I am not the foremost leading expert on social media by any means. However, I have been involved in social media for a few years. I started because of my party planning business, but now I use social media for my business and my blog. I help other companies get the word out about their products, and I help other businesses learn how to make social media work for them. Utilizing social media can be confusing, so over the next several weeks, I decided to cover some important tips and information to help those of you with businesses and/or blogs utilize social media outlets better.
I decided to start here because I have been seeing these pop up more and more lately, and if you have a Facebook page for your business or blog, you may be tempted to do this. I want to discuss with you why you shouldn’t.
Facebook changes their rules frequently about what you can and cannot do as a page owner. They change their algorithms as well, and just when you think you have it all figured out, they change it again! It’s frustrating to create a page, constantly create content for it, and then find out that only a handful of your followers have even seen it. You might be tempted to run a contest on your page to get more “likes” or traffic to your page in hopes that it will translate into page views for your website or blog. However, those contests violate the new terms of Facebook that rolled out in the fall of 2014 and running a contest like that could get your page removed. The new terms eliminate “like gating,” where one is forced to like a page in order to enter a contest. If you run a contest via Facebook, you may tell someone they have to comment on a post to win. However, you cannot make “liking” a page or “sharing” a post as a way of entry. You also must have a disclosure on the giveaway that says that Facebook is not connected with the giveaway and provides the terms of the giveaway. You can find the whole set of rules under Page Features: Promotions and in the Developers section where it talks about “Changes to Platform Policy.”
Personally, I don’t really like to run contests via Facebook. There are too many fake pages out there that run “Like and Share” giveaways as phishing scams. I don’t want to do anything that would hurt the integrity of my page. I have tried testing the Rafflecopter app over the holidays to see how that would work for my page. For that, you can have people visit your page as an entry, but they are not required to like it. If you have other means of social media ie: a blog, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, it might be more beneficial for you to explore Rafflecopter as an option to run giveaways.
While it might be frustrating that people are not seeing your posts, please remember that Facebook is only one avenue of many for social media and a free one at that. To maximize your organic reach, try looking at your stats and perhaps try posting at different times to see if you get more traffic that way.
Remember that just because you see others do something doesn’t mean you should too, especially if the risk means that you might lose all your hard work.