August 28, 2013, 4:32 PM

Facebook makes it easier for retailers to run promotions

The social network lets marketers run promotions from their timelines.

Lead Photo

Facebook Inc. today updated its promotions policy to let marketers run competitions directly from their timelines, which is the virtual scrapbook on a brand’s page that features a graphical and chronological timeline of notable events and posts shared on the social network. The change means that retailers and other marketers can collect entries to contests by having consumers post content on their pages or by sending a message to the page.

Previously, marketers could  run competitions only through Facebook applications, which often required them to work with a vendor, such as GroSocial Inc.

Facebook says the changes will make it easier for businesses to create and administer promotions on the social network. And, in eliminating the requirement that a consumer download an application, Facebook  also aims to increase the number of users who take part in contests.

Running contests via Facebook applications enables marketers to create  more personalized, branded experiences. However, a brand can more quickly launch a contest when running a contest from its page, says Facebook. That’s because running a contest on a page doesn’t require a marketer to build an application. Moreover, when a Facebook user posts on a brand page to enter a contest, that content may be displayed in his friends’ news feeds. The news feed is the first page a Facebook user sees when logging on to the social network.

The change may lead more retailers to run contests, says John Lusk, chief marketing officer at online women’s eyeglass retailer Rivet & Sway. Because the changes will make it easier to launch a contest, some retailers will likely stop working with some vendors that specialize in building promotional applications, he says, particularly since some of those vendors don’t share all the data they collect. “Retailers will be able to gather more data for themselves,” Lusk says.  



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