The Facebook Competition Fallacy
“Hey Mr Big Brand, have you seen our latest survey on what people would like to see on your Facebook page? Competitions, coupons & other freebies of course…”
#Insightful. So should we all be rushing to commission our next big giveaway? Not so fast…!
This research teaches us 3 valuable lessons, sadly none of which make that a good idea:
1. We learn that however neutral your research study, you inevitably over-index on the sort of people who find it appealing to answer lots of questions & give away their personal data.
2. We’re reminded that somewhere less than 1% of your fans actually actively visit your page, so the question of what they want to see when they get there is rather mute.
3. Crucially we’re reminded about one of life’s fundamental truths - people just don’t know what they really want.
Sure, as a creative marketeer you’re disappointed that people aren’t clamouring for more of your well-timed, brand-linked, creative wizardry… But as a person you’re also aware that that’d be a ridiculous thing to tick on a form where you could instead ask a big faceless company for free stuff.
What then is the reality of Facebook competitions? Sadly not an enlightened paradise of Facebook fun, but instead a stream of annoying, nagging posts that keep popping up between pictures of your sister’s dog and best friend’s wedding. And if it’s bad enough when that brand you used to quite like keeps trying to click you away to some random application, when your friends join in too asking for votes… #Despair
Won’t these awful brands leave you to enjoy your Facebook experience in peace! You were quite happy just clicking ‘like’ to cute puppy images, reading about your high school buddy’s new job and laughing at that topical Oreo cookie image your colleague just shared… Oh, wait…
So what’s our real social media lesson today? Don’t rely on surveys about what people think they want on social media, follow the evidence of what they actually engage with. Oh, and rethink that competition you were just about to run…