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Really nice article Brad, despite the slightly ambitious title! I suppose the title got me to read your article though, so served its purpose to you :-)
Nice article, and I agree with most of what you've said.
I do disagree somewhat with what you've said about competitions not being a good way of gaining fans.
In my opinion, a competition executed correctly is a good way of raising brand awareness and simultaneously, gaining fans on your social media channels.
The fact is that most brands hold a competition at some point or another, some do it many times, meaning that they must be getting something out of it, or why would they keep doing it?
I know of one company in particular, who built their Facebook page largely through competitions, and now they have a pretty loyal, and active, fanbase.
I think they key is in the prize - don't give away something *everyone* wants. Give away an iPad and you'll get 1 million + likes on your Facebook page, but how many will have an interest in your products?
However, give away one of your products, or if you don't have a product to give away, something that only your customer base would be interested in, and you're going to be targeting people who *do* have some sort of interest in what you do.
I think you also need to milk the brand buzz that forms during the competition for all it's worth. People are going to be more responsive to your Facebook page during this time, so be sure to make the most of it, and get your edgerank up. And don't abandon your page once the competition finishes - keep posting daily to ensure you don't drop of the edge of the newsfeed planet.
Either way - running a competition doesn't have to cost much, and I can't see any way in which it would do harm (unless you start breaking laws or something). I'd always tell a company to go for it.
Isn't this precisely how EdgeRank always worked?
Either way - whether this is a concern for small businesses surely falls down to how exactly Facebook will measure engagement.
Surely the only fair way to measure engagement is as a percentage of the number of likes on the page? So if a page has 50 likes, and 10 people engage with a post, then that's 20% engagement which is great and should get a post seen.
However, if it's based on numbers of likes, shares, and comments, then these generally come in accordance with the number of people who like the page, and that's then completely unfair on small brands.....
I don't really bother any more..... sadly with the name Amy Fowler, I am plagued by search results for The Big Bang Theory's 'Amy Farrah Fowler'!
I like the programme a lot but I can't deny that I'll be pleased when it disappears off air and the excitement around it dies down....
I think it's all about finding an identity for your social media campaign - i.e. honing the identity of your brand and letting that identity shine through in your social media posts.
With so many great ideas and social media posts to share, it can be very easy to become overwhelmed with inspiration, but if you spread your ideas too far and wide, you risk losing your identity.
Or at least, that's how I see it.....
So if I'm reading this right; it's not compulsory as a brand to pay, and have your account verified?
You can continue to operate unverified and at no cost?