Updated February 12, 2018: Facebook now allows tabs and apps to be published only on Pages with 2,000 fans or more.
Is there still value in publishing marketing campaigns to Facebook?
Honestly, the answer is complicated.
While there is value to having your contests, giveaways and quizzes published to Facebook, Facebook just shouldn’t be the only place they’re published. In fact, we’ve proven that publishing only to Facebook may do more harm than good: campaigns published to the web receive 83% more views than Facebook-only campaigns.
For the record, Facebook publishing used to be our speciality — it was what ShortStack was founded on. But online marketing has changed over the years, and so have we.
With that said, we know every business is different and each campaign has its own goals.
That’s why this article takes a very (unbiased) look at the pros and cons of publishing a campaign to Facebook, a website and a landing page. (These are the three publishing options you have when you build your campaign with ShortStack.com.)
By the end of this article we hope you have enough information to determine which method will help you meet your campaign goals.
Publishing to Facebook
On Facebook, campaigns can be installed to a Facebook Page where they will appear as a tab. Facebook tabs are also referred to as “apps” by Facebook. You can find apps on the left side of a Facebook Page Timeline and on the right side under the “More” tab next to the profile image.
Pros to Publishing to Facebook
• Exclusivity: For businesses that are looking to run an exclusive campaign to their Facebook visitors, “Facebook publish” is the best option. Publishing to Facebook makes it easy for your Facebook fans to share the campaign with their Facebook friends.
• Include Facebook-specific features: You can add Facebook-specific features to your Facebook app, such as asking people to Like your Page.
• Keep Your Audience within Facebook: When you only publish your campaign to Facebook you’re keeping your audience within the social network, which can be valuable to brands looking to grow their Facebook presence.
Cons to Publishing to Facebook
•You don’t have a wide reach: For businesses that are looking to reach an audience beyond Facebook, publishing to Facebook can limit your campaign reach to Facebook users who are not active.
• No mobile support: Facebook does not support custom page tab apps on mobile. This means if a mobile user is on Facebook and navigates to your Timeline, they will not automatically see your campaign.
• Fewer views: A recent study revealed that, on average, omnichannel campaigns received 83% more views than campaigns published just to Facebook. This is because omnichannel campaigns are able to be shared and interacted with on essentially any website and device, which is what contributes to the high average view percentage.
• Fewer entries: Another discovery from the same study revealed that, omnichannel Campaigns received 31% more entries than Facebook-only campaigns. When your campaign is installed to more platforms you receive more exposure and engagement.
• A high fan count doesn’t mean more views: If you’re thinking that your Facebook Page with one millions fans will bring a ton of campaign views, think again. On average, Pages with fan counts of 10,000 or lower had the highest view count on campaigns published to Facebook.
• Restricted by Facebook guidelines: Facebook has a long list of Page Guidelines that you must adhere to. Breaking the rules could result in your campaign and your Page being shut down.
Publishing to a Landing Page
ShortStack refers to publishing a campaign to a landing page as “publish to the web.” This is for businesses who wish to promote campaigns on social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn — none of which currently have an app installation tool like Facebook. This option provides users with a unique campaign URL that they can post on any network, or use as a landing page.
Pros to Publishing to a Landing Page
• Get seen by your customers, wherever they are: Publishing to a landing page allows you to share your campaign URL across any and every marketing channel. The fact that the campaign is published to the web means that anyone with access to the internet can access your campaign, increasing your views, entries, and engagement.
• More design freedom: When building a campaign as a landing page you have the freedom to design your campaign with the features and requirements that you want. Unlike Facebook, where you have to follow their Facebook page guidelines. It’s also easier to brand your campaign to look like your existing website.
• Better campaign dimensions: When you build a campaign as a landing page the recommended campaign width is 960 pixels. This is 150 pixels wider than the 810 pixel limitation on Facebook.
• Don’t have to worry about social network policy changes: Building a campaign on a landing page means not worrying about policy changes, downtime, or outages on social networks. As long as ShortStack is up and running, you’re running, and we have a 99.8% uptime :).
Cons to Publishing to a Landing Page
• Not connected to your website: Using a landing page to host your promotion means you’ll need to take some extra effort in branding to make sure it’s consistent with your brand. You want your fans to know exactly who the campaign belongs to when they get to your landing page. A great way to do this is by customizing your campaign URL to include your brand/business name.
Embedding on a Website
With ShortStack businesses can embed their campaigns directly onto their existing websites; this requires first publishing it to the web before the embed code is generated. ShortStack gives users the option to customize how this will appear on various networks. This option is often used within blogs as well.
Pros to Embedding on a Website
•Leverage your organic website traffic: The biggest benefit to embedding your campaign on your website is that any organic traffic your site already receives is extra potential traffic to your campaign.
• Looks white labeled: When your campaign is embedded on your website the branding is done for you. Once your fans land on your campaign there is no question who is hosting it.
• Increase website traffic: Similar to how you can leverage your existing website traffic, a great campaign can also attract new visitors to your website. Once on your site, visitors are more likely to click around and learn more about your business.
• Better user experience: Sending people to your website means they’re going somewhere they are most likely already familiar with. This can result in a better user experience for your visitors.
Cons to Embedding on a Website
• You’re at the mercy of your website: If your website has a glitch or some downtime, that will affect your campaign. The good news is your campaign will be published as a landing page as well, so you can always direct traffic there.
There you have it! For businesses looking to have the largest reach on their campaigns we recommend taking advantage of all three of these publishing options, seeing as they all have benefits. Don’t forget, the more places your campaign can be found the more views it can get and the more engagement it will receive!