Facebook Contests for Nonprofits: Should You Use a Third-Party App?

Main Page Content Facebook 8.27.13

This is a guest post from Sandra Morris of CafeGive, a leader in creating and executing Facebook contests for nonprofits and businesses. After Facebook recently changed its rules on contests, I asked Sandra what the changes meant and if organizations should continue to use third-party applications for contests.

Understanding the New Terms for Facebook Contests

First, let’s look at the major change Facebook made:

Administrators can now create promotions without being required to use third-party applications.

Facebook used to require a third party application to administer any contest, and expressly stated that you could not use its platform—meaning the newsfeed—to collect entries or to notify winners.

Several other requirements in the old policy have remained the same, however. Contest administrators still have to ensure that the contest operation is lawful, and include at minimum the following:

  • Official rules
  • Offer terms and eligibility requirements
  • A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant
  • An acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook

There are a few other, minor items beyond those points that you will need to know to keep your contest compliant. You can see all the new terms here.

Creating contests with third-party applications has become fairly common practice on Facebook. You can easily create and administer a third-party contest without any technical know-how, thanks to platform companies like ours, CafeGive Social.

With a limited set of graphics (a banner or two), your brand and messages, you can quickly get a contest page up and running. The most time-consuming part today for our customers is in creating the terms and conditions, making sure you have a covered the regulations, and ensuring your content’s compliant with the requirements Facebook has kept in place.

Third-party resources like CafeGive’s include a space to post this information, which is then linked to the contest so that it meets requirements.

Should You Still Use a Third-Party App?

We believe the best reason to use a third-party application is to produce a homepage for your contest. Third-party providers have created methods to visually brand your contest and link to all the required terms and conditions. But, more importantly, that homepage can also be the place you send people to learn about you, the contest and how to engage with your brand.

With a third-party app, you can:

  • Require a Like to enter the contest
  • Ask entrants for an email address
  • Reward entrants for promoting the contest
  • Collect and powerfully display content from consumers like photos, video or text from entrants
  • Host a contest on multiple Facebook pages—yours, your business sponsors’, others
  • Host a contest on your website and your Facebook page simultaneously
  • Use the unique URL of your contest in email promotions, text promotions and other social media posts to drive traffic (76% of contest entries online come still come from email, and a Facebook post cannot be sent as a URL)
  • Gain access to a variety of metrics including visits and conversions

Things to Consider if You Don't Use a Third-Party App

No doubt, it’s much easier to run with Facebook's new rules and simply create a post to launch a contest to your fans rather than to create a homepage for your contest. But consider the following:

  • How many fans see a typical post?
  • How often will you repost?
  • Will you pay to promote the post to get maximum exposure?
  • How will you notify the winner?
  • How will you make sure you have met all the regulations around contests on Facebook and in your locality?

If you have more questions about the changes to Facebook contests, or how a contest could support your marketing goals, you can contact Sandra and the CafeGive team here.

Related Pinterest Board: #FWB40 - Facebook Contest Fundraiser

4 Steps to Launching a Fundraiser on Pinterest

Sloane Berrent sent me this news on the latest campaign from beauty brand Elizabeth Arden that combines cause marketing with Pinterest. I was struck by how easy it is to execute a cause marketing promotion on Pinterest - and that Elizabeth Arden was a darn good teacher.This is how it works:

Step 1: Recruit a Company Partner

Yeah, this is the hard part for most nonprofits, but not for Look Good Feel Better, which teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients that have appearance-related side effects from their cancer treatments. They were lucky to find Elizabeth Arden - or maybe EA found them. Whatever the case, once you have a partner that is willing to commit cash or product to a promotion (Elizabeth Alden is donating up to 10,000 eyeliners) you move next to creating the program on Pinterest.

EA Pinit.png
EA Pinit.png

Step 2: Create a Board, Pick a Hashtag

On Elizabeth Arden's Pinterest page they created a board called #PinItToGiveIt and uploaded a bunch of relevant images. Regardless of whether you use one image or ten, be sure to use the same hashtag. 

EA Board.png
EA Board.png

Step 3: Promote the Board

Let people know about the board on and off social media. This is where being active on other social networks is helpful. For all its growth and publicity, Pinterest isn't a standalone site. You still need a blog, Twitter, YouTube and, of course, Facebook. Make sure people understand that their repin triggers the donation.

ea facebook.png
ea facebook.png

Step 4: Count Up Your Pins & Collect Your Donation

How much money did you raise, or how many Elizabeth Arden eyeliners will Look Good, Feel better receive? Just revisit your board and see how many repins you have. Add them up and you have your total!

ea pincount.png
ea pincount.png

While recruiting a company partner and promoting your board and hashtag will take time and skill, setting up the promotion on Pinterest is just as easy as setting up a Facebook Like Promotion.

What do you think? Are you ready to give cause marketing a try on Pinterest?

Why I Don't Follow Your Nonprofit or You on Twitter

I have a lover affair with Twitter. But it has too end. So sorry, Twitter. I give you way too much time and attention. I have a business to build and can't give you more time than you deserve.

Of course, Twitter isn't the real problem. It's not where I hang out that's the issue. It's all the people I meet there with their yummy conversations, insights and links.

I've learned a ton on Twitter, and I get most of my blog post ideas from Twitter too. But sometimes I feel like I'm looking through the dictionary for just the right word when what I really need is a thesaurus. In short, I think I'm using Twitter the wrong way.

The first step in my rehabilitation was to do something Chris Brogan did back in September: I unfollowed everyone on Twitter.

I have to admit I felt liberated as I unfollowed people. But then I felt anxious, and only felt better as I added people back. Phew.

I had a criteria in mind as I hit that follow button.

  • I followed friends.
  • I followed people that were leaders in cause marketing and social media.
  • I followed people that I communicate with via direct message.
  • I followed people that tweet awesome stuff - even if we never talk.
  • I followed people that tweet a lot.
  • I followed people that showed up in my "Mentions" column on Tweetdeck
  • I followed people whose tweets I "favorite" for later reading.

I didn't follow back people that

  • I felt obligated to follow. Yep, few of them still left.
  • I followed in another way - on Facebook, LinkedIn, RSS - that is a better way to communicate with them.
  • Weren't people. I try not to follow brand handles...or anyone with an animal for an avatar. If the best picture of you is your cat, I already know too much about you.
  • Didn't tweet a lot.The last factor has always been an important one for me. If you don't tweet a lot you won't show up in my stream and I won't think to further investigate your tweets. I've noticed that the first thing I look at in someone's Twitter profile is how many tweets they have.

You might be asking why I don't use Twitter lists more. I never have. It doesn't seem to make sense. You're either following someone or you're not. They either have the goods you want or they don't. I don't need another list to scroll through or to ignore because I don't want to appear impolite.

I did create a couple more keyword columns to monitor topics of interest. I've always had columns for "cause marketing", "#causemarketing", and, since I started writing QR Codes for Dummies, "qr codes". I also added "nonprofit mobile", and for this week "#12ntc" and "innogive" so I can follow the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco.

The hazard of the latter two columns is I'm finding some great new Twitter followers. I'm trying to tread carefully.

One thing my experiment had in common with Brogan's was the surprising reaction some people had to being unfollowed. It made me laugh!



I even got a few emails from people asking if I was "Ok."

Yeah, I'm okay. Now scram. I'm busy....Um, but tweet me later, OK?

Why Every Cause Marketer Should Buy Facebook Marketing for Dummies

I'm really proud of my buddy, John Haydon. He just published his first book, Facebook Marketing for Dummies. I can't think of a person more capable of writing this title for Wiley Publishing than John. He has incredible knowledge of Facebook marketing. I'm lucky because I don't need this book as much you do. I have John. He and I have been friends since we met on Twitter in 2008. If I have a question about Facebook, I just call him.

Now you can too by buying this helpful book, which shares all the things John would tell me about Facebook marketing (minus all the swear words and talk about how skinny and hairy he is compared to how fat and bald I am).

Combined with John's amazing blog, the book gives you one stop shopping for Facebook marketing advice. And all for sixteen bucks!

From a cause marketing perspective, this book is an important addition to the tool chest. Facebook is by far the most dominant social media platform for cause marketing. In a post I wrote for ForMomentum.com for Valentine's Day, which will be live today or tomorrow, two of the three programs I featured were Facebook like promotions.

But as we're all learning from John, successful cause marketing on Facebook is more than just getting likes. He'll show you how to travel the long road to Facebook success: engagement.

Besides being a super guy, something I wish all of you could experience for yourself because I've never had more fun or laughed so hard or learned so much than when I'm hanging with John, he's truly the "Facebook Guy."

IKEA Saves the Children When Facebook Fans Invite Friends to Shop

This is my featured post in Mediapost: Causes. Subscribe to its weekly newsletter and learn from some of the best thought leaders in the cause world! 

One of the more successful digital tactics for cause marketing are Facebook "Likes" promotions. When you "Like" the nonprofit's page or the company's page - or both, depending on the promotion - the company makes an in-kind or cash donation to the nonprofit.

A good recent example of Facebook cause marketing was the Kraft Fight Hunger Facebook page for Feeding America during November. “Liking” the page triggered one meal donation, and more donations were earned as fans answered football and food-related trivia questions through the 2 Minute Trivia Drill Game.

The program generated a whopping 25 million meals for Feeding American food banks across the country.

An added benefit of Facebook Like promotions is the boost in fan count on both partners' pages as friends and family ask others to "like" the page.

This coming weekend, home products giant IKEA is betting that Facebook cause marketing will fill its stores.

On January 14th, IKEA is hosting a Bring Your Own Friends (BYOF) event with deals and giveaways and is rewarding Facebook fans that invite their friends with a donation to Save the Children.

There are two things we can learn from this program.

First, it takes Facebook cause marketing to a new level by using Facebook "likes" to help drive what really matters to a retailer: in-store foot traffic. This may become standard practice for brands. As I reported back in September, changes to Facebook are making "likes" and fans second to engagement.

Nonprofits and cause marketers should expect brands to experiment with new metrics for Facebook cause marketing, including testing its potential for driving traffic to stores.

Second, this promotion puts the cause marketing at just the right place - after the self-serving main offer of savings and giveaways, which is what really motivates shoppers. The donation to Save the Children is a secondary benefit, and the charity gets the money whether the invitee shows up or not.

IKEA's shopping event for charity is better than most retailers' programs.

Despite all the talk of their success, I'm not a fan of the "shopping days" Macy's, Bloomingdales and other stores market to charities. They're pyramid schemes with the stores and a few big charities at the top making all the money.

The IKEA Facebook Like promotion is sound marketing, great digital cause marketing and good philanthropy.

I like it.

Why and How Nonprofits Should Use Pinterest

One site I'm committed to spending more time on in the new year is the virtual pinboard Pinterest. It's easy to use, powerfully visual, populated with cause marketing-loving women and growing like crazy. 4,000 percent in six months!

The heavy presence of women 25-44 on Pinterest is what distinguishes it from other new social media platforms, which are generally populated by men 18-24. Here's a site that already has the audience everyone wants: women and moms who make most of the household buying decisions.

I think most people jump on Pinterest for the same reason I did. They want a place to easily organize images and display them all in one place. No more looking at pictures one at a time. No more digging through tabs to find the album you're looking for. It's all right there.

When I needed a place where I could display pictures of people who had snapped a picture of themselves with my book Cause Marketing for Dummies. Pinterest gave me an easy place to pin, organize and see them all at once.

I also created a board for cause marketing promotions I liked. I plan to break out this board further with boards for point-of-sale, purchase-triggered, action triggered, message promotion, etc. to make even more sense of the images I'm pinning.

Most of the pinning happening right now on Pinterest is around art, home decor, style and other things women love. Brands are also getting involved. Mashable is on Pinterest, as is Peapod Delivers.

Lands' End just finished a Pinterest contest that encouraged users to create their own holiday pinboard around their favorite canvas items. Creators of stylish pin boards received gift certificates for $250.

Pinterest users are also pinning about brands, such as Starbucks.

Are you doubting that Pinterest will break the list of top social networking sites and will soon be forgotten? Think again. It's already broken the top ten list right behind Yelp with nearly 32 million visitors in November.

But is your nonprofit right for Pinterest? Ask yourself these questions.

Do you have an interesting or compelling story to tell with images? Every cause does, but believing you do is half the battle. Pinterest is a natural site for museums, historical sites and cultural institutions. Maybe your nonprofit helps needy kids and you have a pinboard called "happy moments" to capture all the great things you're doing for and with kids.

Is your cause considered hip, trendy, or do you just want to be? Pinterest users are looking for cool, trendy and hip things. I think organizations such as Goodwill and Shelter Scotland could pin fashionable used clothes available in their stores. Conservation International could post images of the beautiful and endangered frogs they are trying to save.

Are you engaged on other social media platforms? Despite my enthusiasm for Pinterest, it's not a standalone platform. I wouldn't start with it unless I already had an active blog, Facebook and Twitter. It's win-win. You'll gain traffic from visitors to Pinterest but your social media platforms can drive traffic to it as well.

Are you looking to reap the rewards of local SEO? I've talked about the benefits of your nonprofit being easily found online. Pinterest can give your SEO a big boost because the links posted there - every image links to a real web page - are being posted by REAL PEOPLE and not marketers and spammers trying to game the system. This won't last forever so get busy now!

If you answered yes to most of these questions, keep the following in mind as you get started on Pinterest:

Be useful. Pinterest users are looking for ideas and inspiration. Speak to that muse. Just don't pin a picture of the new lobby area of your school. Highlight an architectural detail that makes it interesting, unique and inspiring.

Create categories that reflect what users are looking for. If you run the Paul Revere House and want to post pictures of the furnishings and silver work call it "Early American Decor" or "Silver Teapots."

Give the job to someone who has an eye for images. Not everyone has a good eye for pictures - that includes me! Just look at some of the images on Pinterest. They're beautiful. Yours should be too.

Learn from these 15 Pinterest superusers. I found this article on the habits of 15 superusers very helpful on what Pinterest is for and not and how to use it wisely. This post made me laugh as there is only one guy on the list. Yep, Pinterest is for the ladies.

Don't just pin, repin. Pinterest is just like any other social network. It's not all about you. Search through Pinterest and find images that you can repin on your boards. As with most social platforms, this is where the magic happens!

Let your supporters pin for you. Add "pin it" buttons to your blog or web site so your visitors and supporters can create their own pin boards that highlight your cause.

Fundraising ideas for Pinterest are already popping up. Check out this one from the folks at Help Attack!