Previously, businesses who plan to run Facebook contests needed to administrate it through third party applications very much like Binkd. It was their idea of keeping content original and unbiased, with the heaviest of punishments administered for those who constantly disregard the rules – i.e. deactivating your Facebook page.
A few days ago, Facebook has taken a step back and decided to do a 180 turn on how businesses run a contest their pages. Now Facebook has made it easier for small businesses to run promotions.
Businesses can now run promotions on page timelines such as:
Comment to win
Like to win
Message to win
Most “likes” wins
However, there are still a rules that businesses need to follow:
No tag yourself on photo to win
No share on your timeline to win
No share on your friends wall to win
Let’s look at the pros and cons of running a Facebook promotion without a third party application.
I believe the title above sums up everything. Running a promotion on timeline is now free and won’t cost businesses anything.
Running a contest is now faster than ever. Businesses simply need to update a status and they will be able to get users to participate by simply “liking” or “commenting”. Anyone without any knowledge of Facebook can run one.
3. Mobile friendly
Unlike an app, running a Facebook contest through timeline is mobile friendly. Fans can participate by simply liking and commenting while they are on their mobile phones. This is good news for businesses as mobile users have been mercilessly rising. As of June 2013, mobile daily active users were 469 million on average.
4. Increase EdgeRank
This could be an indirect benefit of running a contest through Facebook page timeline. When fans engage with contests that are run through timelines, this will help increase the EdgeRank of that page, making the page more relevant to each participating fan and helping their page appear on fans’ timeline in the future.
5. Easier to promote
I believe one reason why Facebook’s sudden change to allow businesses to run promotions through timeline is to get them to spend more money on page post ads.
It makes sense because now it’s easier to promote contests and all page owners need to do is to click the promote button.
1. Can’t increase email subscribers
I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “the money is in the list”. Without a third party app, businesses won’t be able to increase their email lists since most contests are run through timeline and won’t need fans to submit their email for an entry.
2. No Like-gate / fan-gage
One of the biggest missing features is the ‘like-gate’. A facebook fan-gate or like-gate ensures that participants needs to like a page before joining a contest. Without this feature, the public can simply participate without needing to be a fan of the page – bringing your page less benefits in return for your investments on the contest.
3. No viral features
Another missing feature is the viral feature of a third party app. While businesses can promote to help get the post viral, fans aren’t allows to share the contest.
However, with a third party application like Binkd, it’s all taken care of. Fans who have participated can increase the chances of them winning by sharing it in return for an extra entry.
4. Facebook’s red tapes
One important thing to note is that every contest needs to be acknowledged that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
Using a third party app allows you to design and craft the contest as suited to your ideas and creativity, whereas a running it on your page timeline restricts and bounds your contest – sometimes at the sacrifice of your content and important messages within your contest
How do you decide?
It comes down to your objectives. If you’re planning to quickly build an awareness about a new product among your fans, engage with your current fans, reward current fans, organize a quick contest, then a timeline contest is the way to go.
However, if you’re looking to build new audience, capture email address and valuable data, increase fans, then a Facebook third party contest app like Binkd is the way to go.