A while back, we conducted a couple of contests to increase our Facebook fans. The first time, we gave away one of Loren’s pieces of jewelry she made. The second time, we gave away a subscription to an online business publication.
The contests failed. We didn’t see a spike in Facebook fans. We haven’t conducted a contest since.
Did we give away items people didn’t care about? Did we give up too soon? The answers really don’t matter to us. Yes, we realize we might add hundreds if not thousands of fans in a week if a contest gave away free Super Bowl tickets. After the contest, we would display an impressive number of fans but a large percentage of them wouldn’t be so-called brand ambassadors. They wouldn’t pay close attention to what we have to say. Maybe a few of our hypothetical Super Bowl fans would wander to our website and convert into customers. In reality, our Facebook page would be full of unauthentic fat … unless you believe a fat Facebook number alone impresses people so much, they can’t help but hand over money.
When I wrote this blog, The Flip Side’s Facebook page included 129 fans. I also have a separate fan page I started while reporting on TV with 217 fans. That’s a small fraction compared to some companies. On The Flip Side, we have more fans than some bigger organizations that debuted years before we did.
Here’s our bottom line: We read a lot of good content, some over and over from the same source, and for whatever reason haven’t “liked” their Facebook pages. So when someone actually takes a moment to click that thumb icon without the promise of a prize, we assume we earned that “like” a little bit more than if we had offered to give away expensive shoes or a trip to the beach.
So if you worry the size of your numbers doesn’t measure up, appreciate your current club, which just might be your true brand ambassadors (unless of course your relatives have joined forces to expand your numbers).
You can win fans many flawed ways. But the most legitimate strategy, and the one that probably converts people into customers, is providing good content and not contests. It may not be quick and easy, but it’s real.
If you provide good content, they will come … eventually.