Facebook’s Rules Have Changed: Here’s How to Keep Your Promotions Successful

by Liz Crider Huff Second Street

Does this mean you should stop promoting contests? Absolutely not!

While at first the change may seem like a bad thing, it by no means signals the end of promotional success on Facebook.

Now, it’s all about how you craft your posts. Aim to create context and wrap the promotion into content. Take a look at this post to see what I mean:

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In addition to a call-to-action to enter their football ticket giveaway, the station asked a very important question: “Name 3 people you’d bring with if you won.” They also included an eye-catching photo and a link to their pre-season football coverage.

Taking a closer look, you can see how people started tagging their friends in the comments when responding to the question. Questions are highly engaging and ultimately enabled this post to spread virally!

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As in your traditional media, the key to success on Facebook with promotions is to combine your promotional messages with quality content.

Here are a few more tips:

  1. Provide interest and value to your audience. Before you hit “Post,” ask yourself, “Is this a post I would like to see in my News Feed?” If the answer is no, chances are your audience won’t want it in their News Feeds either. Even when your aim with a post is to promote a contest, ballot, deal, or quiz, be sure that you are making it worth your audience’s time and attention. Make them laugh, educate them, ask for their opinions – whatever it takes to be truly engaging.
  2. Keep your copy short. When people encounter a wall of text in the News Feed, their impulse is to simply scroll right past. The best way to capture their attention is with short, snappy copy that gets right to the point – aim for 100 characters or less. Challenge yourself to avoid works like “enter” and “win.” Always ask, “Will what I am saying inspire engagement? Am I giving my audience a direct opportunity to engage with the post itself?”
  3. Use visuals. While limiting your character count is one way to capture your audience’s attention, an even better way is to incorporate eye-catching visuals. People are so busy today and images not only catch their attention but are easier to process than text as they scroll through a social media feed. Once your image has them hooked, people will be more likely to continue to read and engage with your contest. (Tip: Use Canva to easily create amazing images quickly – and for free!)
  4. Use video. Video is a huge opportunity for promotional posts on Facebook. Facebook is heavily favoring video content right now, including auto-playing videos in feeds, and Mark Zuckerberg has said that in 5 years most of the News Feed will be filled with video content. Plus videos are easier to create than ever before using your mobile phone or even apps like Vine or Instagram video. Could you put together a fun, engaging 15-30 second promo video like 105.5 Triple M did in this example?

The change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm offers a new opportunity to be more creative with your promotions and a chance to provide even more value to your audience. In fact, Facebook is going to be giving content from publishers a boost in the News Feed, and is even providing new tools to make sure it reaches exactly the right audiences.