Boost Engagement with Facebook Promotions

Selecting the Right Type for your Facebook Page

Facebook Engagement — the “Holy Grail” for companies on Facebook.  Companies that achieve engagement have pages with an active, positive, and involved community.  This type of social community responds to Facebook posts, is committed to the brand, and helps to further extend the reach of the Page through their sharing and comments.  When broken down into tangible factors, increased engagement can bring about positive returns in a number of areas for marketers including:

  • Increased Likes
  • More brand awareness
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • Increased e-mail list opt-ins and subscribers
  • And more actions taken on ordering products and services


Research data reported by Vocus notes that 79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked.  Thus, pursuing more fans and deeper engagement with existing fans is a valuable priority!


The million dollar question, though, remains, “how can a company boost engagement for their Facebook Page?”  While there are a number of core methods for increasing engagement such as creating highly shareable content, posting images and videos, and posting succinctly at key times, another powerful method is to run promotions.


Promotions have the ability to draw fans and new visitors to a Facebook page and when used correctly, can be a very valuable tool to accomplish the engagement objectives noted.


A key question when thinking about running a promotion on a Facebook Page is, ” what type of promotion will work best for my goals?”

The answer: it varies!  Certain promotion types lend themselves to different end-goal objectives.  In addition, certain promotions may lend themselves better to certain industries.

Below we'll outline a number of promotion types and give keys for selecting the right type to run on your Facebook Page.  Each type can draw fans back as well as be the incentive for new visitors to come and explore your Page.  All of the types mentioned below are Facebook approved third-party apps to add to a Facebook Page tab that comply with Facebook's promotion policy.

4 Types of Facebook Page promotions



A sweepstakes is a chance-based promotion that is simple to setup and allows for easy entry.  Visitors typically enter by completing a simple form with fields for their name and e-mail address, and then a winner or winner(s) are drawn randomly after a set date.   As with most promotion apps available for Facebook there can be a fan or Like Gate image that requires the fan to “Like” the Page in order to access the entry form.

Pro's of using a Sweepstakes:

  • Low barrier to entry (simple form completion)
  • Can work for a wide variety of industries
  • Pages can receive key user information, important for future marketing such as e-mail or location


Old Farmers Almanac

Sweepstakes by Old Farmer's Almanac on Facebook

A sweepstakes may limit each user to one entry or allow users to enter repeatedly. Allowing users to enter daily enables more interaction potential with the visitor, because it brings them back to the Facebook page more often.  A sweepstakes promotion can work for a wide variety of businesses including B2B and B2C. Sweepstakes help draw fans in to enter, though the engagement potential is not as high as some other promotion types.


  • Keep the entry form simple – too many fields and less will enter.
  • Make the prize relevant to your company! A iPad is not real relevant if you own a craft store.
  • Ensure the prize value equates to your product.  $30 Gift Card for $600 watches is not a overwhelming deal, nor do you want to offer a $1500 Macbook Pro for your women's boutique promotion.  The prize doesn't relate to the business, nor does the value equate to the low barrier to entry.



A deal or offer is another promotion option that typically has a low barrier to entry.  Often a deal or offer app on a Facebook page asks the user to do something and then when this task is completed the user is granted access to the deal. For example, “Like our Page to access this 40% off Coupon” is one method commonly employed on deal tabs.  Other app offerings include sharing a post on your Facebook news feed or sharing a post on a friend's timeline in order to access the deal. Like sweepstakes, deals are useful because (1) users respond to deal offers and (2) a task helpful to the company (More Page Likes or spreading the deal message) is accomplished as well.

Pro's of using a Deal app:

  • Low barrier to entry (simple task completion)
  • Expands reach to additional social networks  – This can help the Page reach a wider audience or another type of audience than currently reached by their Facebook Page
  • Can work for a wide variety of industries
  • Pages get something of value in return such as further exposure, a “Like”, or a e-mail address

Facebook Deal Example

Facebook Deal Example



  • Make it of value!  The deal must be significant enough for the user to be feel it is worthwhile to proceed.
  • Clearly outline the steps involved (such as “click here and pin this image to Pinterest”)
  • Keep the process simple!  If it involves too many steps, more people will bail out on the process
  • Make it easy to share – Deals are often something like “Get 40% off xyz”.  Make it easy and part of the process to encourage sharing of the deal socially by those that have accessed the deal.  This is how reach is expanded!



A contest is different than a sweepstakes or a deal offer. This type of promotion requires more from the user and can be called a “skill-based promotion”.  A contest entry typically requires more effort and skill for the entry submission, such as taking and submitting a photo entry that meets certain requirements.  As well, instead of a random drawing to determine the winner, contests typically involve voting by the public, or judging by a select group in order to determine the winner.  While photo contests are the most common type of contest routinely used, there are other types of contests such as video entry, essay or caption as well.


Pro's for using a Facebook Contest:

  • More opportunity for engagement

Entrants are one segment of those participating, while those coming to view entries and vote are another participating group.  Together, this can add more overall reach, exposure, and interaction to the page.

  • Entrants are motivated to share with Friends

Entrants want votes, so they extend the reach of the contest to their network of friends asking for their vote.  This social sharing by entrants to their friends increases the overall reach of the contest.  As well, this friend-to-friend introduction of a Page by an entrant to their friend can be a positive referral mechanism.  It adds trust and credibility to the Page, and it's products and services, via the friend invitation to vote.

  • Better qualifying of entrants

Entrants are meeting a certain criteria for entry which is a sifting mechanism.  It adds a barrier to those who simply enter any promotion because it's easy and they might win, regardless of their interest in the company providing the offer.  Depending on the guidelines needed to enter, this process can serve to qualify or pre-screen entrants as potential customers.  If they need to submit a picture of themselves with your product in the picture, this is one level of qualification and connection with your product.  An even greater level of sifting would be if the entrant needs to produce a 30 second promotional video related to your service/event and why they need to win.  This would require them to become familiar with your product to submit a relevant entry.

  • Access to user generated content

If the promotional rules outline that the entries can be used by the company holding the contest, this can be an excellent method to gather user generated content that is relevant to your brand and which can be used in future social marketing.

A contest offers more potential for engagement simply in terms of having two ways to participate, both entrants and also voters participate.  As well, the motivation for an entrant to spread the word to their network to come and vote for their entry adds to the engagement potential.  Another option for a contest is to consider a two-stage process.  This adds the benefit of a initial round of voting and then the need to return to view and vote again in the finalist round.

Facebook Photo Contest Example

Facebook Photo Contest Example

Contests may not work for some industries and types of businesses that simply do not lend themselves to this type of engagement.  For instance, it might be a stretch for a medical practitioner to run a photo contest due to privacy concerns or relevance.


  • Be very clear about what the entrant needs to submit to meet your entry criteria.
  • The prize value should associate in line with the time commitment the entrant will invest in order to develop their entry.  (A $30 Gift Certificate won't cut it for needing to create a 30 second video trailer that involves actors and editing!)
  • Keep the contest moving!  Do not run a month long contest.  The attention span of a Facebook user is not geared to keeping track of an entry and voting once a day for 30 days.  5-7 days is a better span or perhaps 10 days if it is a 2 stage (initial and finalist rounds) contest.
  • Set voting to 1x per day.  This encourages entrants to get voters to come back each day, a perfect situation for your page!



A multi-network social promotion is an additional promotion option that involves Facebook and at least one other social media platform such as Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Similar to a deal, the user is asked to accomplish a task and upon completion they are then given access to the deal offer.  The difference is that the task is centered around doing something on a different social platform such as Pinterest or Instagram. In this case the user comes to the Facebook page and the promotion is outlined.  The user then accomplishes the task such as adding a image to Instagram with a certain hashtag or using a integrated pin tool to pin a image to Pinterest.  In some cases the images can be pulled in from the other social network to appear on the tab or in other cases the image is simply on the other network but the result is that a user has engage with a brand Facebook page and also simultaneously extended information about the brand to another social network.


Pro's for using a Multi-Network Social Promo:

  • Extends brand to more social locations – This type of promotion can work great for a company whose audience is active on more than one social network or for a company seeking to continue gaining Facebook traction but also seeking to expand and enlarge visibility on Pinterest for example.
  • Image Driven – Images are powerful in social media and a multi-network social promo using images can capture the attention of viewers and invite engagement such as sharing and comments, all of which can serve to boost visibility and drive referral traffic.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of businesses – A multi-network social promotion can work for apparel firms to credit unions, venues to radio stations and more.


Instagram Contest for Facebook Page

Instagram Contest for Facebook Page



  • Know your target audience!  Is your target using Pinterest or Instagram already?  If so, a multi-network social promotion could work well.
  • Ensure the process is seamless -To ensure the highest completion rates, make sure the promotion is doing the work for you and giving the user the best possible experience.  Apps integrating OAuth for login or other integrated means to access the second service right within the process (no ‘open in new browser window' issues) are critical.  Users must come, understand, and be able to complete in short order.
  • Be active on the second social network!  Make sure your company has a solid presence on the second social network!  It is of less value if you want users to tweet or pin if your brand isn't also there to follow!


Promotions for Facebook pages offer the power to draw fans in, boost page engagement, and accomplish tangible marketing goals such as increasing e-mail list numbers.  Deals in the form of coupons and discount codes continue to be attractive means to help increase traffic to a page and offer a incentive method to help visitors begin a fan relationship with the page.  While not an end in themselves, contests and offers can be part of a larger marketing strategy and a key piece of helping a business grow their social community.


Let's hear from you!  Have promotions helped your Facebook page?  Any questions about the types of promotions outlined here?

This is a guest post by Mike Gingerich, Co-Founder of Tabsite


Free TabSite Trial:

TabSite offers a free 14 Day Trial option for all plans, including our Platinum Plan for Contests, Sweepstakes, Email Sign-up tabs, and Deals.  This includes tools for social campaign integration on Facebook that include Instagram, Pinterest, and more.