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What You Should Know About Facebook Timeline Promotions

Digital Marketing

The biggest challenge to set up your company’s Facebook Page isn’t the cost, content or design. Those are easy (contact nvision 😉. Getting people to find your Page, and actually “Like” it, is the daunting problem that you need to solve to make the entire effort worthwhile.

Fortunately, running a Facebook timeline promotion is a quick way to build a big base of followers – and make sure no one sees just a geeky 7 Likes on your Page.

But, until recently, running a Facebook timeline promotion was nearly as tough as getting a permit to carry a rocket launcher. Facebook is master of its domain and they exerted their power by:

  • Forcing you to use third-party promo apps
  • Not allowing you to use Liking the page as the means to enter the promo (even though that’s the main reason anyone runs a FB promo!),
  • And you couldn’t even think of using the name “Facebook” in your, yes, Facebook promotion

The Day Facebook Changed – And Your Promotions Got Easier

In their never-ending (and so far underwhelming, but getting better) pursuit of generating revenue from their billion-strong captive audience, Facebook announced late last summer that they have unchained their promotion guidelines to make easier for you to run a promotion without anyone’s help.

Facebook Timeline Promotions – What’s In It For You?

It is WAY easier to run a Facebook timeline promotion. You could go right now and start a promo on your Facebook Page by posting an update on your Timeline. That’s it. (OK, before you actually do that, make sure you have the rules and legalities all sorted out – and it’s still best not to mention Facebook). And you can ask entrants to do what was previously forbidden: enter the promotion by Liking and/or Commenting on your Page.

As outlined on Social Media Examiner, here’s a rundown of what you can and cannot do with the new Facebook Timeline promotions:

What You Can Do:

  • Require people to like a post and/or comment on a post to be entered
  • Require that someone post something directly on your timeline to enter (could be a text post or a photo)
  • Use likes as a voting method (either liking a post or photo on your timeline)
  • Require that someone message your page to enter
  • Announce the winner of the contest on your page
  • Use a Like button plugin on a website as a voting mechanism
  • Use an app plugin to post an entry to your contest directly on your page
  • Run your contest through a Facebook app

What You Can’t Do:

  • Require that people share a post or photo to be entered
  • Require someone to post something on their own personal timeline or a friend’s timeline to enter
  • Require people to tag themselves in a photo to either vote or enter
  • Have anyone who likes your page be entered to win (contest does not take place on the timeline)

The Pros and Cons of Timeline Promotions

As good as it sounds, Timeline Promotions are not the perfect answer to all your Facebook marketing goals.


1. Easy to set-up – The actual promotion can be started with a timeline post. Again, make sure the rules, regulations, legalities, and prizes are in order.

2. You can use Likes and Comments as a way to enter the promo. Usually one of the main goals of any FB promo is to build your base of likes and generate comments, which in turn increases your PTAT (People Talking About This) and Total Reach.

3. No third parties. You don’t need a promo app or to hire someone or an agency to run one for you.


1. No email database. Too many Page holders focus on the numbers of Likes. Sure, that’s a great goal to have, but they are generally only useful in the realm of Facebook. App promotions required entrants to enter an email address because Facebook forbade notifying winners on Facebook. The silver lining was that you ended up with a solid chunk of new email addresses at the end of your promotion, which you could use to promote your business outside of Facebook.

2. Difficult to manage. Without an app to track and manage things for you, you need to be aware of the numbers of Likes you’ve received, who they were from and when you got them – and all other aspects of the promo. To avoid losing your life to promo management, timeline promotions should have shorter timeframes of two or three weeks at the most, you should keep prize values relatively low and the promotion should be kept on a smaller scale all around.

Whether it’s on your timeline or app-based, Facebook promotions are a proven way to increase your Facebook Likes and Reach.

If you’d like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at nvision.


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