Why Like & Share Contests Make Me Puke In My Mouth a Little

  • By Monique Morrison
  • 17 Dec, 2016

(AKA What are the real benefits of your Like and Share campaign?)

The Real Benefits of you like and share campaign

Okay, let’s get right to the chase. I'm not a fan of Like and Share campaigns. *GASP* Yes, there I said it and I mean it. I am not a fan of Like and Share campaigns. Wondering why? Well pull up a seat and please take the next five minutes of your life to let me tell you.

First off, as a digital marketer and an rule abider I would first like to point out the fact that Like and Share campaigns are actually against  Facebook’s rules.  Specifically, here is what Facebook has to say about Like and Share campaigns, “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted.”

I know, I know, people break the rules all the time so what's the big deal, right? Well, to be honest this first point is probably one of the minor reasons for me but I thought I should mention it because it is actually against the rules to run a Like and Share campaign. (This point mostly bugs me when I see other “marketers” running these types of promotions themselves or for other businesses. Just. Don't. Do. It.)

Yes, I can see why a Like and Share campaign could be appealing. Typically, you can put out a like and share post on Facebook and within minutes you have people sharing your business with your friends. You may be getting new likes and you're thinking, “This is great! So many people are sharing my post.” Yes, that may be true but (... BUT) who are the people sharing your posts? Are they your target market? Or are they the same people that share every giveaway post not because they actually have an interest in being a paid customer but because they actually just want someone for free. (And this isn't me bashing people wanting something free. Everyone loves something for free. This is me pointing out the obvious because it’s relevant to this message.)

There are benefits to running a Like and Share campaign. You may be able to touch enough people to get a decent bump in business. You do get the benefit of being one of the last 50 businesses that a person has engaged with (and therefore able to show up in their timeline with follow up posts since Facebook will integrate posts from the last 50 businesses a person has engaged with.) BUT… that takes me to my next point...

By running a Like and Share campaign you are essentially promoting Facebook spam. That is essentially why Facebook disapproves of them. They are interested in maintaining a level relevance in the content that is shown in a person’s newsfeed. After all, Facebook wouldn’t be the largest, most used social media site in the world if everyone had a poor experience while on the site. Not only is it faux pas to promote spam posts through “like and share” bait posts (that’s Facebook’s term not mine) but it can actually harm your organic reach in the long term. Here’s an excerpt taken from  Facebook’s Newsfeed FYI blog , “Publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months.  We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.” So although you may see an instant increase in your organic reach, you may be causing your business page more harm than good in the long run. (HINT: Daily posts filled with awesome content do wonders for organic reach. Just ask some of our happy clients!)

So next you need to ask yourself, how does this campaign align with my business goals? What is the best outcome I can receive from running this campaign and is there a better way the achieve these goals? This is important. This is actually one of the first things you should be asking yourself when starting a new marketing campaign.

What do likes account for any ways? You can't keep the lights on with likes. Likes don't pay the bills. Money does. Revenue does. And that is why a campaign's focus should always be based around that metric. Facebook has actually become tired of all the focus on businesses trying to attain likes and has recently started experimenting with eliminating the total number of likes from pages – not deleting them, but not displaying them, either. Some users and pages may find that those likes aren’t showing up anymore – and whether or not Facebook makes this permanent, it says a lot about their attitude toward likes.

But... but what about brand awareness?!?! Yes, you may see an increase in the awareness of your brand but there are so many more effective ways to attain long term brand awareness. The likelihood of you staying top of mind after the contest is done is quite small. (And again, we should remember back to the previous point that if your Like and Share campaigns will actually hurt your organic reach in the long run, then is there any real long term brand awareness benefits?)

Last but not least (and to me the most important point is), with a Like and Share campaign you are not attaining new leads or prospects. You need these in order to convert them into sales. Once a Like and Share campaign is done that's it. You may have new likes but even some of those likes will drop off as soon as the contest is over. What your business really needs are leads, new customers and repeat customers.

So am I totally against running giveaway contests? No, I’m not. The team at Jeronamo Solutions runs contests for our clients all the time. The main thing we try to do is run a contest with purpose. We run them with intent so that when the campaign is over we can have tangible results that our clients can be proud of. 

Interested in running a social media contest or campaign? Schedule a consultation and let’s get a brainstorming session started. 

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