As an agency that frequently uses the third party app, Woobox, for clients’ Facebook promotions, we took notice yesterday when Facebook announced an update to their Page Terms that allows promotions on Facebook to be run without the use of a third party app.
Before I had a chance to get past the headline, I wondered about the implications for Woobox and other third party apps as I thought back to an article I read on Monday about how Facebook’s new shared photo albums “killed 100 startups” that based their apps around the same premise. Fortunately for Woobox and other third party promotion apps, the new promotions functionality is underwhelming. It only allows Page admins to:
- Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
- Collect entries by having users message the Page
- Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
So why stick with a third party app for Facebook contests?
They are completely personalized.
With an app like Woobox, you have a ton of flexibility to create a campaign that really amplifies your brand’s voice instead of getting lost on your Page timeline. The options are seemingly endless with apps for sweepstakes, coupons, photo contests, video contests, rewards and more—all completely customizable to fit your brand from the imagery and entry form fields to the default Twitter share message and even the text on the “Enter” button.
They boost contest virality.
The new terms prohibit administering promotions on personal Timelines, which means you can’t ask a user to share your contest—a function critical to virality that is commonly built right in to third party apps.
They make your life easier.
If you choose to run your contest through Facebook, entries still need to be processed manually. So while you may save some money ($1 – $249 USD for a one month promotion, depending on the size of your fan base), you won’t save on time. Also, with these changes, Facebook hasn’t introduced any accompanying infrastructure to actually help you build a promotion. With most third party apps you’ll get easy-to-use templates and the administrative stuff taken care of from compiling entries into a tidy spreadsheet to providing a handy randomized winner-picking tool.
They make your life easier. They—the support team.
Having worked with a third party app for the last two years on multiple Facebook campaigns, I have to say the customer service is unparalleled (and not just because Facebook’s is nonexistent). Every time I have emailed or called Woobox with questions about my campaign, I speak with a helpful team member. Although this may not directly impact the effectiveness on your campaign, to me it makes a big difference—less headache, more getting-stuff-done.