Category: Build relationships

What damage is your Facebook competition causing?

Last week my news feed on Facebook was clogged with ‘like and share’ competitions.

Some were great offers, but what I really wanted to see was what my friends were up to.

That moment compelled me to share these insights in to the “best practice” of Facebook competitions. Many people may simply not realise they’re breaking the rules and it’s hurting them.
If you’re a business owner and your social media people are doing these competitions, then it may be putting your whole social investment at risk.

1. Nobody likes spam.
By forcing people to share your competition, your information starts clogging up the newsfeeds of their friends who might not really appreciate it. You could actually be pushing your potential customers away and they may even click ‘hide or block’ to posts from your page. This will hurt your organic reach meaning you’ll have to rely more on paid boosting.


2. More ‘likes’ is about ‘vanity’
Having 10,000 or 100,000 likes on a page might look good but it doesn’t necessarily add value to you, your business or your followers. People are probably only liking your page because they want the free stuff not because they value a relationship with you. Competitions are best used when you’re gathering useful information from your followers that are most likely customers, not just quick answers from any person chasing a prize.


3. It’s not ethical
Shares can’t actually be seen or measured by the business holding the competition. Likes and comments are OK, and people can share and tag if they like but making a share a condition of entry isn’t truly fair because it can’t actually be checked. The only difference to this rule is that using a third party competition app actually DOES have the ability to measure shares.


4. It screws up the Facebook algorithm
A like and comment competition is fine. It could actually give you some great answers to a question and be a bit of fun – it’s encouraging quality conversation. However, asking people to share as a condition of entry artificially creates an influx of data to the facebook algorithm which can skew what people really want to see. Imagine if a multinational company did a ‘like and share’ competition it would lock up news feeds. Sure lots of people will see you, but will they respect you, trust you and can you sustain their interest?


5. What’s the punishment?
If impeding quality engagement, or having potential customers blocking you isn’t enough there’s always the chance that Facebook will dish out a direct, more obvious punishment like closing your page. Last year I saw a business who had a personal profile labelled as their business and had collected several thousand friends. This was against facebook rules and out of the blue that rule was enforced, resulting in the business losing all of those contacts overnight with no warning. You may not get punished for breaking rules immediately, but you’re taking a massive risk.


6. You might be breaking the actual law
Just like raffles and competitions that we see in the flesh, promotions online may also need permits. These laws change from state to state and country to country. In the online realm your competition knows no state boundaries. So just make sure you have the right permit for where ever your followers may want to enter from. For example, in Tasmania a permit is not required, but if someone in another state was to enter they’d be entering illegally because we don’t have a permit in that state.


Let’s make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes, and in our next edition we’ll share tips on how to run a great competition that adds true value to your business and your followers. Oh… and just in case you love reading rules, here are the promotion guidelines for Facebook.


To help identify your ideal target customer download a copy of our FREE Buyer Persona worksheet and think about who you’re really connecting with. Your best customer isn’t everybody. 

Buyer Persona worksheet download


Your target customer is NOT everyone!

A few questions to warm you up…

Ever thought your customers were stupid for “just not understanding?”

Have you got one (or several) of those customers that just whinge all the time?

Do you doubt that your marketing is generating as much income as it costs you?

Then chances are, you haven’t determined your ideal customer. Stop thinking about what you like to tell everyone and start thinking about what your best customers care about.

Here are 5 things you need to know…

1. Effective businesses attract customers they don’t chase them.

Stop throwing stacks of money behind blanket advertising hoping to grab customers and tempt them to come in.

Know your ideal customer so you know where they are and what they’re doing. Then the aim is to become part of their lives.

There’s no use throwing TV ads on if your ideal customer loves outdoor adventure and is a dedicated watcher of the ad-free ABC.

Yet many businesses do just that…


2. You’ll have more than one ‘ideal customer’ type.

We often create buyer personas for one or two primary customer types. Then you might have a few other secondary customer types but my advice is to get really good at knowing your primary ‘ideal customer’ first. You want to create key marketing messages that hold true and authentic value. The trick is not to rely on blanket advertising to the masses otherwise you’ll confuse the market with mixed messages. Instead you’ll need to ensure you target those messages to where only those people see them. This is why digital and social channels are so beneficial. You can easily segment the ideal message to the ideal target customer.


3. It goes beyond how old they are, where they live and what’s between their legs.

Demographics are all about the measurable aspects of a person: Gender, Age, Income. The thing is today’s world is full of individuals.

People don’t hang out in age groups anywhere near as often as they used to. People are much more diverse than that now.

We want to understand what people value and the things they need/want in their lives to make their lives better. For this example, I’d like to point out for my international readers what a ‘bogan’ is. It’s a slang stereotype used in Australia and New Zealand, generally a lower working class or not working at all, that may be a bit uncouth or a bit loud (most Aussies have a bit of bogan in us somewhere). This explanation makes more sense soon…

To the example: I coached a retail store a few years back and they had two primary customers, one of whom were CUBs, also known as “Cashed Up Bogans.”

We knew that these guys (aka humans) were probably the first generation to have disposable wealth. They’re probably partners of FIFO workers or trades people and may not be quite as turned on by refinement as they are by features. They’d likely drive a top of the line Holden rather than a Mercedes. They’d more likely live in a suburb where the houses are new and big, rather than a leafy classic street of traditional homes. So why was knowing all this so important? Because the stock was bought with them in mind. They liked bigger things that were shiny, not the things that were handcrafted.

In the same way, any advertisements that you use would include the visuals and the messages that would appeal to this buyer.


4. Some customers just don’t want you…

Don’t take it personally (many business people do). Why don’t all those people want my product? It’s either because they don’t know yet why they need it (and you’ll need to focus on nurturing that relationship) or simply because they’ll never care about your product. It simply doesn’t fit in to their life, and you need to be Ok with that.


5. Stay focused, say no, hold your nerve.

Steve Jobs was well known for his ability to say no and stay focused on the project at hand. It’s that same focus that you need to have on matching what your business does best, with the buyers that want it most.

This will mean that you’ll get offers for advertising that sound like they’ll reach lots of people, but if they don’t reach the RIGHT people, you should feel comfortable to say no. With the focus on who you do want, and who will likely want you, you’ll notice that those customers who are problematic eventually aren’t there anymore, replaced with more of those that are easier to serve.


Create your own buyer personas:

So now that we’ve determined your target audience isn’t “everyone”, I want to give you something that will help you ‘profile’ your ideal customer/s.

Here’s a simple chart to get you thinking about what makes your ideal customer tick. Click on the image below, or download it here.

Buyer Persona worksheet download


Religion, business & creating brand evangelists

Brand evangelism is something critical to business.

It’s the act of having customers and promoters so in love and so trusting of what you do that they’re excited to tell the world about it.

It is of course the most effective and trusted form of marketing.

The word evangelism is tightly linked to the Christian faith, and whilst I’m not a particularly religious person, I know that business can learn a lot from the way in which religion operates.

Imagine if you could get people believing so strongly in your product or service that they passionately tell others about it of their own free will…

The free will part here is important. People aren’t being enticed by money or incentives, they’re down it because the whole heartedly believe in you and in your business’s values and ethics.

The most famous, if not first user of the term evangelism for marketing was Guy Kawasaki, “chief evangelist” at Apple. 

Justin Bieber labels his fans as ‘beliebers’ – and if you haven’t yet noticed, in the eyes of these ‘beliebers’ Justin can do no wrong.

5 actions you can apply to create evangelists for your business

So what are the 5 actions you can apply to create evangelists for your business?

1. Set the narrative

People connect with what you stand for if you have a story that’s relevant to them. Be clear with your narrative. The best way to do this is to have an easily accessible set of ‘key messages’ that stands the test of time. They’ll likely be messages that you’ll get bored of well before your ‘believers’ do. Then show examples/proof of how those key messages relate directly to the lives of your target customers and how your business delivers on these key messages.

2. Know your audience

What do they need? When are you most important to them? If you don’t know the answers to these basic questions, then your brand is unlikely to find a space in their mind and will have no chance of finding a space in their heart which is where evangelism lives. 

3. Be consistent

The only time most religions come under attack is when they’re seen to have double standards (although the evangelism amongst believers is usually high enough to negate the occasional slip up).

Only through consistency will people feel comfortable enough to sing your praises, because they have to be sure that what they experienced is what their friend is likely to experience.

4. It’s a science of emotions

If anyone has ever been to a church service, especially the more modern churches, you’ll see that many resemble a rock concert. The music has highs for inspiration and aspiration, and lows that conjure the chance to reflect on where you’re at in life.

Every part of the service from the video screens, to the lighting, to the tone of the ministers voice is perfectly timed, to deliver the narrative properly and to reach out to the emotions of the audience. Many pyramid selling schemes, and even corporate speakers also utilise the same techniques to ensure people are engaged with the purpose of being there. It’s not trickery, it’s just plain smart.

How is your business engaging with the emotional journey of your audience?

5. Know how you’re making the world a better place

The thing about religion, despite the fact that religions tend to have both positive and negative outcomes, is that people are driven to take whatever action they’re taking because they intently believe they’re making the world a better place.

Let’s be clear what some people see as loving, others see as evil, but the common thread is that both sides are doing it because they believe it makes the world better. So, how is your product or service improving the world? Know it, show examples of it and keep it clear in your messaging.

The Point: 

Business can learn a lot from religion. And it shouldn’t be assumed that people of faith already know the tips above. In fact because they’re within the cycle, they may even be less likely to see it, or if they’re aware they may just never have thought of transferring the key principles to business.

Word of mouth marketing is always the most effective marketing. It’s less about what you advertise, and much more about your values and key messages experienced through touch points that will bring customers inbound.

Don’t let your business be desperate and dateless

There are many things that have changed in business.

One of them is that more people and businesses are competing for a slice of your pie from all over the world. They’re building trusted relationships with people on your doorstep.

Your competitors aren’t physically visiting, they’re just connecting to your target audiences via online channels. They’re winning the hearts and minds of the people that are closest to you.

So what does this mean to the way you advertise? 

Well… think of this as a marriage where the ‘sale’ is the wedding day.You wouldn’t just meet someone in the street and propose marriage. Things would be moving waaaay too fast!

Yet many businesses do go to their audience cold. No dating, no introduction by a friend, no desirable glances across the room even. 

Other businesses from around the world are cutting your grass because they’re building relationships first. Consumers usually choose the brand they have a relationship with first. 


It takes an introduction, there needs to be attraction, the relationship needs some nurturing and trust needs to be built for when the ‘time is right’. Ignoring the need to build relationships first will mean one or more of these three things:

1. When they’re ready to buy, someone has already stolen their heart.

2. You’re not even in the dating game, so you’re missing so many opportunities.

3. You’ve tried to go straight to seal the deal, and they want to slap you in the face for coming on too strong.

We call the process inbound marketing. It’s all about attracting the right customers to you rather than you chasing them.

The point: Start building relationships with your target audiences in the places your target customers hang out. And… don’t go straight to home base with any of your marketing. It’s called first base for a reason… start there!

P.S. Think of the internet as speed dating. If you’re not in the room, you may as well not exist.