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Why Social Media Competitions Suck At Building New Customers

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.

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

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 stuff 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! Success is never measured by the amounts of Facebook ‘likes’ you have.

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