In a recent infographic from Lab42’s blog it was revealed that 34% of consumers like brands on Facebook for promotions or discounts, and 21% of consumers like brands for free giveaways. Doing some simple math for you, that equates to 55% of all Facebook brand Page likes that are driven by people’s desire to get something for free or to save a few bucks. Pretty compelling information, but there are two sides to this story.


I can speak from personal experience that social media promotions and giveaways, if executed and promoted properly, can be excellent fan acquisition tools. Without a doubt, promotions and giveaways are one of the fastest ways to attract new fans to your brand page, and can be run for just about any budget. Three of the many benefits of running a social media promotion or giveaway include:

Fan Acquisition

Acquiring new fans is not only great because it gives you more people to speak with, but it also provides social validation to prospective fans that your community is desirable to be a part of, which should even further grow the size of your community.

Builds Buzz

A social media promotion, giveaway or discount gives you something to talk about and that your community and prospective community members will get excited for and to share with their social graphs.

Creates Value

Creating value for your social communities should be a top priority of all social media marketers. This can be done in several ways such as educating your fans, entertaining them, or in this case, through offering something tangible.


With such compelling evidence to support the value of social media promotions, giveaways and discounts, it can be easy to become dependent on these tactics for growing your community and overuse them. I’ve heard from a good number of people who experience success with promotional programs that they immediately want to execute their next in hopes of achieving some of the same success. This enthusiasm is understandable, but there are some issues. Drawbacks of running an excessive number of promotional or giveaway programs can include:

Community Churn

When executed with great frequency, it will become an expectation of your community that you will be providing tangible value with promotions or giveaways. If you don’t satisfy this expectation, you should expect ‘unlikes’ as a result.

Reduced Engagement

For consumers who are drawn to your brand page because of a promotion or giveaway, their predisposition to engage with your non-promotional content will be reduced versus consumers who are drawn to your community for other reasons.

Attracting Irrelevant Consumers

Social media promotions, giveaways and discounts attract ‘gamers’ and ‘discount hunters’ who spend an inordinate amount of time entering contests or finding discounts wherever they can online. Undoubtedly you’ll attract some of these, which should be taken into account when measuring basic success metrics.

Additional Costs

By the very nature of promotions, giveaways and discounts, there are hard costs involved beyond existing overhead. Be ready for these, and when you’re building your budgets, be sure to plan for lesser thought of costs such as fulfillment, legal council, and any necessary regulatory filings.

Don’t take this post as my advising against running a social media promotion, giveaway or discount-based program. If executed properly, these can be fantastic for attracting new consumers to your community, rewarding existing fans, and building your brand, to list a few positives. This said, be careful to not over rely on these activities and ignore a better-balanced strategy including the creation of meaningful content and relationship building.

Have you experienced success running social media promotions, giveaways or discount programs?

How do you incorporate these programs in your social media strategy?

Do you have any cautionary stories about running too many promotions or giveaway?

It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. […] In a recent infographic from Lab42’s blog it was revealed that 34% of consumers like brands on Facebook for promotions or discounts, and 21% of consumers like brands for free giveaways. Doing some …  […]

  2. Thanks for posting this.. It’s been a pleasure to read 🙂

  3. I really like your writing style, good info , regards for posting : D.

  4. Great post Matthew. Raised some really good points in a clear and concise fashion.


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Promotions, Social Media Marketing


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