However, if you’re an unknown business with only a small following – it can be difficult to get people talking about you. Facebook is a prime example of this – since launching the EdgeRank algorithm, it’s gone from being a numbers game to being all about the engagement. It’s more important to have people talking about you. But how do you get people to talk about you… well there are a number of ways, but one of the most obvious is competitions.
There are thousands of people all around the UK who are entering competitions on a regular basis. Social media just makes it easier to firstly enter competitions and secondly it makes it easier to find competitions. Small businesses that want to get the conversation going on their social media pages start competitions – giving away free stuff, discounts and services. It certainly does work. Or at least you think it does.
From a business perspective the aim of any marketing activity is to firstly build brand awareness but at the same time it is all about sales – social media is a time consuming endeavor and something that all businesses should be involved in (based on the simple fact that millions of people use social media). But can competitions really lead to sales, especially when there are so many people who are out there entering competitions on a daily basis with the hope that they might win something. For example, if you are running a competition on Facebook, are people joining your page because they are interested in what you offer, or are they joining your page because they simply want to enter your competition with the hope of winning a prize.
Yes, a competition will for all intents and purposes increase your engagement, but if you don’t have the right kind of following is there any point in having that engagement?
From a company perspective – WineGifts4U.co.uk uses competitions as a way of getting engagement on the Facebook page. And it works, in some cases hundred of “likers” share the content on the WineGifts4U Facebook page with the hope that they will win one of the competitions. But what’s interesting is that WineGifts4U does not solely rely on competitions to get engagement on their page. They offer interesting updates regarding products and special offers, they discuss current topics of interest (football matches, the Royal Jubilee to name some topics), they also run a weekly wine quiz to help their followers learn more about wine. That is what is so great about this particular business page. The company is all about wine gifts and unusual gifts and so they want their followers to know about the products that they sell and any new discounts that are available. Alongside this they are offering a bit of “fun” on their page too by giving followers the ability to join in with the weekly wine quiz. All of this attracts a following – the kind of following that they would want, because it will lead to order from their eCommerce store.
They do still run competitions. And what is interesting is that certain “likers” will not engage with the page, unless there is a competition in progress. That leads to the questions “is this the kind of following that you as a business would want”?.
Yes, competitions are easy and they do work – people will engage. But when you’re setting up your business page think about the type of audience that you want to attract. If you’re aim is to generate sales, then make that your priority when you think about using Facebook or any other social media platform to market your business. Running a competition can be a great asset to your social media campaign, but it should not be what your overall campaign is about.
So… that leads to the next question – how can you increase engagement on social media platforms without using competitions? – More to come on this topic, but for now… any suggestions?
N.B. Make sure you read the guidelines on all social media websites regarding the use of promotion through competitions. (For example, on Facebook read Point E on the Facebook guidelines referring specifically to promotions on business pages).