Breaking News…Facebook Allows Brand Pages To Run Promotions Off The Timeline

    Sam Mutimer

    “We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps” states Facebook in the early hours of this morning.
    As soon as I read this, a flurry of thoughts sprang to my mind. Gaaa….
    I immediately booked a brainstorm with the whole team. We needed to be prepared…right from the start, ensuring we’d brainstormed all the possibilities enabling us to give the very best advice to our clients. We also wanted to share insights to the many other brands out there that may be considering this approach, hence the blog post.
    We fleshed out the following:
    1) What does this EXACTLY mean for businesses/users/advertisers?
    2) What are the pros in running a promotion from the timeline?
    3) What are the cons in running a promotion from the timeline?
    and following that…
    4) What are our insights/leanings and advice to businesses looking to roll out this approach?
    The following outcomes came from the brainstorm. We also wanted to clock the time to ensure that other businesses out there knew roughly the planning approach to ensure they were compliant with Facebook guidelines ( bear in mind this was for a VERY basic comp). Furthermore, we want you to be aware of the type of promotions that would be good to run via timeline and ones that you may consider running through a Facebook app. You’ll be able to take some insight from the points below.
    Time clocked..rounded up:

    • Brainstorm of the above and planning our very own Thinktank Social timeline comp : 40 mins
    • Mitigation doc – 35 mins
    • Creating copy for the comp to ensure we were within Facebook guidelines: 20 mins
    • Sourcing prizes: 20 mins
    • Image creation for the Facebook post: 35 mins
    • Terms and Conditions creation: 43 mins
    • Setting up a page for T’s and C’s on the website: 10 mins
    • Proofing the above: 15 mins

    TOTAL: 3 hours and 38 minutes

    This new change opens up the gateway for every business, small or large to run comps/promos in the Facebook space. Prior to this, you would have needed to spend some $$$ on a third party app to legally run a comp.

    There are many pros and cons in running a promotion on the timeline…here’s a little list of a few we came up with!

    Pros: You can get a competition up pretty quickly, no real need for designer/developer to create activation.
    Con: You’ll need to thoroughly plan this out…so it may not be as quick as you initially think.  The wall is an open arena for all to see, you’ll need to bear in mind you may get a few curly q’s, in the comments section, even comments that are not in reference to the comp itself. This means many more eyeballs will see this as opposed to it being housed in a 3rd party app. So have a mini crisis management plan in place prior to activation. If x writes a negative comment putting the brand in the spotlight..how will you deal with it, and in what time frame?
    You’ll also need to ensure your comp is the right fit for the timeline – eg. a like for your chance to win X comp simply won’t work. The reason being is that you’ll have no direct way to connect with the winner if they haven’t commented on your page.
    Pro: It’s easy for the community to share your promotion/comp, bringing about further awareness/engagement
    Con: You can’t directly ask them to share the comp though as it breaches Facebook guidelines
    Pro: We can imagine the brand to get increased entries on the timeline comp as opposed to via an app as the entry mechanic is extremely easy as it uses Facebook features; which many users are accustomed to. Pop some Facebook ad spend behind that content with a boost post activation..boom!
    Con: With the entries submitted, this may blur the target market of the brand as people are in it to win it, however may not particularly care about the brand itself. It’s just super easy to enter..and with Facebook’s algorithms, more people will see this and enter also…however again, this may not be the community the brand wants to communicate to ongoing. There are definitely plans you can put in place here to limit this.
    Pro: Page engagement AKA the “talking about us” metric will increase, due to the amount of activity on the page, meaning more people may see your posts throughout this time period.
    Con: Running all comps via the timeline will significantly limit the amount of data/intelligence you can pull from the user. One that immediately springs to mind is that it’s going to be very tricky to build that database up outside of Facebook for eg. your EDMs.
    Con: The page can lose it’s credibility if too many of these are run..giving the perception of a spammy and annoying brand, that’s desperate to leverage off the viral nature of Facebook.
    More of these insights will emerge in our next blog post, as for right now though, we’re trialing this out on our very on Thinktank Social Facebook page…our second comp..EVER!! Click here to see how we’re approaching it, ensuing we’ve kept to Facebook Guidelines.

    We’re asking this very question to you.

    Tell us how you think this move will impact the social platform, its advertisers and/or users in the comments section below…ah and if you’re keen to be in the winning to grab one of five FB LIKE gloves then head over to our page right now!  >> https://www.facebook.com/thinktanksocial