Until recently, the Cyber Empire of Facebook has existed as a free site, where as long as the material posted isn’t offensive or vulgar, anything goes. More recently, Facebook has become a branding and marketing forum, where users can “like” and become “fans” of an idea, business, person, event, etc. In other words, anyone looking to gain more attention on Facebook can have friends go to their page and support them by becoming their friend, or simply clicking “Like”. If you thought news spread like wildfire in the halls of High School, Facebook has created the same concept but on the Internet.
Word of mouth is an easy publicity and marketing mechanism; it’s free and creates valuable discussions that may result in increased business. One of the best, and smartest ways companies have used Facebook is by administering promotions or contests that urge Facebook users to engage with the promotion administrator, and are thus entered to win some exciting prize. While this method has proven very effective for branding (people love free stuff), allowing a Facebook member to gain a vast number of fans in a very short amount of time makes Facebook’s legal team uncomfortable.
A sweepstakes is defined by Facebook as a contest that offers goods of some monetary value in exchange for becoming a “Fan” or “Friend” of the contest administrator. For example, if you have an orthodontic or dental practice, your Facebook account would run a contest, saying that the first 20 people who become your fan and post their favorite type of toothpaste on the practice’s wall win a free toothbrush and floss kit! Since 2009, Facebook’s promotional guidelines have been in flux, in response to the many bloggers and companies that try to work around the guidelines. As of May 11th, 2011, Facebook has revised their guidelines to better accommodate their growing influence in marketing and branding affairs. Below is a review of those guidelines.
What’s the Same
What Has Changed
Check out Brand Awake for more social media marketing ideas.
And as always, we love to hear from you guys. Feel free to comment below!