Brands Racing for Facebook Likes

posted on 28th Oct 2010

I had been meaning to illustrate the race for likes post with a few examples of brands doing just that – providing an incentive for large numbers of people to become fans of brands in order to receive a  discount. Offering discounts or promotions to fans to click like is nothing new. But, in these examples the discount grows in value as more people click on ‘like’. This gives fans an incentive to promote the page to other fans, in the hope the page attracts even more fans. Here are those examples:

1. Volkswagon Skoda

A straightforward promotion where a ‘like’ will get 2 euro off the price, and you have 48 hours to purchase the Skoda at that reduced price. But there is a catch, there is only one car available at this price, available until someone eventually buys it. If it’s not purchased within the allotted time frame it goes back on the market, if it is purchased another car is put up for sale starting at the original asking price. The promotion page can be found here.

2. Healthy Choice

In the USA Healthy Choice offered those who clicked ‘like’ a coupon worth $0.75 cents off their next purchase. The coupon grew in value as more people became fans, reaching $1.25 in value and eventually buy 1 get 1 free. According to Brandweek the page had tripled its fans within 25 hours and it took 3 days to reach the maximum coupon value (Buy 1, get 1 free). 37,000 people had reserved the coupon and, as of now, supplies have run out. Link to the Healthy Choice Facebook Page

3. Guy At Home In His Underwear

The guy at home in his underwear is a campaign to promote testicular cancer amongst males. It’s being promoted by the Canadian cancer Society and will see a normal guy called Mark, live at home in his underwear for 25 days. There’s a live stream from his house on the campaigns Facebook page. Originally a goal of 25,000 fans was set if the page reached that number then a Canadian underwear company, Stanfields, will donate $25,000 to cancer research. With so much interest in the page 25,000 likes was easily surpassed and now each like converts into $1. As I type he is on day 22 and just past 51,000 fans.

So three slightly different concepts each playing with the group buying idea. In all of these examples, the driving measure of their success will more than likely be based on fan growth over the duration of the campaign. It’s not a metric that will suit every brand. Growth in fans and interactions can prove useful when building awareness of a brand or product, which Skoda does well. Guy at Home is seeking a change in attitude and awareness through the unique marketing concept. While Healthy Choices goes one step further and encourages the fan to try the product at a discount, hoping to convert the fan into a user of the product. Nice ideas, but it’s important to think of the long term implications for the brand. You may end up with 100,000 fans, but if they aren’t users then what is the real value of them?

The final one is an interesting concept where the brand is getting behind a cause rather than racing for likes to its own page. This ‘group’ idea is not to far from the group buying services such as Groupon where the more people involved the greater the end benefit is. You have to ask will the brands audience always be the ones receiving the communication. There’s an incentive for everybody to click like on The Guy at Home and while the brand don’t receive ‘likes’ directly its getting the brand a huge amount of publicity. However, there’s less of an incentive to click on the Skoda or Healthy Choice unless maybe you had an interest already. I wouldn’t buying a car just because its now 2 euros cheaper, but it might make me investigate the car whereas before it may not have entered my mind. With the rapid growth of group buying services and these international examples of how that concept is being harnessed by brands, I’m sure we will be seeing more of this here in Ireland. One word of caution though, I think such concepts suit only certain brands and you must ensure the concept and the brand fit. Otherwise you could seriously damage the value and reputation of the brand.