Facebook comps can put off consumers

Start-ups should refrain from becoming over-reliant on Facebook as a means of promoting their competitions, according to a promotions marketing specialist.


Craig Seitam, of Craig Bradley Market Engineering, ran a comment-based public survey on CompetitionsGuide.com.au, asking people for their thoughts on Facebook competitions.


“If ever a competition is labeled as being a Facebook competition, it seems to be the kiss of death for it; clicks would just drop off. So I wanted to find out what people think about Facebook competitions,” Seitam says.


“Of almost 300 comments, the clear majority were quite negative and dismissive of Facebook competitions… I didn’t expect the comments to be as negative as they were.”


One survey respondent wrote: “A lot of Facebook competitions are run within a day. I miss out as I don’t have Facebook at work.”


According to Seitam, many users are critical of Facebook competitions because they’re based on the assumption that every user has a Facebook account.


“People don’t like to be forced to join Facebook to enter a competition,” Seitam says.


“Facebook competitions also make every user’s intentions public. If a person enters a competition on a website, everyone knows that person has entered.”


“If they have to submit something like a 100-words-or-less, it is often posted publicly, which means people are less likely to be as honest, silly or creative because their answer is totally visible.”


Seitam says promoting anything on Facebook also means you risk facing a very public backlash.


“The onus with Facebook is that businesses don’t delete any negative comments. Whatever the results, they are there for all to see,” he says.


“There seems to be a message in this for business – not to ignore Facebook when planning a competition strategy, but to combine [it] with their general website.”


“Social media is very important. Companies need to adopt it and grow it but not at the expense of everything else.”


Seitam’s top tips for promoting competitions:


  1. Make it free to enter. Also, avoid entry conditions such as 100-words-or-less unless you particularly want to know something, and make the answers you require non-creative.
  2. Often, competitions are only available to new members. For example, ‘Joining a mailing list puts you in the draw to win X’. Make the competition open to everyone as a way of attracting new users and rewarding existing ones.
  3. If you want to make people purchase something in exchange for a reward, have that as a second-tier prize. For example, ‘By purchasing something, you go into a separate draw to compete for much larger prizes’.


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