Posting your Contest or Promotion to Facebook Timeline – Best Practices

UPDATE: Facebook made changes in 2014 to the News Feed algorithm and this is no longer a recommended practice.  View latest here.

You’ve decided to run a promotion on your Facebook Page.

You’ve setup the tab using an approved Facebook Promo App and you’re ready to launch.

It’s the “if you build it, they will come” fallacy.  Simply having it live is not the end.  You’ve got to capture attention and drive fans and their friends to the tab on your Facebook Page.

To many businesses are failing at this key juncture.

Getting the attention of and making it easy for all fans (desktop and mobile) to access the promotion can totally make or break your promotion getting traction!  It can mean the difference between 5 entries and 500 entries; between 5 Likes and Shares and 5000 Likes and Shares!

So how do you best get the word out on Facebook?


The Answer:

Post a Photo to your News Feed with a call to action and a Smart URL in the description field.


Why a Photo?

Facebook, in its own research, found that the most successful posts for capturing the attention of users and inspiring action are visual. Photo albums generated 180 percent more engagement than other types of posts, and individual photos 120 percent more. Since 40 percent of a Facebook user’s time is spent in the News feed, capturing attention to inspire a “Like,” comment or share by using images is critical.


Quick Guide for posting your contest or promotion to Facebook.  

This works for posting to your Facebook Page or a Facebook personal profile.


1. Go to your Timeline on Facebook and select “Photo / Video” for your new message.



2. Next Select “Attach Photo / Video”



3. Choose the image

Choose the image you want to post, add a text description to inform viewers of the promotion (this is the call-to-action that fans will see in their News Feed when the image catches their eye!), and include a smart URL to the tab in the description so that desktop and mobile viewers can access the tab.



Then simply publish the post or schedule it to go out at a specific later time.

Following this procedure gives you the best visual means to sharing information about your promotion and drawing in fans to participate.  With images continually permforming better in engagement (Likes, Shares, and Comments) this method is the best current practice for sharing your promotion on Facebook.


Bonus Tips:

Announce Promotion on Facebook Page Cover Image

To get even further traction, consider updating your Facebook Page Timeline Cover Image during the active promotion time period with an image that alerts users to the promotion.  See example below of a Cover image that notes the contest promotion that is currently running. (Be sure to comply with Facebook Cover image guidelines.)



Create  111 x 74 Tab Image

As well,  make sure your Facebook Page Tab 111 x 74 image is in the top row and encourages the user to take action to go to the tab and participate in your Facebook promotion.  This helps draw in visitors who have come to your Facebook Page and alerts them on your current promotion.



This model for announcing your Facebook page promotion helps businesses capture the attention of fans and friends of fans.  The use of images to announce your promotion enables pages to best capture the attention of viewers.  This combined with the use of a Smart URL to enable mobile viewers easy access to the promotion, helps to ensure that “when you promote it right, they will come!



Author: Mike Gingerich,  TabSite Co-Founder.  Facebook and Internet Marketer. Part geek, part marketer, total social media junkie. TabSite is a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with apps, contests, and promotion tools.


Want to learn more about types of Contest and Promotion Apps?  Visit TabSite Engagement Apps

Facebook INFOGRAPHIC on key sizes for images: See TabSite Facebook Timeline Infographic

Running a Facebook Promotion – January 17 Webinar – View Details >




About Mike Gingerich

Mike Gingerich, President of Digital Hill & TabSite is a business blogger Marketer and Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, part strategist, total fitness and running junkie. Mike is an author and speaker, having presented at Social Media Week Lima, Social Media Camp (Canada) and more. Mike is a marketing, social media, and business startup enthusiast with 10+ years experience building apps, consulting, and training businesses with winning integrated strategies. Mike loves deploying tactics to increase awareness, sales, and maximize ROI in both B2B and B2C markets via digital media.

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