In the past several years, there has been much confusion about contests and promotions on Facebook. Team members and marketers alike were unaware or ill-advised about Facebook guidelines and terms. As of this week, Facebook has amended their terms and now permits Facebook Page administrators to operate promotions directly on their Page wall.
Facebook defines a promotion as typically including: entries, an element of chance and a prize or giveaway. Per Facebook’s revised terms, the requirement that promotions on Facebook be administered only through apps (third-party applications) has been removed.
This means that now Page administrators can:
- Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
- Collect entries by having users message the Page
- Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
These changes mean more creative freedom to motivate patients to interact with you on Facebook. However, I recommend carefully considering your practice brand, values and what is appropriate for your patients and practice before launching a contest or promotional campaign. Just because it’s easy to launch a contest doesn’t mean it is the best long-term marketing tactic for your practice.
If your team isn’t already aware of how social media communication impacts your brand, now is a great time to discuss this. Set and communicate your intentions for the outcome you want. In other words, what do you most want people to think of when they think of your practice. Then build your campaign to support those intentions. Above all remember to #KeepDentistryClassy by thinking about the context of promotions within our healthcare profession
Note that many practices continue to generate large segments by word of mouth on social media without the need for promotions. Some doctor’s I’ve spoken with are adamant about not using promotions and simply encourage patients to share their thoughts in exchange for a sincere thank you.
On the other hand, if you have a suitable and exciting promotion in mind, carefully read Facebook’s Pages terms details and also be aware of dental board advertising regulations or other restrictions your practice may be limited by in your area. Seek advice from a legal or risk management advisor, if you have questions or concerns regarding the terms details in operating your promotion—contest, drawing or otherwise.
I’m excited to see what creative and engaging campaigns teams brainstorm in light of these new, more flexible guidelines. What are your thoughts about these new options?