From the Winter 2012 issue of our newsletter, Let's Grow. For a FREE subscription, CLICK HERE.

Facebook Promotions 101

How to get fans, sales and more


Promotions offer one of the best ways to generate sales, leads and marketing insights from Facebook. Step by step, here’s how to go about it.

Determine Your Goals

Do you want to increase your fan base? Sell product? Get feedback from your customers? Different strategies are required for each, so be clear about your goals.

Plan Your Strategy

There are many types of Facebook promotions you can run, including sweepstakes, quizzes, photography contests, video contests, and essay contests. You can offer individual coupons, or popular group coupons that require a minimum number of people to participate. Winners can be chosen at random, by company representatives, or by fan vote.

Which strategy is best for you? Start with a primary goal. If you want to increase your fan base, or your email opt-ins, keep it simple. The fewer required steps, the more entries you’ll receive. For the largest response, try sweepstakes, coupons, or some short quizzes.

If you want to foster engagement and generate content you can use in other marketing, think about photo, video or essay contests.

Another key component of your strategy is the prize you offer. Make sure your prizes will attract the type of entrant you want. By offering a prize that relates to what you sell, you’ll eliminate the “fans” who are really only interested in winning the latest high tech gadget.

Consider the Details

Next, decide details such as when will the promotion start and end? What are the entry requirements? How will you publicize it?

Promotions can be as short as a few hours, or as long as a month or two. If you’re running a promotion and don’t already have a large fan base, you’ll need to let it run for at least a month so you can publicize it. Also, for photo, video or essay contests, which require effort for entrants to participate, you’ll need to allow time for them to do so.

One of the most effective ways to build your Facebook fan base is “fangating”: requiring entrants to like your Facebook page in order to enter a contest. Other entry requirements are probably unnecessary for most companies.

How will you let people know about your promotion? You must be sure to mention it everywhere: on your Facebook Wall, in your enewsletter,  in your email signature, on your site. For an ongoing promotion, such as a photo contest with prizes awarded monthly, you can also publicize it in your catalog, in bouncebacks, and on packing slips. Facebook advertising targeted at gardeners is another option for reaching new prospects.

Select a Service Provider

Facebook has strict rules regarding promotions. Ignore them and you risk having your Facebook page shut down permanently. The easiest and safest way to comply is to work with an approved service provider. Some choices include Easypromos, Fanappz, Offerpop, Votigo and Wildfire. They also provide assistance integrating Facebook into websites, selecting winners, and metrics.

Pricing varies depending on the type and length of the promotion, the size of your fan base, and the services you require. Many service providers offer free trials with limited functionality, and you can certainly test the waters for under $1,000.

Design Your Promotion

Before you being, create a web page describing the promotion, as well as the entry form. Keep it very simple, but remember to ask for information you’ll find helpful in future marketing. The entry form is a perfect place to ask people to opt-in to your enewsletter or request a catalog.

Facebook promotions can help you achieve any number of goals. Plan them wisely, execute them carefully, and you’ll have a new marketing tool at your disposal.


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Helpful Articles

For helpful how-to articles from past issues of Let’s Grow, our newsletter of marketing insights for the garden industry, click on the links below.