Recently I ran across a Facebook page for a local company running a promotion to encourage people to become a fan. The promotion involved awarding a prize to an unspecified number of people who were a fan on the ending date and asked that you forward the invite on to your friends and anyone else who might be interested in being a fan. If it’s not obvious, the problem with the promotion is that there is a decided disincentive to me telling my friends about the page. Why would I want to decrease my odds of winning the prize(s)?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving away stuff to your loyal fans/subscribers, but when you’re just starting out and trying to encourage the viral spreading of your new marketing tool, a promotion that discourages people from inviting their friends probably isn’t what you’re looking to run.
Now to be fair, yes, it did work to get me to signup as a fan. Did I tell anyone else about it? No. In fact I deleted the story from my news feed so it wouldn’t show up to my friends. Are most people quite as bad as me on that? Doubtful. I’m anxious to see the promotion end to see if they follow it up with another promotion intended to spur the current fans to recruit their friends. If that happens I’ll give them a free pass on this one hoping it was their strategy all along.