What damage is your Facebook competition causing?

Last week my news feed on Facebook was clogged with ‘like and share’ competitions.

Some were great offers, but what I really wanted to see was what my friends were up to.

That moment compelled me to share these insights in to the “best practice” of Facebook competitions. Many people may simply not realise they’re breaking the rules and it’s hurting them.
If you’re a business owner and your social media people are doing these competitions, then it may be putting your whole social investment at risk.

1. Nobody likes spam.
By forcing people to share your competition, your information starts clogging up the newsfeeds of their friends who might not really appreciate it. You could actually be pushing your potential customers away and they may even click ‘hide or block’ to posts from your page. This will hurt your organic reach meaning you’ll have to rely more on paid boosting.

 

2. More ‘likes’ is about ‘vanity’
Having 10,000 or 100,000 likes on a page might look good but it doesn’t necessarily add value to you, your business or your followers. People are probably only liking your page because they want the free stuff not because they value a relationship with you. Competitions are best used when you’re gathering useful information from your followers that are most likely customers, not just quick answers from any person chasing a prize.

 

3. It’s not ethical
Shares can’t actually be seen or measured by the business holding the competition. Likes and comments are OK, and people can share and tag if they like but making a share a condition of entry isn’t truly fair because it can’t actually be checked. The only difference to this rule is that using a third party competition app actually DOES have the ability to measure shares.

 

4. It screws up the Facebook algorithm
A like and comment competition is fine. It could actually give you some great answers to a question and be a bit of fun – it’s encouraging quality conversation. However, asking people to share as a condition of entry artificially creates an influx of data to the facebook algorithm which can skew what people really want to see. Imagine if a multinational company did a ‘like and share’ competition it would lock up news feeds. Sure lots of people will see you, but will they respect you, trust you and can you sustain their interest?

 

5. What’s the punishment?
If impeding quality engagement, or having potential customers blocking you isn’t enough there’s always the chance that Facebook will dish out a direct, more obvious punishment like closing your page. Last year I saw a business who had a personal profile labelled as their business and had collected several thousand friends. This was against facebook rules and out of the blue that rule was enforced, resulting in the business losing all of those contacts overnight with no warning. You may not get punished for breaking rules immediately, but you’re taking a massive risk.

 

6. You might be breaking the actual law
Just like raffles and competitions that we see in the flesh, promotions online may also need permits. These laws change from state to state and country to country. In the online realm your competition knows no state boundaries. So just make sure you have the right permit for where ever your followers may want to enter from. For example, in Tasmania a permit is not required, but if someone in another state was to enter they’d be entering illegally because we don’t have a permit in that state.

 

Let’s make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes, and in our next edition we’ll share tips on how to run a great competition that adds true value to your business and your followers. Oh… and just in case you love reading rules, here are the promotion guidelines for Facebook.

 

To help identify your ideal target customer download a copy of our FREE Buyer Persona worksheet and think about who you’re really connecting with. Your best customer isn’t everybody. 

Buyer Persona worksheet download

 

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