Ooops! I’ve missed a couple of weeks blogging. One of the reasons has been I’ve been running a Facebook competition from the Glitterarti page and I thought I would share my experiences.
First of all, my business is very small and I appreciate that it will always be just a hobby business. I sell my jewellery mainly becuase I like buying beads and making things and I can’t possibly wear everything I make. However, I am also curious and like finding out how things work, so when I began marketing my business I wanted to know how to do it well.
If you do a quick search there are thousands of sites on the web telling you how to market a small business using social media, the advice is all pretty similar: post interesting content and engage your audience by asking them to do things (answer a question, like something, share something etc.). Facebook reach for business pages is notoriously poor, each post will probably only reach between 10% and 20% of your audience, but the more the post is commented on, liked, or shared the more it will be seen by both people who like your page, and their friends as well.
Getting ‘likes’ for your page is difficult. If, like me, you only befriend people you know in real life on Facebook you probably only have a couple of hundred friends or less, and probably only a percentage of them regularly check and engage with Facebook posts. When I first set up Glitterart I got a quick flush of likes from friends and friends of friends which was really encouraging, but then it slowed down and settled at around 90 likes. There are only so many times you can ask your friends to share and like your page though.
One of the pieces of advice from the experts is to run a competition, but Facebook has lots of rules about how you can run a competition from a business page, and one of them is you cannot run a competition where you have to like or share a page in order to enter (although this rule is often ignored, Facebook can and does shut pages down without warning if you are reported to them).
I decided to do a few posts saying I would run a competition when I got to 100 likes and this did generate a number of shares and I got 5 or 6 likes in a week which took me just over the 100 like mark.
So I ran a competition. The first problem was choosing a prize. I wanted something that I thought would appeal to a wide range of people, but I’m only a small business and couldn’t give away a huge prize. I settled on this pair of sterling silver and swarovski crystal earrings.
I decided to ask people to like a picture of the earrings and comment where they would wear them. I made sure the competition details were in the picture description so that shares would still see the details and included a disclaimer saying the competition was nothing to do with Facebook (you can read about Facebook’s competition rules here).
I gave people a week to enter, which was probably a bit long as I think everyone who liked my page, and all my friends, and all my husbands friends were heartily sick of seeing that pair of earrings on their news feed. I did gain a couple of new likes, but also lost two as well. Some people did share my post, but that brought another problem as their friends liked and commented on their post, and not on my picture so they never actually came to my page and they weren’t entered in the competition as I couldn’t see their comments due to their privacy settings.
There is also the issue that Facebook doesn’t automatically show you all the comments on the picture. By the time I’d got a few comments it would only show me the ‘Top Comments’ and there was one comment which I knew had been made that I couldn’t see at all. It was only by going to add a new comment myself that I was able to see all the comments, and then only by clicking ‘show more’.
I ended up with seventeen entrants to the competition, which given I only have 100 page likes is probably not a bad return, but I had hoped for much more. The final issue was how to pick the winner. I had stated a random draw and there are lots of free sites on the web who will pick a random winner for you, but in the end I printed out all the names, stuck them in a box and got my daughter to choose the winner.
The winner is a lovely lady I met through yoga and she was over the moon with her prize and thankfully she lived close so I could deliver the prize instead of posting, but postage is another cost to think about when choosing your prize, especially if you open the competition to overseas entrants.
So would I do it again? I’m not sure. It was nice to see comments from a range of people, not just the people who normally like and comment on my page, so in that respect it did generate reach and took my page out onto different timelines, but my net likes by the end of the week were the same as when I started. I did make my winner very happy though and that is a nice feeling.