available tactics are carefully considered.
- Consider the age of your audience. Because of the continuous development of new social media sites, Facebook often loses the younger audience. Keep that in mind when creating your promotions.
- Do your research. Take a look at other businesses in your niche to see what kind of Facebook promotions seem to work best for them. Do people respond better to skill-based contests or instant win games, for instance?
- Make your sweepstakes, instant win games, and contests fun and enticing. If you put prizes out there that people really want to win, you’ll see greater results.
Social media promotions are a fun, effective way to create maximum exposure for your brand and encourage people to get involved with your company. And while Facebook may not be the newest, shiniest platform, it continues to serve as a budget-friendly, effective method among social media promotions. Just remember these tips and you’ll be on your way to Facebook promotion success.
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