A competition isn’t a strategy

Is it just me, or does it  feel like  all brands  are doing on their Facenook pages now is running competitions? In some ways it’s like we have forgotten what else to do there!

Now I’m all for competitions, don’t get me wrong. And often I get alerted to a brands presence on Facebook as a result of the competition. I subsequently, quite often,  like a page so I can enter a competition. But that’s all I’m doing.

I think this is where brands get confused. They see a lift in their “likes” and they think their social media strategy is a success. They told the MD they would get 20,000 likes in 4 weeks and they did (it cost them 70k mind!).

So running competitions on your page, in my humble opinion, isn’t a strategy. Yes it can be interesting and fun, but once I’ve entered, where and how does your brand page remain relevant to me and my life? Where and how are you adding value to my news feed? Because if you aren’t I’m just going to unlike you or hide your stories (please tell me that’s the metric you are really looking at?).

None of this is Facebook’s fault. They are providing an amazing platform and I think marketing teams and agencies are abusing it. I sometimes wonder why certain brands are even on Facebook when all they are doing is running a competition and they seem to have no plan for what happens after that.

People are getting brand blindness in their news feeds, I believe they even experience this when their friends share a “I just entered post”. They just move on.

I think brands have a role on Facebook, I think Facebook are there to help brands work that out (lots of best practice stuff there). I just think brands need to be smarter. Brands are run by people, these people more than likely have a Facebook page, so think like a person when you are thinking about your brand on Facebook. How do you use your account, be brutally honest with yourself then as you review your brands plans for the social network.

I like competitions. I think there is a place for them on Facebook. It’s just not a strategy.

What do you think?

(PS. If you want to look at brands that don’t run competitions but run Facebook pages, check out some charities!)

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