Most financial institutions struggle to accrue a significant Facebook fan base. But there is one way that nearly every bank or credit union can build the number of Facebook likes they get: giveaways. Sweepstakes and other similar raffle-style contests have proven one of the most consistently effective ways financial firms on Facebook have achieved sizeable fan growth.
Financial Facebook promotions most commonly involve one of two giveaways: cash — as always — is king, followed by consumer electronics, primarily iPads. If you’re looking for a general rule of thumb, plan on giving away something worth at least $1 per fan you wish to add. That means if you want to add 250 fans, you’ll need an item with a cash value of at least $250. One financial institution gives away $50 for every 50 new fans, another holds a drawing for $100 every 100 new likes it receives. An iPad is worth around $500, so you should plan a promotion around 500 new fans.
Truliant FCU $1,000 Facebook Fan Promotion
Giveaway: $1,000 to someone who has “liked” the credit union
Notes: This promotion catapulted the credit union to 3,000 fans in under 48 hours, and over 5,000 fans within a week. The promotion ended in early 2010. Since then, the credit union has shed fans, with now slightly less than 5,000.
Mountain America Credit Union $1,000 Sweepstakes
Giveaway: Like the credit union on Facebook for an entry into a drawing with five $100 prizes and one $1,000 grand prize. You can get three extra entries for mentioning the contest on your wall, plus additional entries for inviting friends to participate.
Total Likes: 5,873
Comment: The entry form is an application powered by GroSocial, a third-party Facebook promo company.
First United Bank & Trust 1,000 Fan Promotion
Giveaway: $1,000 to one of 1,000 fans
Total Likes: 731
Comment: Merely “liking” the bank on Facebook isn’t enough to qualify. You have to go to the bank’s blog and fill out a 10-part entry form. (Note: Each extra step entrants are required to complete will translate into exponentially fewer entries.)
Fairwinds Credit Union Facebook Fan Sweepstakes
Giveaway: One $100 Visa gift card to be given away when the credit union reached 4,000 Facebook fans.
Total Likes: 4,794
Comments: The credit union launched the promo when it was only 89 fans shy of 4,000. Building a contest around obtaining a fixed number of fans helps create excitement and fuels anticipation. It gives entrants (and lawyers) a clear calculation for odds.
Hudson Valley FCU
Giveaway: Raffle for an iPad 2. To enter, you have to like the credit union on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. You can do both and get a maximum two entries.
Total Likes: 2,492
Total Followers: 497
Comment: The credit union doesn’t follow anyone back on Twitter.
Arvest Bank 1 Million Meals
Giveaway: $1 = 5 meals donated to the hungry in exchange for every “like” on Facebook
Total Likes: 7,796
Comments: A million meals is a noble, inspired goal that will make people feel better about Arvest — and themselves –simply by clicking the bank’s “like” button. Customers can make additional cash donations by phone or by buying a $1 paper plate in the bank’s branches, where food donations are also accepted.
Chase Community Giving
Giveaway: $5 million to charities who got the most votes, and you had to “like” the bank in order to vote.
Total Likes: 2,436,143
Comments: This is one of the most famous examples of a corporate Facebook promotion ever, proving that the more you give away, the more interest you will generate. There’s a direct correlation: more bucks = bigger bang. Kohl’s held a similar contest, giving $10 million total to 20 schools that each received $500,000. Grassroots campaigns undertaken by schools in the contest garnered nearly 12 million votes and generated 1.5 million new likes for Kohl’s. New fans only cost Chase $2 each, whereas Kohl’s paid $6.67 each.
Desert Schools FCU – KNIX Fan Promotion
Giveaway: The credit union regularly gives away two tickets to local concerts and sporting events. They partnered with 102.5 KNIX, a country music station. People are entered to win if they like the credit union on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Another way to enter is to post “I’m a KNIX fan!” on the credit union’s Facebook wall or on Twitter.
Total Likes: 468
Total Followers: 462
Comments: Giving away tickets to a local event encourages entries specifically from people within the credit union’s area of service (people aren’t likely to enter a contest if they can’t use the prize). By teaming up with a media partner for a co-promotion, the credit union at least picks up some name awareness.
First Tennessee Bank
Giveaway: Special product offers
Total Likes: 4,545
Comment: The offers — a $50 refer-a-friend, $100 for an MMA, and a 4% HELOC — don’t feel very “special” for “special offers.”