Facebook recently announced that it's now allowing brands to hold contests and sweepstakes within Timeline instead of requiring brands to host all promotions through apps.
Marketers rejoiced upon reading the updated guidelines and virtual high-fives were passed around the Internet through social media chatter.
After the announcement, marketers likely started to build some of these more flexible Timeline promotions into holiday planning already and maybe even cancelling planned app promotions in favor of smaller ones.
Brands can take advantage of these new promotion guidelines to help Facebook pages with the following.
1. Increase Participation
Promotions launched directly on the brand page can significantly increase success rates as people will be more likely to participate when they are not being led away from the page. Fans also don't have to allow any kind of permissions like with third-party apps.
2. Extend Reach and Engagement
Page posts about promotions can be displayed prominently in the News Feeds of those who like the page, broadening the audience reach and overall post engagement.
3. Surprise and Delight
Implementing promotions through a brand page via Timeline is much faster and easier and brands have the ability to be spontaneous ,whether it's designated weekly giveaways or seasonal-type promotions, brands can implement as they see fit.
To promote their new mobile game “Endless Blitz”, h.h. gregg, an appliance and electronics retailer, held a surprise gift card giveaway and used a Timeline promotion with a simple entry process for consumers by commenting on the status for a random drawing to win a $50 gift card.
While apps require more planning and additional budget to bring to life, don't overlook the benefits of building a Facebook app:
4. Collect Personal Data
Hosting promotions within an app allows brands to collect customer information or create another experience that simply can't be captured with a simple sweepstakes.
5. Grow Your Fans
Depending on the promotion value, brands choose to “like gate” apps by only allowing fans to participate, which increases your fan base as non-fans will likely want to participate, enter to win and become a fan.
6. Customize Your Consumers' Experience
An app allows brands to create a unique and engaging experience for consumers and a place to house specific content to support video or photo contests.
For the back-to-school season, the online designer sample sale site Gilt launched a School Style contest for a $1,000 shopping spree when fans uploaded their child's favorite ensemble for a chance to win the prize.
In honor of their 35th anniversary and their San Francisco roots, Banana Republic launched a photo contest for fans to share their favorite photo moment for a chance to be one of the top 10 photos voted to receive a special gift box. One lucky grand prize winner's photo will even be printed on a limited edition shopping tote.