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Why Rewarding An Nth Facebook Like Is A Bad Idea

If you’re feeling generous and want to reward users for liking you, your brand or product on Facebook, you might want to think twice about exactly how you’re going to do it. The Bad Rabbits, an incredibly funky soul/pop band from Boston, decided to give their 8000th “Like” some free merch and they advertised a t-shirt giveaway on their Facebook Page. Ten minutes later, they were down 10 fans instead of gaining the two or three they were angling for to reach the 8000 Likes milestone.

Sure enough, existing fans determined to win a t-shirt unliked the band, waiting for the counter to hit 7,999 and then they would strike and catch the prize. But 40 minutes later, the counter was even lower than it was before, and some of these ex-“Likes” with short attention spans have probably given up and left to do other things. Will they ever come back?

Bad Rabbits Facebook T-Shirt Giveaway

Obviously, this kind of response is heavily related to the value of the reward, the type of people who “Like” the page and the current number of likers. But there will always be fans who think they can outsmart the page owner.

So how could the loss of Likes have been avoided?

  • Reward existing fans so they don’t feel betrayed for their loyalty. Eg. reward for interactions, like comments or photo uploads. Those who are not a fan yet will like your page anyway in order to post a comment. Look! Double rainbow!
  • Or advertise a Facebook giveway “for the nth like” exclusively on another platform, or a different social network. Eg. put it on a flyer, on the website, or tweet about it.

One hour later, the band still has less fans than before the giveaway was announced. So much for generosity! But we’re convinced they’ll get there eventually… helping them a bit with this post (let us know if it’s any of you).

UPDATE: Five minutes after our post, their page hit 8,002 Likes. The band confirmed that a fan called Marissa won the free t-shirt. Congrats to the winner!

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Why Rewarding An Nth Facebook Like Is A Bad Idea Posted by on April 22, 2011 at 5:54 PM. Use this trackback if you're linking this story.

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