Attracting Facebook Fans with Giveaways

By , December 29, 2011

Here’s my early experience using “giveaways” (sweepstakes, free prize, drawing) to draw followers to the Facebook page for (which is a directory of lesson plan resources for K-12 teachers).

I’ve now run two promotions, each for two weeks. In the first, I gave away a $10 Amazon gift card (drawing 593 entries from 11/30 to 12/14/2011). In the second, I gave away a collection of 40 used books (bringing 343 entries, from 12/15 to 12/28/2011).

I didn’t really think much before launching the first giveaway, but was pleased to find that a substantial number of new followers appeared to be teachers (my target audience). However, I decided that my second giveaway would offer a prize that would be uniquely attractive to classroom teachers: a set of 40 used young-adult novels for a “classroom library” (I expected this prize to be less attractive to non-teachers).

Unfortunately, neither Facebook nor Hooplasoft (the provider of the “app” which powers the giveaways) provide any way to determine a new follower’s profession (or other information, except what’s publicly visible to non-friends on Facebook).  The relatively small number of participants and the expected seasonal “lull” during the winter holiday period combine to make any statistical analysis meaningless.‘s Facebook page attracted a total of 812 new followers (rising from about 900 followers ON 11/20 to more than 1,700 followers on 12/29/2011). Estimating the total cost of the promotion at $100 (including the cost of prizes, shipping, and my time), I’ve added 800 new followers at a cost of about 12.5 cents each.

That’s a huge increase, and a “success” in my opinion, but it’s unclear how many of those new followers are teachers, nor how traffic to the web site might be affected during the coming months.

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