How often have you been on Facebook and seen this: “SHARE OR LIKE TO WIN”?
I asked my friends on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In if they ‘like or share to win’ and here are some of their responses:
Marie: “No. It annoys me because then they spam me and it’s always more effort than what they are offering.”
Simon: “No – absolutely not – in fact I find it annoying!”
Linda: “Only if I’m interested in the prize.”
Andrew: “Never do it as I think it’s a trick.”
Zoe: “I do! But I have never won anything.”
Morag: “Nope! Way too many good businesses out there who are shooting their own reputations by not knowing how to run FB comps properly.”
And Morag is right. Asking your fans to share or like to win goes directly against the Facebook Ts and Cs of running competitions. They say:
“you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
iv. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.”
So why do so many companies do it? As Michael pointed out on Linked In: “I’m not likely to, but so many run these comps because they’re a relatively easy/successful way of getting a message (like an event flyer) across the social space in a short space of time, particularly if the users have a close affinity with brand and feel they are supporting/contributing by sharing/RT’ing. ”
It’s true, it does work sometimes, however pages run the risk of being shut down by Facebook. I would hate all the hard work I had put into building a community to be destroyed for something so simple.
The ironic thing is that companies who adopt this approach are missing out. People can like or share the image or video without liking the company’s page. Even if they do like the page, how likely are these people to remain engaged and really care? All they want is a prize. The chances of them going on to buy a product or service are slim.
Sticking to the rules and running a competition through an app is much better for many reasons. Recently I ran a very successful competition using an app I designed myself. It had its own tab marked WIN and entrants had to like the page to enter. We asked for an email address and clearly explained the prize and the rules. This meant that, as well as getting more likes, we also collected email addresses for the database. Entrants had the option to share the fact they had entered the competition, with a custom-designed image and text, and many of them did. The virality of the campaign was therefore much more powerful. “I have entered this and you should too” is much more likely to lead to action than the more impersonal “like this to win”. And, while I don’t generally like to be a bore, running a competition comes with responsibilities, you have to be very clear what you are offering. “Share this to win” is a lawyer’s nightmare!
In my experience, competitions are one of the most powerful ways to use Facebook to promote your business. Run them properly and you’ll see the benefits immediately. If you need some help, email me and quote “FAIRPLAY” for 25% off the cost of competition app design: firstname.lastname@example.org (valid until 30 June 2013)
Do you respond to these competitions? As a company, is it worth it to break the rules?