Why You Might Want To Reconsider Social Media Contests

Enter To Win

Social media giveaways are a great way to attract a lot of people to your profiles and get them to follow in return for a chance to win a prize. Many use promotions to successfully grow their followings and get people talking about their brand. While giveaways are a quick and easy way to gather a bunch of new followers, they may not be as beneficial as you think. Here’s why.

Uninterested Individuals

When we ask people to follow us on social, in return for a chance to win a prize, who are we attracting? Are they people that care about our brand and the products we sell? Not likely. Chances are they’re only doing it because they want whatever you’re giving away and that’s it. If they really cared about you and what you offer, there’s a good chance they’d already be a follower.

While many marketers like the added numbers these new folks bring to our follower count, they do little more than increase a fairly unimportant number. As discussed previously, following size isn’t as important as many other factors when it comes to social.

Along with attracting a bunch of individuals that don’t care about your messages outside of wining themselves a prize, gathering these new followers can hurt you in other ways too.

Downsides To A Disengaged Audience

Engagement rate, click-through rate, and other KPIs are measured as the percentage of those that saw your message that then interacted with it. Acquiring a bunch of people that don’t care about what you’re posting (remember, they just want to win a prize and that’s it) means you’ll see a drop in these metrics as your message is now falling on deaf ears (or blind eyes in this case). You may be able to report an increase in followers but seeing a drop in the far more important engagement rate and CTR is a loss far greater than any follower gain.

It’s also important to remember that Facebook reach is largely tied to engagement rate. When the network sees a drop of engagement with your posts (as you will when you now have a larger disengaged audience), it will continue to decrease the reach of future posts. Bringing on those irrelevant followers has the potential to hurt all of your other efforts on these channels. In addition, if Facebook is only showing your posts to a small percentage of your audience, do you want those that see it to be people that genuinely followed you or those that don’t care but just hoped to win something?

Organic isn’t the only place you’ll take a hit either. If you use paid promotion on social, you could be in for hurt too. Any paid message targeted at your following will be finding a potentially uninterested audience too. You’ll be paying to have your message seen by people that don’t care what you have to say or sell. Throwing money away on the uninterested doesn’t sound like something you should be cool with.

Who’s The Winner?

Before you launch a giveaway it’s important to consider what the effects of it may be on your future social success. A bump in following now isn’t worth a drop in other KPIs and reach or wasted money in the future. The trade-off simply isn’t worth the expense of the investment. That’s not to say that all social contests aren’t worth having but make sure you put together an execution that attracts just the people who are right for your audience rather than attracting anyone that wants to enter.

Social contests have the potential to grow your following and get new eyes on your future marketing efforts but they can come at a cost. By considering who you’ll be attracting and potential problems ahead of time, you can craft a contest that gets the right crowd in the door or invest in another social effort with the prize money instead. Knowing ahead of time can turn a contest from bust to bucks.

Follow Ben on Twitter or connect with Ben on LinkedIn.

Author: Ben Brausen

Share This Post On