Facebook is social. Facebook is fun. So are giveaways. So it makes sense to think to yourself, “I’ll run my next giveaway on my Facebook page.” Facebook is the social network. That’s where your giveaway must be, right? Not so fast.
There are times when running your giveaway on Facebook makes sense. But I’m here to tell you those times are fewer than you might think. You spend time setting up your giveaway, and you spend effort promoting it. You might even spend money to get the word out, whether it’s through Facebook ads or email newsletter sends. I’m here to tell you that you’ll make your dollar and sweat go much further if you do something different:
Run your next giveaway on your own website.
Before launching your next giveaway on Facebook, read through a handful of reasons we’ve listed below why you should consider running your promotions on your site more often than on your Facebook page. Maybe you’ll reconsider.
In Favor Of Your Website
Disclaimer: When we say website, we mean a site or domain that you own, whether it’s on your homepage, a blog post, or a separate landing page.
You can better control the presentation of your giveaway when it’s on your site. Hypothetically, you should have full control over every aspect of the promotion: how it looks, how the page is styled, how it’s branded, and how it might appear on mobile devices. You’ll have more control of what other calls to action (CTAs) you have on the page. You aren’t at the mercy of the 3rd-party Facebook app.
Facebook Promotion Guidelines
If you run your giveaway on your website, you don’t have to worry too much about Facebook promotion guidelines. Do keep in mind that if you advertise or promote the giveaway on Facebook, you’ll still have to abide by their terms.
Easier to Measure
When on your own site, you can use your own analytics that are already installed to get insight into where your traffic is coming from and how your visitors are interacting with your page. Know in full confidence that you’ll be able to see where your traffic is coming from, which might in turn be useful when you run your next giveaway.
Any time you run a giveaway, there’s the strong possibility that you’ll be link building even if that’s not something you set out to do. The bigger and more appealing the promotion, the greater the chances you might have people linking to you.
That being said, the authority that comes from all the link building is largely wasted when your giveaway is only on a Facebook page. You’re only building links for Facebook and the landing page you’re running the giveaway on (which doesn’t belong to you). If you have a giveaway on your domain (blog or landing page), you’re now allowing yourself to build links and gather social proof, both of which can help improve your domain’s organic search rankings.
Advertising Dollars Goes Further
Your ad dollars will go further if you can better control the experience of your promotion. You can have other CTAs surrounding the promotion page when hosted on your site: read another blog post, sign up for your site, or subscribe to your newsletter. If your giveaway is on Facebook, it’s competing with all the other content that Facebook chooses to display in the sidebar and newsfeed.
If you plan to spend any amount of money advertising your giveaway, you’ll get a better bang for your buck if the experience of your promotion is tailored the way you’d like and not restricted by a 3rd-party app. And, if you have better analytics, you’ll be able to better see how effectively you’re spending your money (going back to more measurable).
Here are a handful of other reasons why you should consider your site instead of your Facebook page.
If you run your giveaway on Facebook, you’re limiting your giveaway to those who have Facebook accounts. As of last year, it was reported that 58% of Americans are on Facebook.
Promoting your giveaway in a newsletter (and arguably other advertising mediums) that points to your website feels more natural when it’s pointing to a page on your site vs. a 3rd-party Facebook page app.
You may find your entrants will more likely promote a link that’s hosted on your brand’s site as opposed to on a Facebook page app.
Finally, as the site owner, you’ll be able to control the images and text that appear when the page is shared by participants on social media, which can help you tailor and control the message that’s seen when it appears in your entrants and their friends’ newsfeeds, Twitter streams, etc.
In Favor Of Your Facebook Page
Facebook does serve a purpose, though. Below are several cases where running your promotion on your Facebook page makes sense.
Out of the Box Solution – If you don’t have the time to set up a landing page or the resources needed to put something together on your site, using a 3rd-party app could be a great solution.
No Blog or Website – Maybe you don’t have a blog or website and don’t have anywhere else to run it. Running a giveaway through a 3rd-party app or on your timeline is always a good alternative.
If Facebook Is Your Main Source of Social Networking – Maybe you don’t use Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. If your business or blog has invested a majority of your social networking time and energy into Facebook, maybe Facebook is where you want your giveaway to be.
Specifically Rewarding Your Facebook Fans – If you want to hold a giveaway to give back to those that like your page, there’s nothing wrong with running and promoting your giveaway on Facebook only.
We’re a company that creates giveaway software. As such, we are constantly running giveaways with our own software, often to show an example of how our software works. We usually run a monthly giveaway on a landing page hosted on our site, but we’ll have the same entry form on our Facebook page as well. That way, if someone asks us over our support channel for an example of how our app works on Facebook, we have one readily available.
But while the entry form is the same on that Facebook page as on our landing page, we will never promote the Facebook landing page and instead always push traffic to our site. Even if we promote this giveaway on Facebook, we always link to our site. And we do this for all the reasons we’ve listed above.
We don’t completely ignore Facebook though. We will run the occasional flash giveaway on our Facebook timeline as well— check out several examples of Facebook flash giveaways here. But we mostly use those to reward our Facebook fans with Rafflecopter swag as well as to show off how our Facebook flash giveaway app functions.
So when do you run giveaways on Facebook exclusively? Are there any pros and cons of running a giveaway on your Facebook page vs. on your website that we should know about? Share with us in the comments below!