Competitions and prize draws have become popular tools for brands on Facebook. They use them for generating new likes, building up interest in products and for stimulating consumer involvement. Over the last year the number of Facebook prize promotions has increased dramatically but are giveaways effective tools? We think that by looking at the “Likes” page of a brand it’s possible to gauge the effect that a competition or prize draw has for a Facebook brand page.
We visited a handful of brand pages that had Facebook prize promotions running during October, but closed around the middle of the month. The ‘Likes’ pages give us an indication of ‘people talking about a page’ and the number of new likes. What we’re seeing is that during the promotional period the pages are getting new likes and plenty of people talking, but after the closing date – brands are failing to keep those users engaged.
1. Scandinavian Fashion Boutique
The graph below shows the likes and engagement of a London based Scandinavian Fashion shop. Their prize draw ended on October 19th. Interestingly the ‘talking about’ graph shows a decline towards the closing date and then rapidly tails off once the promotion has ended. The increase in interest towards the end of the chart is because they launched a new giveaway.
2. Electrical Brand
This maker of kettles and toasters ran a creative competition during October and it too ended around the middle of the month. The graph shows a decline as in (1) but it’s much less pronounced. Could this be because creative competitions generate less buzz? Interest in the brand increases once again in the first week of November as they start offering prizes again. This time it’s a simple prize draw and it results in a massive surge.
3. Online Jewellery Store
This jewellery offered a mystery prize in October and asked entrants to like and follow to enter. The competition photo itself attracted over 1000 likes and 1000 shares. Again we see that once the promotion has closed that there’s a drop in the ‘People Talking About This’ numbers, although the drop isn’t as pronounced as for the Scandinavian Fashion Boutique.
The reason for this could be attributed to the fact they ran a few extra Wall giveaways until the end of October.
4. Independent Clothing Label
This prize draw was run outside Facebook guidelines and to take part entrants simply needed to like the page and share one of the many photos posted on the wall. Again we see a peak, possibly around the launch date of the promotion, followed by a decline. The page has managed to build their numbers towards the start of November, possibly due to a nice 25% discount offer they’re currently running.
5. Daily Deals Site
Not everything conforms to type! This deals site was offering a £200 prize, but entrants needed to sign up with their website then come back to Facebook and comment why they should win. Their photo received just under 300 comments and a similar number of likes. Compare that to the mystery prize offered by the Jewellery Store above!
In fact this brand page has had improved interaction and more likes simply by posting up offers – although offering to share their Euromillions ticket towards the end of October did give them an additional boost.
6. Chocolate Store
This is one of the most pronounced graphs and clearly shows the effect that a prize draw has on user engagement (at least within Facebook’s algorithm). We can clearly see a rise in interest at the start of the competition, followed by a drop once it had ended. What could be worrying here is that interest before and after the promotion is almost the same. Does this suggest that a competition is merely a short term boost to your brand’s Facebook presence?
From the above we can infer that prize promotions do help generate interest in a brand’s Facebook page. What may be concerning for some is that once a prize promotion has concluded that interest in the page rapidly wanes. What marketeers need to do is use the competition window to try and boost sales or brand interaction – not wait until the closing date and hope to grab a potential customer’s attention afterwards.
Once a competition/prize draw has ended then it’s clearly a harder task for some brand pages to engage users. However with discounts and good product promotions it should be possible to build on the initial effects that a giveaway has offered.
Of course the above is limited in it’s a scale – we’ve chosen a selection of different pages to try and demonstrate that there are for the most part similarities. However, we’re aware that metrics such as effect on sales would ideally need to be investigated! A larger subset would be nice as would be similarities in the day to day interactions pre and post the competition/prize draw.
The key point though is that brands need to start assessing the impact their prize promotions through Facebook are having.
For example, does a creative competition generate less brand interest, but long term builds you engaged customers. Conversely does a ‘like to enter” prize draw just boost your like numbers, but generates little in the way of future interactions – at least until your next giveaway.
We’d suggest that all brand page owners look at the effects of the own prize promotions before, during and after to just see how their likes/interactions change.
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