Social media marketing promotions are easy for some types of businesses.

If you’re in retail or work in the food industry, you can run a Facebook promotion for a coupon or discount, grow your fan count, and get more business. No problem.

Then there are other industries that don’t use coupons.

If you’ve been trying to figure out what kind of promotion you can create for your business, read through the Q&A below for inspiration:

1. We are an equine and small animal vet clinic. What kind of promotion can we share on Facebook?

Answer: Share your expertise

If people are coming to you because you have a special skill set or knowledge base, that expertise is valuable to your customers. Share what you know, that they don’t.

That’s what Scribblers — an online calligraphy supply company — did when they offered a downloadable guide of calligraphy tips. They promoted it through Facebook posts, Facebook ads, and an email to their 4,000 contacts.

Any type of business that uses their knowledge as a commodity can do the same thing. Think about the tips you offer on a regular basis. Create a top 10 list from that advice. Write a short ebook or guide to share.

2. I run social media marketing for an IT company, and I have a narrow audience. Do you have any tips for B2B pages?

Answer: Give them a sample

B2Bs that have a longer sales cycle can use Facebook to nurture prospects towards a sale. PropertyMinder, a real estate website design and marketing firm, ran four Facebook promotions that offered fans free webinars on topics like how to run and market a successful open house. The tips provided there are a free sample of what the firm can do for potential clients. Anyone who watched the webinar — and found it was helpful — will be more likely to sign up for PropertyMinder’s services.

If you’re able to, share a sample of your product or service. If it’s software, provide a link to a free trial. Or give Facebook fans a chance to watch that product or service in action — show it off in a video demonstration or a customer testimonial.

3. We are a church — we do not offer coupons. So what type of offer would we run?

Answer: Try a contest or sweepstakes

Here’s a promotion that any small business or nonprofit can try: a contest or sweepstakes. Give something away that your audience wants and you can drive engagement on Facebook. It doesn’t have to be directly related to what you do — although that’s an added bonus.

Money Saver Marketplace, an advertising and coupon publisher, ran 3 contests and gave away $100 in groceries, a summer grill package, and an Outback Steakhouse gift card. They promoted the contests through Facebook posts and email, and encouraged fans to share with their friends.

Get creative

As you can see, not everyone needs to share a coupon on Facebook. People “Like” Facebook Pages to get discounts, but they’re also looking for contests, exclusive content, and opportunities to learn more about your business. If you get creative by promoting your knowledge, your services, or a giveaway, it can pay off in the end with new fans and new customers.

What types of Facebook promotions have you run? Tell us in the comments below.