If you think a ‘like to enter’ competition on your company's Facebook page is a cunning way to grow your follower numbers, you're probably right in the short term. But if you treat it as a loyalty database, be prepared for some repercussions.
There seems to be a proliferation of the little thumbs up competitions rolling through New Zealand at the moment and excited marketing managers are finally ‘doing’ social media. Or so their agency tells them. The promotional mechanic is not new. It’s the modern version of putting your business card in a bowl for a $50 bar tab draw and, as customers, we all know how this goes down. The company will then add your details to their database and send you offers via email or text, continuously, to the point where you can’t take their noisy crap anymore and you unsubscribe. Or, in Facebook’s case, hit the ‘hide’ button.
If companies continue to treat Facebook as a loyalty database they will end up with the same problems that direct marketers have fought with since the old LV Martin catalogue days.
Getting the balance right between engagement and spam requires people driving the accounts to understand their community and have a sense for what they will tolerate (in commercial messaging) versus making them find your company unbearably annoying.
You need to keep an eye on the stats running in the background of your Facebook fan pages and keep an eye on your exit and hide rates; not just your engagement rates (likes and comments). All standard issue loyalty marketing stuff that you need to report on as you would with a Farmer’s Beauty Club or a Flybuys card database. Watch your campaign flight planning and make sure you aren’t fatiguing the community with stuff that is exciting for you e.g. ‘check out our new TV ad!’, but that is of no interest to your punters.
In the tips for new players category, read the Facebook competition terms of service and stick to them. Big brother is watching you and they will kindly send you a warning email that you should kindly comply with or your fanpage will be disabled. ‘Comment to enter’, ‘upload to enter’ and ‘like to enter’ have to be setup a certain way to meet Facebook legal requirements and it pays to educate yourself on what’s in and what’s out.