Facebook giveaways? Definitely cool. IF done the right way.

I have seen a thousand posts on my FB feed for giveaways.  Some of them are really cool! Since I am basically the unluckiest person in the history of winning things, I wasn’t shocked to see (when I tried to enter one) that I didn’t win.

What I was shocked to see (after a little browsing around various FB merchant pages- mostly created by the moms-gone-crafty types- hey momtrepeneurs are great- free market yadayada)  was how these businesses operated their giveaways blatantly breaking Facebook Pages TOS.

You know the type of giveaway I am talking about the ” like this, comment, and share for a chance to win (insert cool merchandise)”.

I reviewed my TOS to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and lo-and-behold: there it was.

So all of these giveaways that violate the TOS could potentially get their FB page shut down.  And for small businesses who use their page as a means of taking orders for product, this could mean a HUGE dent in sales.

It’s a huge risk.  FB is always changing their TOS, but when it comes to your bread and butter, not wise to tempt the hand of fate. Make sure you visit the TOS pages frequently so you don’t inadvertently violate them (and then get banned/deleted).

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems awfully cheap to be giving away stuff for a measly like or share.  At least get yours audience to interact and create cool ideas with you- that’s what a couple of my favorite clients are doing right now and it’s working so much better than the cheesy giveaways that some brands promote.


People will give you their customer loyalty if you attach them to your brand in a meaningful way. Ask them to help you name a product, that is an endearing way to engage your audience.  When consumers like, they buy.

While you may not see your likes shoot up to 80,000 in one day- or even one decade- you can bet your fans are loyal and they go the distance with you.   These are the fans that will engage because they are interested, not bc of a freebie. Quality over quantity.

And by the way- who even cares about likes? I want to see a real discussion going on- whether it be debating fabric colors, customer service related, or a real dialogue that shows the brand is outstanding. Likes can be easily purchased as we have seen lately. It takes a lot more time to put thought and effort into a comment and that is what you ultimately see with quality brands.  That is what you want to strive for with your own brand.

Success is not overnight.  And if it is, you’re doin it wrong!  Slow and steady wins the race!

What is your take on these giveaways?

Southwest Airlines Using Social Media to Improve Customer Service?

It has been quite clear for a while now that social media is an effective tool for giving your audience the gold standard of customer service.  Many businesses feel that delving into the social media world is risky.  One major reason I’ve heard from some of my clients is the big “what if someone were to complain on your Facebook page or write something nasty on Twitter?”

Well, what if?  What DO you do?  Erase it?  Not the best idea considering that despite the few minutes it was on the worldwide web, google could have indexed it.  Someone saw it.  You can’t pretend it didn’t happen.  So the best possible thing to do is exactly what Southwest Airlines did a few days ago when Green Day band member was removed from a flight for not hiking his pants up and then tweeted about it: they re-tweeted him, acknowledged his displeasure at the situation, and promised to correct it.  Then, (gasp) they went and put him on the next flight and I am sure apologized.

Rather than ignore the complaining tweet, they harnessed this as an opportunity to show their customers (and the rest of the world) that they did indeed pay attention to what their customers wanted, and used the power of social media to put forth the highest standard of customer service.

Inevitably any business is subject to complaints.   Why try to hide it when anyone knows that you can never please EVERYONE?  The best possible thing to do 100% of the time is be totally transparent, which shows your honesty as a business person, your credibility, and that you will do whatever you can to keep your customers happy or correct mistakes that will inevitably happen.

How have you used social media as a useful customer service tool for your customers?  How have you approached a grievance posted on your social media from an unhappy customer?  And how have you turned it around to make it into a win/win situation for you and for your customer?