On Facebook, Choose Content Over Contests

A post today at ClickZ asks the question that many social media marketers have been thinking about, but have been too afraid to ask: What happens after Facebook contests?

Companies, individuals and small businesses have been tapping that vein to build their Fan Pages because it offers a quick result.

After the first contest, you’re left feeling like you have to plan another one soon. Otherwise your Fans may  begin to get bored and leave you.

If they’re there for the contest, then they’re there for the wrong reasons. And it’s not entirely their fault that things are the way they are.

By placing too much emphasis on contests to build your community, you create a culture that is not sustainable because it requires constant incentive.

The ClickZ columnist explains the predicament well:

Most fans can be bought with a fabulous prize package, but if we want to retain the worth of these channels, we might want to be judicious in when and how we use contests as part of a larger strategy to provide value in other ways to our customers and potential customers.

Treat Facebook contests in the same way that you do a typical campaign advertising campaign: Run them only when there’s a reason to. Don’t run one because you’re getting  nervous that your page’s growth seems to have stagnated and you need to create a bit of flash in the pan.

Place value in the content you’re providing to your community, not in the number of entries you can get for a free iPad.