Why You Should Think Twice Before Running a Facebook Contest

In my last post, I told you about an experience I had when I was shopping online for fitness equipment and got taken away from one company’s website because I was distracted by their huge ad for a Facebook contest they were running. I never made it back to that company’s website, and someone else earned my business.

My point in that post was to show you the dangers of giving too much home page real estate to your social media icons, but today, I want to talk about another issue I have with this. In short, I think most Facebook contests are from the devil.

Think about it, what’s really the point of running a Facebook contest? Most companies do it so they can get more fans, plain and simple. They tempt people into “Liking” their company on Facebook so they can be entered to win some sort of prize.

Here’s the problem. It’s an artificial way to inflate your Facebook stats that doesn’t pay off over the long haul. If the only reason people decide to like your company on Facebook is so they can have a chance at getting their hands on a freebie, they’re probably not going to stick around or pay much attention to you after the contest is over. They’ll likely unlike you after the contest is over and they’ve walked away empty handed.

Facebook contests draw too many unqualified entrants to make them worth it, in most cases. I just don’t understand why businesses get so preoccupied with how many fans they have or how much personal information they can gather from people who aren’t in their target audience and have no interest in buying their products or services.

Look, I’m not saying that all Facebook contests are a waste of time and money. When done properly (and within Facebook’s guidelines), they can be helpful for generating some buzz and helping you raise brand awareness among your target audience. But you need to really focus on taking a targeted approach with the marketing of your contest so you don’t get a slew of unqualified fans who you’ll never see a dime from.

What do you think? Have you ever run a Facebook contest before?

About The Author

Brian Waraksa

Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Courtney wrote:
Thanks for the interesting post, Brian. I do believe that contests encouraging people to "like my page" aren't effective as it's not always about quantity but about quality.

Personally, I think that contests via Facebook should be used to engage current fans and generate buzz around your brand/company. Also, it can be used as a sort of reward for loyal fans that are always commenting on posts and interacting with your brand on social platforms.

Wed, July 27, 2011 @ 8:13 AM

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