Brands increasingly offer cash giveaways as a means to boost "likes." Expedia, JC Penney, Super 8, and Excedrin are the latest examples.
Dollar signs are turning up more often in Facebook ad copy as brands utilize cash giveaways to drive "likes" to their pages. In new examples yesterday, Expedia ran an ad touting $1 million in vacation money while Super 8 offered the chance to win $500 and three free nights at its hotels.
Last week, Excedrin advertised a video contest and a chance to win $150,000. And JC Penney has been pitching "Celebrity Shopping" contests, giving away $1,000 and $500 shopping sprees in New York City with the trip as part of the prize.
In every case, the brand requires Facebook users to "like" it before they can have the chance to win. The cash giveaways are the latest twist on the increasingly popular like-gating tactic, the practice of trading gifts or exclusive content for a "like" on a brand's page.
Of the above examples, Expedia is casting the most lucrative lure. Five grand prize winners will be selected for either a trip to South America - worth an estimated $160,000 - St. Vincent ($125,000), Europe ($100,000), Paris/south France ($100,000), and Las Vegas ($100,000). In an effort dubbed "FriendTrips," smaller travel prizes will also be distributed.
These offers underscore brand's increasing willingness to invest sums in Facebook that rival their offline efforts. The seven-year-old social network is surging towards 700 million global users.
"Smart marketers are recognizing the value in engaging customers on Facebook," said Blake Hayward, VP of products for social marketing firm Extole. "These types of customer-powered marketing activities are converting existing customers into 'likers,' fostering social recommendations, and acquiring new prospects."
Harry Gold, CEO of Overdrive Interactive and a ClickZ columnist, suggested that while cash giveaways and freebies may be increasingly employed as a like-gating strategy, it's generally an old online marketing trick. "It works on landing pages to get leads," he said. "It works to get people to opt into email lists. And it works to get people to 'like' you on Facebook."
But Gold warned, "You have to be cautious about sweepers and samplers who are not really interested in your product but literally enter every contest on the web. They'll request anything as long as it's free. Be prepared to connect with those people as well."
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT