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Small business marketing: ‘Like to enter’ Facebook promotions

If you think a ‘like to enter’ competition on your company’s Facebook page is a cunning way to grow your follower numbers, you’re probably right in the short term. But if you treat it as a loyalty database, be prepared for some repercussions.

There seems to be a proliferation of the little thumbs up competitions rolling through and some small businesses are excited that they are finally ‘doing social media.’

The promotional mechanic is not new. It’s the modern version of putting your business card in a bowl for a $50 bar tab draw and, as customers, we all know how this goes down. The company will then add your details to their database and send you offers via email or text.

If companies continue to treat Facebook as a loyalty database they will end up with the same problems that direct marketers have fought with since the old paper catalogue days.

Getting the balance right between engagement and spam requires people driving the accounts to understand their community and have a sense for what they will tolerate (in commercial messaging) versus fun and frivolity. The general rule I was told by a Facebook rep was ‘one-to-four’: one sales message to four chatty conversational messages.

You need to keep an eye on the stats running in the background of your Facebook Pages including exit and hide rates; not just your engagement rates (likes and comments). Watch your campaign flight planning and make sure you aren’t fatiguing the community with stuff that is too ‘sales-y’ and not interesting browsing for your customers.  The main reason people go on Facebook is to look at photos so it’s also a good idea to take some snaps and let your customers see the humans behind your business.

In the tips for new players category, read the Facebook competition terms of service and stick to them. Big brother is watching you and they will kindly send you a warning email that you must comply with or your Page will be disabled. ‘Comment to enter’, ‘upload to enter’ and ‘like to enter’ have to be setup a certain way to meet Facebook legal requirements and it pays to educate yourself on what’s in and what’s out.

There are lots of good examples out there of companies that do well. Are you on Facebook for personal or business and what do you use it for? Feel free to add your business page in the comments so people can connect with you. You can also have a chat in Xero Community.

 

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9 comments

Ben Grozier
25 April 2012 #

We are running an IPad comp at the moment, not necessarily to get more likes but more people to see our web app. It is having pretty limited results I have to say and probably wont end up being worth it’s while unless Teachers start manually referring colleagues. The fanpage is here if anyone wants to give us feedback – http://www.fb.com/classcover

John Blackwell
25 April 2012 #

We’re just getting started with social network marketing (http://facebook.com/blackwellcpa). Right now I’m paranoid about not spamming. It’s evident that it’s against your culture too and we really appreciate that so much.

Phil Gale
25 April 2012 #

Great post. I was just thinking the same thing yesterday as yet another ‘Like our facebook page to win’ promo popped up. They really are a turn-off for me these days.

Courtney Lambert
25 April 2012 #

Hi Ben. You have some really nice comments and engagement on your Facebook page already so that’s great. I had a look at your website and Facebook page. You might want to try and add a static image of the iPad competition on your homepage and then cross promote on to Facebook. The iPad comp tile switches out quite quick and can be hard to see if you’re not looking for it …just a suggestion.

Nathan
25 April 2012 #

We have a small cafe in Mt Eden – we run not only a Facebook page, but also use Twitter and FourSquare for promotions.

Courtney Lambert
26 April 2012 #

@Nathan that’s a good little combo ..drive the traffic through Twitter and on to Facebook and have some nice deals in Foursquare. Some people are a little bit nervous about Foursquare as the reviews could go either way on you (!) so you must have a good cafe :)

I really like your Twitter ordering system :) http://www.facebook.com/tuihanacafe

Clare
26 April 2012 #

Thanks for the useful blog posts. They’re always relevant & give food for thought. We are still getting our heads around social media and figuring out how to build up our profile, making some mistakes along the way, no doubt! From our experience and from looking at other Facebook biz pages, it seems that people respond best to funny/quirky/photo posts, than they do to offers or ‘like to enter’ stuff. Any feedback is welcome: http://www.facebook.com/airsquarecommunity

Dan
1 May 2012 #

Interestingly, offering an iPad for a competition prize without Apple’s express permission is also banned. Strange but true!

Courtney Lambert
2 May 2012 #

@Clare thanks! yes you’re right photos are what has caused the huge growth on Facebook and continues to be the main reason people join and spend time on site.

@Dan A lot of people are technically in breach of both the Facebook and Apple terms. Apple have periodic crackdowns—you can read the terms here http://fortunebrainstormtech.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/apple_3pp_guidelines_1-1-11.pdf

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