Facebook Promotions: Apps-Not-Required

Facebook Promotions: Apps-Not-Required

September 16, 2013

On Tuesday, Facebook eliminated its policy requiring brands to administer promotions via apps, while also enhancing its policy on tagging users in content in which they’re not actually depicted. These two changes, while not earth-shattering, are aimed at focusing promotional content directly onto Facebook Pages under the Timeline format. The message to advertisers and marketers is clear: Engage the user with relevant content.

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Accurate tagging continues this trend by shifting promotions away from “get-view-quick” CTA schemes like picture tagging contests that used to appear on user’s personal Timelines. Promotions can (and should) still ask users to comment, like, and share content, in a variety of contest or giveaway formats, but picture tagging is a thing of the past.

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But don’t worry! According to ShortStack CEO Jim Belosic, this is a good thing:

“Is this the end of apps? No, because when you have a large following, getting Facebook likes and comments is only the first step. Savvy marketers know that the real work is done when you collect and leverage data for ongoing promotions and marketing efforts, and apps make that possible.”

In a recent survey of 1000 social media users by market research company Lab42, 52% said they found a business’ Facebook Page more valuable than its website and 82% said Facebook is a great place to interact with a brand. Luckily, that’s not going to change anytime soon. The changes announced Tuesday affect where a promotion initially captures user interest, but more importantly how a brand maintains the user’s attention: with its Facebook Page.

Tab engagement levels have dropped 50 percent under the Timeline format, and with more than 800 million mobile active Facebook users – where tabs aren’t even visible on their devices – promotions via third-party apps simply aren’t enough. According to AllFacebook, roughly one in four  mobile Facebook users interacts exclusively through a mobile device, which means tab-only promotions ignore 200 million users. What Facebook promotions need to be effective, visible, and engaging is a little promoting themselves!

David Cohen at Allfacebook lists a few tips for promoting to maximize Pageviews under the new policies, including: 

1. Targeted, incentivized promotions2. External links to your Facebook Page from newsletters, websites, and other social media platforms and apps (See, apps are still relevant!)

3. Reward referrers – offer a bonus to those users who get their friends to enter too4. Take advantage of the relaxed Facebook Page photo policy with custom promotional cover photos

5. Use Paid Promotions

The bottom line is that promoters should work smarter to get traction for campaigns under the new system. There’s no substitute for relevant content, constant engagement, frequent updates, interesting contests and giveaways, and focused CTA to drive brand recognition. “Post it, and they will come” won’t cut it anymore. Which is kind of the point.

Oh, and paid advertising. Paid Promotions can often work wonders.