Facebook ‘Like & Share’ Competitions: Are they worth the risk?

Facebook Like and ShareNote: Blog updated to reflect the change in Facebook’s terms and conditions

We see them all the time in our newsfeed, the ‘Like and Share’ competitions posted by numerous brands on Facebook.  It’s the quick-fix easy option to get a spike in ‘Likes’ for a page.

While ‘Like and Share’ competitions once breached Facebook’s terms and conditions of use, Facebook has since relaxed the rules so they’re now mostly legit to use.  However, the question remains, are Like & Share competitions worth it?

What originally prompted me to write about the topic was the emails and phone calls I received asking the following questions:

Q:“Is there a way of downloading the list of people who entered my Like & Share competition?”

Q:“We’re getting a lot of ’Likes & Shares’ on our page.  I’m worried, what if Facebook sees it?” 

Q:“We’ve been playing by the rules but our competitor isn’t, how do we report them to Facebook?”

Two out of three of the above questions no longer applies with the rule change however the first question does so let’s look at that.

Here’s what happens when you host a Facebook ‘Like and Share’ competition:

1. You cannot download to an excel file the names of those who have liked and shared your competition – so picking a winner requires you to be creative –if you know what I mean.  

2. You can’t build a database of potential clients for future Facebook ad targeting or off-Facebook marketing such as email campaigns.

3. When profile privacy settings are locked down by the user, the brand page has no way of contacting the winner other than sticking a post on the page congratulating them and hoping they’ll see it.  This is still a breach of Facebook rules as they require you to contact the winner off-Facebook first.  It is also something that has landed  pages in hot water with users who didn’t see the ‘winner’ post.  In some cases, it’s led to serious negative feedback for the page.

So the nice easy ‘Like and Share’ competition means it’s impossible for you to be entirely ethical when picking out your winner.  And if fans were to discover this, it puts you at risk of becoming a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons. Is that what you want?

Are You Looking For A Quick Spike?

When talking to clients, I share with them the rules and the risks of Like & Share competitions.  Some still choose to go ahead with ‘Like and Share’ competitions and that’s okay, as ultimately they are responsible for the decisions they make for their own business.

For the record, there are far more effective ways to boost Facebook fan numbers so that they are relevant to your business. The ad options available on Facebook allow you target the audience you want, right down to their interests and location.  This cuts out the randomers who have liked your page for a chance to win the prize but otherwise have no interest in your company or the services it offers.

Aside from the above,  if using one of the many 3rd-party competition apps available, each time someone enters a competition they must share an email address which allows you build a database of real prospects for future marketing campaigns.

So I ask again, is a quick spike in Fan numbers – who may be there for nothing other than the prize, really worth the risk?

I’d love to hear your thoughts particularly if you have a different perspective.

To your online success!

Carole Smith, SynNeoCarole 

E: info@synneo.ie | T: 353 1 547 7884 | W: http://www.synneo.ie

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7 Comments

Filed under Facebook Marketing

7 responses to “Facebook ‘Like & Share’ Competitions: Are they worth the risk?

  1. Pingback: So, what does storytelling require, anyway? | Storytelling for Success

  2. I too found this article very informative … not as a business owner or site holder, but as a consumer. I was researching what the consequences are for me when I “like or share” something on FB and came across this article. After reading, it occurs to me that I have run across many, many sites, some of which I still follow, that offer contest prizes when you “like” their post BUT you must include something in the “comment” as well. Now I know why!! I think I`ll share your article, thanks for the heads-up!

  3. I blogged about this too – it drives me up the wall that Facebook don’t do anything about the spam that these giveaways generate! http://www.superlucky.co.uk/2012/07/dont-like-wont-share.html

  4. Thanks for this post. I wasn’t aware of LIKE & SHARE competitions until right now! Of course I’m familiar with Like parties, etc. I will have to keep my eyes open. Personally, I’m not really interested in boosting my numbers through competitions. I prefer to take it the slow way – LIKE me if you find my content/page interesting. LIKE me if you can engage, contribute, share the type of information I post. And besides that, I sure don’t want to be at risk for a shutdown! I’ve worked to hard at this, lol. Thanks again for your post – and clarity on this subject!

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