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iDumb: Why You Should Stop Giving Away iPads on Twitter and Facebook

The following conversation is happening in at least 25 offices right now:

Executive: “We need more fans and followers!”

Social Media Person: “Ok, let’s run a contest.”

Executive: “What should we give away?”

Social Media Person: “How about an iPad?”

Executive: “Awesome! Let’s do it!”

Please stop.

Why iPads Are a Bad Giveaway Item

The only good thing about them is everybody wants one for free.

The bad thing about them is everybody wants one.

Is your ideal prospect everyone?

Probably not.

Your Fan Base Is Useless If They’re Not Your Prospects

Let’s go back to Marketing 101.

Do you want to market to everyone? No. You really don’t. You can’t do that in a cost effective way.

Unless you sell air or water or Coca Cola or crappy pop music, most people do not want or need what you offer.

You want targeted prospects. Your fans and followers should be people who are likely to buy what you offer at some point.

You do not want just anyone to be your fan.

Yes, Fan Pages with less than say 1,000 fans are not impressive. Yes you may be insecure about that. Ok fine run an iContest to get above that embarassingly low number. But don’t expect sales from this.

What people who’ve run contests tell me is that they lose a lot of fans after the contest is over.

Take a look at this. Of those who unliked Facebook Pages, 26% did so because they only liked to get a one time offer in the first place.

How Targeted Fans Make You Money

The reason I’m so sure about this is that I’ve seen many clients and students who have free, untargeted fans and very low conversion rates. And I’ve seen people who spent money on Facebook ads getting targeted fans who have made profits (with ROI’s from the ad spend of 300% to 6500%), sometimes even with fan bases of fewer than 500 people.

Year after year, marketers have told us that the “house” email list is the highest ROI marketing channel. And people who buy third party lists often get dismal results. Why? Because the house email list is people who are so interested in what you offer, they’ve volunteered to let you email them.

Fans and followers are “owned” media just like an email list. So make sure the fans you “own” are quality prospects.

How To Choose a Better Prize

Why not give away one of whatever you sell?

Or create something that helps people get the first step along the way toward whatever your service helps them achieve?

Good incentives have the following traits:

  • Relatively cheap for you to give away or create
  • Further qualifies people as prospects for what you offer
  • Arouses interest, curiosity, fear – really, any emotion helps

Photo attributions:

Brian Carter The Carter Group

Brian is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook’s Features For ...

iDumb: Why You Should Stop Giving Away iPads on Twitter and Facebook

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