by Valeria Beussinkler_25smaller

Earlier this year, Facebook announced updated guidelines for social network promotions, giving page administrators more flexibility in running giveaways and sweepstakes.  The changes are especially exciting for small businesses as Facebook removed the requirement to work with a costly third-party app to engage with fans and reward that engagement with some prizes.

According to a blog post on the Facebook for Business page:

“We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps. Now, promotions may be administered on page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the page or comment/like a page post.
  • Collect entries by having users message the page.
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism.”

These new actions make running a giveaway for a small business very easy and cost-effective. The Facebook blog entry went on to say “It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize. It’s not OK to ask people to tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize.”

As small as a prize on Facebook can be, let’s say a local ice cream shop can give away a container of ice cream in exchange for comments on its Facebook post, the level of engagement with fans resulting out of a contest might set a new record for your Facebook page.

We all love getting something for free, especially when entering a contest is as easy as commenting on a post, there is no need to enter your email address or go through multiple steps for entering a sweepstake. As suggests, one of the main reasons that people “Like” brands on Facebook is so that they can either obtain a discount or win something.

Of course, you still should keep in mind certain guidelines while running a Facebook promotion.

In this post, however, I wanted to share some ideas for engaging with your fans on Facebook.

1. Launching a New Product or Service

You can use a Facebook giveaway of your soon-to-be-launched product by posting its picture on your Timeline and asking fans to comment on its appearance, features, etc. This helps you not only make your fans feel like they are the first to have their say, but also gives you some valuable insight into consumers` perceptions.

2. Photos or Tips Sharing Contest

Asking your fans to submit topic-focused pictures as a part of a contest entry or share tips on how to use your product can be a great way to generate engagement on your page. People submitting their entries will help bringing their own friends to your Timeline to vote for their entries.

3. Scavenger Hunt

WildWestSEO suggests posting a small list of things for your fans to find on your website. First person to comment with the URLs where these items are found wins a small prize. This contest has the added benefit of actually driving traffic to your site.