How to Develop a Sound Facebook Fan Page Strategy: Step 4

May 4th, 2010

By Lisa Braziel

This week we are on step 4 of the series How To Develop a Sound Facebook Fan Page Strategy, developing promotions. Even though every fan page may not need a promotion or series of promotions to be successful, I believe that most can benefit from conducting them. Promotions are an opportunity to jumpstart fan engagement, give value back to fans, and grow the exposure of your page to the personal networks of your current fans.

(Also please note that for the sake of consistency in this series, I’ve chosen to refer to Facebook brand pages still as “fan pages” and “Likers” as “fans”. You can expect us to blog about the implications of Facebook’s F8 developments on Facebook fan pages.)

Step 4: Develop Promotions
As you brainstorm promotions, ensure you are following Facebook terms and conditions. There is nothing worse than developing a promotion, only to realize that it’s illegal to run on Facebook. Read the full terms and conditions, and I’ll summarize the main points you need to know here:

You can promote a promotion within Facebook, but to administer it you must have it approved by Facebook
To have a promotion approved by Facebook, you must have a representative
To get a representative, you must spend 10k/month on Facebook
Promotions have to ask for information for follow-up, you cannot utilize Facebook functionality to message winners or entrants
Even though this seems as if Facebook is trying to deter promotions, there are loopholes. For one, you can create a landing page and drive fans there. Or you could utilize applications like Wildfire who have already built the functionality to promote the contest within a tab, and then administer the contest on their site – with the end user really not being able to tell much of a difference. Deciding what option you will go with is really a budget and timing consideration rather than preference. If you have the time, budget, and patience to get a Facebook representative that will make your dreams come true, I think the end user will benefit from a seamless promotion. However, if you are like most of our clients – you are probably missing one of those three essential ingredients and will need to find a work-around.

Now, once you have a general idea of what you can and cannot do, you can start considering promotion ideas. Because the success of a promotion is dependent on its design and strategy, I’ve included some questions you may want to consider during this step:

1. What is the objective of this promotion?

Gain fans
Gain email opt-ins
Generate awareness of product
Generate user generated content
Inspire advocacy/sharing
2. How will you promote?

Do you have budget to purchase targeted engagement ads?
Is it designed to encourage your fans to become advocates? How?
What assets do you have to cross promote?
3. Where will the promotion be administered?

Will you use an existing application or develop a custom application?
5. How long will this promotion last?

Will this promotion be reoccurring?
6. Will you provide an incentive?

7. Why will fans care?

Perhaps two of the most important things to consider in developing a promotion are how you will target non-fans and encourage them to become fans, and how you will encourage your fans to become advocates for you.

The latter question you need to take time considering because it will dictate how the promotion is implemented and designed. For instance, you may consider a promotion that encourages your current fans to participate and then rally their networks to vote for them. This in turn may help you accomplish your objective of driving new fans and page views. However, if you choose a sweepstakes instead, you may find that you will need to set aside a larger promotion budget simply because fans have no reason to reach out or rally their networks.

To conclude, I wanted to share a company I think is doing a very good job at developing consistent, on-target promotions: Papa John’s. We all remember the free pizza that they gave away to their Facebook fans. Now they are taking their 1.1 million fans and moving them further along the engagement ladder by giving them opportunities to engage and share content with their personal networks.

Below I’ve included screenshots for their latest contest, “Papa John’s Specialty Pizza Challenge”. This challenge is simple: create a specialty pizza, get votes from your friends and family, and if your pizza is chosen by Papa John’s to be the next Specialty Pizza offered, you will receive a portion of the sales and a year’s supply of pizza. Why do I like this so much? It fits their brand. Even though I think I know what they offer, by participating in this promotion I’m offered the ability to explore all of the possibilities and begin thinking of them as more than a piece of pepporoni pizza. Now I know that they have alfredo sauce, and I can add just about any topping I want. I also can discover new mouth watering combinations as I eye my competition.

Stay tuned next week when we will talk about implementing, monitoring, and responding.

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