The effectiveness of Facebook giveaways

Last week I ran a giveaway on my Facebook author page, in order to generate more likes. Let me first announce the winners, and then do some analysis on the effectiveness of such giveaways.


Huge congratulations for Phillip J. Kessler and Karen Tate for winning marketing graphics!

I’m sure you’ll be able to see the results on their pages quite soon.

Now, as promised to the analysis of running such giveaways.

Why and what-for

First, let me review the aims and the caveats. Facebook likes are actually of limited use. FB doesn’t distribute posts on pages quite as widely as personal posts. Nominally, the reason is that people prefer to interact with other people. Realistically, it’s because FB charges page owners money to “boost” their posts – essentially to distribute them to their target audience.

Writing and publishing is not a lucrative money-making machine, so I am not about to pay FB. Still, I wanted to play around and learn from the experience. I also find making the graphics enjoyable, and it’s good practice for my own material.

So while it’s decidedly not as useful as mailing-list subscription, it’s still a good trade of cost/benefits all around.

The mechanics

You must have seen these. A “tag your friend” post, to win something. You like the post (to help make it visible), you like the page (that’s the aim), and you tag a friend (to increase reach). A random winner is picked up from amongst the comments at the end.

Sound simple, right? You’d be surprised.

The results

Since the giveaway was for marketing media, here’s a catchy inforgraphic of the results:

Facebook giveaway stats

So there you have it. An interesting exercise. OK for generating likes (which aren’t much good by themselves), and for people watching. Don’t expect miracles.

Other notes

As mentioned, it will take some while for me to experiment with Facebook advertising. For now, it’s freebies like that. I will run more promotions,

Don’t think for a moment that a wildly successful promotion like this results in more sales, or even in more engagement in other aspects of your page. (More about that in a coming post).

I normally avoid swapping Facebook likes etc. – and so should you. Unless you are dealing with a group that shares similar interests, it just messes up the Facebook algorithms about shared interests and target audience for your page. Getting a whole bunch of romance authors to like your page dedicated to slasher fiction, won’t help you reach other horror fans. (More about this, too, in an upcoming post).


  1. I read with interest… though I’m not sure I’ve understood….
    I’ve joined FB just last week and I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand how it works, so I’m especially on the lookout for advice. Because I only have 13 likes on my page at the moment, I’d be interested to try this experiment, would you get into some more detailns on how it works? Should I be part of a group to have it work? How do I monitor who’s taking part and who’s not?
    These are probably stupid questions, but I’m really a newbie, so bear with me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting, thanks. I’ve read in the past that advertising of any sort has to be repeated (and repeated, and repeated… 😉 ) before people actually notice it… Good luck with your future efforts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Different tools, for different times, for different crowds…
      Just like everything else, advertising only works if used correctly. The above, however, is not about advertising so much as it as about observing how people react to giveaways and Facebook posts. And interesting study in people-watching 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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