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  1. A new era for Facebook competitions

    A new era for Facebook competitions

    Last month, Facebook announced its new rules for running competitions and promotions, which left most of the digital marketing world a bit surprised to say the least! For years Facebook has held strict regulations against using any of its features – likes, comments, shares etc. – as a means of gaining entries or voting in a competition. Suddenly however, this is all okay. Brands everywhere rejoiced at the news, but is this really the best thing for brand pages or were the previous restrictions really a blessing in disguise?

    Here at LHM, we think there’s still very much a place for the old competition apps when it comes to larger campaigns where clients require more tangible KPIs and ROI. On-page competitions can often be difficult to control and keep track of. Not to mention, they can leave fans free to post negative comments on competition posts in order to get their voices heard! There are definite benefits to both, but here’s our list of reasons why we think the app is still king:

    Data collection: It’s not practical (or user-friendly) to collect user data via public posts. An app sign-up form allows brands to add an opt-in box to their data capture forms as a means of obtaining user details for email marketing.

    Like gating: To get maximum likes from a competition, you need to ensure people can only enter once they’ve liked the page. This can be done easily via apps but as yet, Facebook has no way of applying this to on-page competitions.

    Brand engagement: Apps open up the realms of creativity and give brands a platform to really express their personality and engage users with fun games and features. For example, when a user designs their own image, they’re much more likely to want to shout about this to their friends via the all-important share button than if they were to simply ‘like’ a photo posted to a brand page.

    Unique URLs: This is one of the key benefits when planning cross-channel promotion. When you create an app, you also get a unique URL where the like gate or form page acts as the landing page. With on-page posts, just a simple link to the Facebook page can hinder the user experience as they will then have to scroll down/ search for the particular competition post and may lose interest quickly.

    Tracking: if you need to be tracking specific KPIs for a client, a Facebook app is your best friend! Facebook Insights has its own in-app tracking reports on everything from entries to stories generated from the app. Plus, back it up with Google Analytics and you can report on the entire user journey via conversion rate!

    As you can tell, we’re big advocates of campaign apps and there are many more benefits to them than just the five listed above. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a time and place for on-page contests too. These are especially useful when running a small-scale campaign designed to keep engagement up between larger campaigns (e.g. monthly contests in between quarterly app-based promotions). Similarly, small companies on a low budget or those with a quick turnaround time or low value prize such as discount vouchers will find these useful as a way of boosting their social media presence.

    One thing’s for certain though: Facebook remains ever unpredictable! What do you think of the new rules and what might they have up their sleeve for us in future?

    Image courtesy of thos003 on flickr creative commons

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