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Like to win competitions. Possibly the most popular competition entry method of all time. Why? Because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy (not to mention accepted) when people like our posts or page or follow us.

But here’s the rub – in the grand scheme of things, like to win competitions don’t really matter, they may be the most popular entry method, but they’re also the worst entry method in terms of collecting quality entrants and getting a decent return on investment.

Here are five reasons why like to win competitions don’t really matter.

1. It’s about quality, not quantity, when it comes to competition entrants

We’ve all seen viral competitions – that competition to win cute dog apparel with 100,000 likes, that chocolate competition with 50,000 comments – but when it truly comes to the crunch, how many of those 100,000 people who liked the dog apparel post, actually bought a product? How many of those 50,000 commenters who diligently listed all the reasons they love chocolate and should be picked as the winner actually then went and bought the damned chocolate?

Quantity is pointless without quality.

You could get a million entries to your competition – but if none of those entrants are your ideal customer and if none of them are intending to purchase your products or services, you may as well have zero entries… because that’s how many sales it’s going to amount to.

When it comes to planning your competition, think about attracting quality entrants who match your ideal client, not simply collecting as many entries as you possibly can  if you want to turn those entrants into engaged, loyal and life-long paying customers.

2. You’re paying to keep your entrants on Facebook.

OK let’s say you ignore this post and decide to run a like to win competition anyway. You follow our guide to running the perfect competition , pay for ads to drive entries and the competition has just closed. You’ve got a shed load of new post and page likes – now what? What’s your next move?

Likes don’t pay the bills. You need cold hard cash to stay in business, so how are you going to turn your page likes and post likes into customers?

Organic reach on Facebook is estimated to be around 5% of your followers depending on who you ask, so once you’ve paid Facebook to promote your competition and get your page and post likes, you’ll then need to pay Facebook again to reach those people you just paid to get.

As Naomi Simson so eloquently put it at 2020’s DMA conference , Facebook is a walled garden. Running a like to win competition is like ushering people into that garden, surrounded by high, unscalable walls. When your competition is over, the gatekeeper (Facebook) then slams the gate shut and locks it.

You’re left outside wondering how on earth you’re going to talk to everyone, as only the couple of people gathered around the gate can hear you talking. You ask the gatekeeper to let you in and he says ‘Sure! If you pay me a handsome sum.’

Your face goes red and you realise you’ve been duped – you’re going to have to pay to enter that garden you just put all those people into.

Facebook (and indeed all social media) is what we refer to as an earned or paid channel. To access the people on that channel, you’ll either have to earn your way in by wooing the algorithm or you’ll have to pay to get in. When planning your competition, consider collecting entries via an owned channel – a channel that you have unrestricted access to and don’t need to pay to gain access to your audience – such as an enter your email to win competition.

3. Post-competition conversion to paying customer is poor.

As we’ve just discovered above, once you get those page likers, it’s a whole different ball game actually reaching those page likers… which means it’s an uphill struggle trying to convert those page likers to paying customers once the competition ends.

TGAAL showed us in their guest post that email has a much as three times the potential to convert than Facebook (and a whopping ten times more than Twitter).

You’ll have a much better chance of converting your competition entrants into paying customers  with alternative competition entry methods  such as enter your email to win style competitions.

Traditionally, we see an average a 60% open rate with our competition emails, plus an average 7% click through rate, with some competitions able to make up to 12x ROI from post-competition sales.

When it comes to post-competition conversion, emails will win against like to win competitions, every. single. time.

4. Competitions aren’t a popularity contest.

Who cares about likes?

Yes, you can boast that you gained a tonne of likes on your post and maybe even a tonne of new page likers or followers – but honestly – who gives a crap?

As we’ve already said above, likes don’t pay the bills and neither do popularity points.

If you’ve set yourself a competition goal then the point of your competition is to smash this goal, not to see how many likes you can collect (unless that actually is your competition goal… in which case carry on).

It’s easy to be blinded by the allure of popularity, but in the long term, if those likes don’t drive sales, then they’re truly meaningless. Don’t focus too much on going viral and focus instead on achieving your goals.

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5. Like to win competitions aren’t the smartest entry method.

OK, here’s the mic drop moment.
Only foolish people would choose to run a like to win competition.

Why? Because you will almost certainly get likes anyway as a part of running your competition, whilst focussing on getting more valuable entries as your main goal.

Not only that, but the likes that you will inevitably gain as a result of promoting your competition on social media will be genuine, long-term likers that will not unlike your page as soon as the competition is over.

So why on earth would you invest in planning and promoting a like to win competition when you can likes for free whilst collecting email addresses, or survey responses or sales?

Again, only a fool would choose to run a like to win competition #sorrynotsorry.

Apologies if we’ve just rocked your world by declaring like to win competitions completely pointless. Not only do like to win competitions attract poor quality entrants, but they’re also more expensive in terms of reach and less likely to convert post competition – and quite frankly no one cares about your likes besides you. Yes, they can be a sign of popularity or credibility, but they stink as a competition entry method.

If you want to chat through some alternative entry methods for your next competition, why not pick our brains in a free competition strategy session or give us a call to discuss your next competition idea?

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