Social Media Competitions Suck At Building New Customers

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Mark Masters
Managing Director of Bournemouth based creative marketing company, The ID Group. Helping to position businesses as the authority in their industry and providing advice, opinion and guidance for brands to be the 'go to' choice.
Mark Masters
Mark Masters
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Do social media competitions open new doors for you?

Social media competitions can be cost effective and easy to run, but not necessarily a tool for winning more customers.

Ask yourself, is it about building a community when in reality it is not about building a dialogue, just someone wanting a prize.


So, Why Bother With A Social Media Competition?

We thought earlier this year, at The ID Group that if we ran competitions then we’d grow a fan-base. Here is why we wanted to create a social media competition:

  • use social media channels in a way that was different to broadcast a message
  •  use alternative means to create a dialogue with people
  • give prizes away that were not geographically sensitive ie. cinema tickets
  •  create an element of fun and build up
  •  build recognition to The ID Group brand
What Lessons Are There To Be Learnt?

This is what we realised and looking back some lessons learnt.

  • Rather than a loyal community, what takes it’s place are followers/fans who like free
     and not much else
  • By giving away prizes, whilst being aware of the geographical nature, the demographic wasn’t necessarily a wishlist of potential prospects (so doesn’t compliment the target markets)
  • The majority of people are “˜engaging’ with you because of a prize, not to build a dialogue
  • You may receive new followers (and looks great when others see you brimming with popularity), but the likelihood of becoming customers is pretty slim
  •  It becomes an almost faceless exercise. It’s great when receiving information from new people, but do we know who these people are (and to build a dialogue with)


So If This Isn’t The Best Way To Build A Loyal Community, What Is?

Over the following blog articles, we’ll highlight some examples where looking to build a community has worked in 2012. The secret, looking to provide information and value to people that they can use, share and interact with. There are no shortcuts to building a following and a competition is by no means a quick win.

Before you go and buy that new iPad mini for your next competition, have a think. If it’s to use as a tool to build a committed following to your brand, think again!