Facebook Updates Its Rules. And Sweepstakes Still Suck Big Time As A Marketing Tactic.

By now most of you will have read that Facebook eases up on Brand Page promotions by removing third-party app requirement. If you are working in Marketing, this is kind of a big deal. Staging sweepstakes on Facebook was a pain in the ass on many levels. Promotion Guidelines prevented brands from utilizing the news feed to generate word-of-mouth effects. You had to have a third party app to stage the whole thing. And Facebook didn't allow you to use Facebook functionalities such as FB messages, likes or comments.

So technically this is a big step forward. As a page admin you can now

  • 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

But from a brand and interaction perspective I was quite happy that Facebook rendered sweepstakes as a tool quite useless.

  • Creatively I consider sweepstakes belong to the least inspiring and least beneficial interaction types available
  • Brand-wise I consider them as counterproductive. You attract people because they want to win something, not because they like your brand.
  • From an interaction standpoint they are even worse: you attract people without an interactive value to your Facebook page. This way you lower your overall Edgerank and your visibility as a brand.

All in all: I am not very happy about the update - I am sure it will cultivate one of the least efficient marketing tactics available. But hey, you never know. And...

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