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Facebook: Promoting Competitions - Start-ups

Facebook comps can put off consumers

By Michelle Hammond
Friday, 14 January 2011

Start-ups should refrain from becoming over-reliant on Facebook as a means of promoting their competitions, according to a promotions marketing specialist.


Craig Seitam, of Craig Bradley Market Engineering, ran a comment-based public survey on, asking people for their thoughts on Facebook competitions.


“If ever a competition is labeled as being a Facebook competition, it seems to be the kiss of death for it; clicks would just drop off. So I wanted to find out what people think about Facebook competitions,” Seitam says.


“Of almost 300 comments, the clear majority were quite negative and dismissive of Facebook competitions… I didn’t expect the comments to be as negative as they were.”


One survey respondent wrote: “A lot of Facebook competitions are run within a day. I miss out as I don’t have Facebook at work.”


According to Seitam, many users are critical of Facebook competitions because they’re based on the assumption that every user has a Facebook account.


“People don’t like to be forced to join Facebook to enter a competition,” Seitam says.


“Facebook competitions also make every user’s intentions public. If a person enters a competition on a website, everyone knows that person has entered.”


“If they have to submit something like a 100-words-or-less, it is often posted publicly, which means people are less likely to be as honest, silly or creative because their answer is totally visible.”


Seitam says promoting anything on Facebook also means you risk facing a very public backlash.


“The onus with Facebook is that businesses don’t delete any negative comments. Whatever the results, they are there for all to see,” he says.


“There seems to be a message in this for business – not to ignore Facebook when planning a competition strategy, but to combine [it] with their general website.”


“Social media is very important. Companies need to adopt it and grow it but not at the expense of everything else.”


Seitam’s top tips for promoting competitions:


  1. Make it free to enter. Also, avoid entry conditions such as 100-words-or-less unless you particularly want to know something, and make the answers you require non-creative.
  2. Often, competitions are only available to new members. For example, ‘Joining a mailing list puts you in the draw to win X’. Make the competition open to everyone as a way of attracting new users and rewarding existing ones.
  3. If you want to make people purchase something in exchange for a reward, have that as a second-tier prize. For example, ‘By purchasing something, you go into a separate draw to compete for much larger prizes’.

      Comments (2)

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      Ok, this article is simplistic and misleading. Startupsmart, publishing a strong statement like this, based on a unstructured survey - in your own words "ran a comment-based public survey on" doesn't give you any credibility, in fact it ruins it.
      If you enquiry 300 facebook users if they like to abandon on their behaviour ritual on facebook to go to another website to enter a competition 9outof 10 won't like.
      It's just online user behaviour rather than aversion to Facebook or any other Social Media channel.
      In 2009 Karll Greenberg Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide’ strategist published a complete and more structured survey about consumers habits and fact is online users don't like cross-travel to engage with a brand.
      The study found that 89% of people resort to the same sequenced rituals online, and three out of four people become disappointed/irritated when their sequence is disrupted or their brand of choice is not available where they want.
      Indeed lowering the barriers of competition entry it's a proven fact, running promotions on Social Media websites its not about making pubic to everyone, in fact a little more of research it'll show you that most of data collected goes to an external database not public to anyone.
      "Facebook competitions also make every user’s intentions public." yes they do what is very positive to a brand, this fact itself is enough to deviate tie-kickers and promotion-hunters.

      luciodr , January 15, 2011
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      Compers from Australia's leading competitions website at would also disagree with the survey results, with many members stating they love facebook competitions because running competitions via social media is relatively new so it gives them a better chance of winning.
      a guest , February 22, 2011
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