Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to Execute a Successful Facebook Promotion

If you read our last blog post, then you know how to legally advertise your company’s beverage on Facebook. It is equally important to understand the ways in which you may market your product or service through promotions. Facebook maintains a strictand complex policy on these operations, so we will explain the two trickier aspects of its official guidelines below.

Invest in a Third-Party Application

Facebook’s first rule states that promotions “must be administered within Apps on” Unless you are a web developer, it will almost certainly cheaper and easier to use a third-party application such as Wildfire, Strutta, Involver, Vitrue, or OfferPop. These tools, although not free, will help you to easily set up a successful Facebook promotions campaign.

Be Cautious when Including Facebook Features in Your Promotion

According to official guidelines, businesses should not enable entry into promotions through the sole use of Facebook features and functionalities. This means that businesses cannot automatically register individuals for contests when they like or submit a photo to a Page. However, companies maylegally make the liking of a Page a partial component to entering a promotion. Why? Users must be able to view and accept the full terms and conditions of a promotion before participating in it. This goes back to our previous point about investing in third-party applications, which will direct individuals off of Facebook (e.g. to the company’s official site) where they can legally view and accept the official terms and conditions of the promotion.

It is not enough to merely provide exposure for your company in today’s social media-driven society. Brands must creatively interact with consumers in order to effectively market their products and services. As one of many ways to accomplish this task, promotions are imperative to conducting successful marketing campaigns for businesses in the food, beverage, and restaurant industry. We will continue to elaborate upon other tools and strategies in upcoming blog posts. In the meantime, please tell us what you would like to learn more below.

Legally Advertising Your Beverage on Facebook

How can a brand legally promote alcohol on Facebook? Given Facebook’s pervasiveness across all age demographics, social media promotions have become a necessary component to traditional advertising campaigns. Are you familiar with Facebook’s official rules governing alcohol advertisement? Here is a breakdown below.

Target your regions individually. Different areas possess different laws regarding the promotion of alcohol. Familiarize yourself with the rules and restrictions of each locality in question before creating an advertisement to run.

Convey the age and nationality of your target audience through your advertisement. Ads may only be displayed to users whose age and country can be determined. 

Be transparent. Advertisements should never include content intended to appeal to individuals who are underage, pregnant, or nursing. Ads should never convey dishonest or misleading messages about alcoholic beverages, portray people consuming them with abandon, or reference intoxication. 

Associations between alcoholic consumption and achievement/ positive benefits of any kind should be avoided along with references to driving and violent, dangerous, and/or antisocial behavior. 

Include a disclaimer. Facebook recommends that ‘all alcohol ads contain text that promotes drinking responsibly (for example “Drink Responsibly,” “Drink Smart” or other similar text customarily used in the targeted market).’ For a more complete list of rules, read through Facebook's Rules regarding alcohol advertisement.

In summary, many of the rules governing the advertisement of alcohol on print and television also apply on Facebook. Yet given the plastic and evolving nature of social media, it is always a good idea to thoroughly research these guidelines, especially with regard to target audiences, for currency and legality before creating an ad campaign to run on Facebook.

This month, we discussed how to legally advertise alcohol on Facebook. In our next post, we will outline ways to run legal promotions for your alcoholic beverage.

Geolocation Applications for Restaurants and Bars

Even if you currently use Facebook and Twitter, social media technologies are evolving every day. Have you heard your guest say they “checked-in” to your venue? Chances are many of your guests have checked in a number of times and left tips for other visitors using geolocation apps.

The following will help you understand “geolocation apps” and what 5 steps you can take to engage guests, increase business and beat the competition.

Introduction to Geolocation Apps

Geolocation apps allow people to find places to eat, drink, track and communicate with friends and seek special offers or rewards. Essentially they download any number of geolocation apps to their smartphone. The app uses the phone’s GPS coordinates to find what’s nearby.

They now have the ability to “check-in” to that given location, find what specials or deals are offered, read helpful tips from people, and accumulate points/badges. They can also check surrounding competitors and decide which location has the “best deal.”

As a business owner you can use this free technology to boost your business, but first you must “claim your venue.”

5 Steps to Claiming Your Venue (Let’s use our favorite: Foursquare)

Go to Foursquare for Business 

Click on Venue Owner 

Click on Search & Claim Your Venue 

You can attract new customers or reward your most loyal ones by offering specials which are presented to users when they check in. 

By claiming your venue, you will gain access to the business dashboard where you can manage statistics on recent visitors 

Example Promotions:

First time here? Take 25% off any item in the store. 

Free soft drink with meal for each guest that checks in. 

Every 3rd check in gets you a free appetizer with purchase of entrée.

Come with 4 friends and unlock a round of buffalo wings or cheese fries. 

First 10 people here for dinner get a free side dish or dessert with purchase of entrée. 

The mayor get's an item on the menu named after him/her if they remain mayor for a full month.

Geolocation apps like foursquare provide a free set of tools to help you attract new customer and keep your best ones coming back. Best of all it's free, so what are you waiting for!?

Future of Geo Location Apps & Geo Fencing

AT&T and Loopt have recently announced a function that allows the companies to push you a text message if you are near a venue with a deal. Imagine, being within 25 feet from a restaurant and you get a text “Since you are so close stop in for a free appetizer with purchase of entrée.”

Are you currently using geolocation apps? Tell us what you have done and the pros and cons. This was written by Dronkers Solutions, like us on Facebook!