12 Ways To Optimize A Facebook Game Of Like [A Case Study]

by Keri Jaehnig November 22nd, 2011 

There's been much to-do about the Facebook Like!… Implementing the Like Button on websites, how we can all get more likes, and even the new Talking About This statistic on Facebook Pages, which also has to do with likes.

Small business owners often ask me how they can get more likers (fans) to their Facebook Pages. Many see increasing this number as the most important factor that reflects success of their Facebook community.

Is it?

Any online community manager knows that activity on the page equals a thriving group of brand evangelists. That interaction leads to organic growth to the community, which is key to evolving passion among fans for a thriving, on-going Facebook community.

A newer concern, fan engagement is also highly reflective of the Talking About This (TAT) number.

So what should we really work to encourage?

I recently partnered with Dorien Morin-van Dam of More In Media on an exercise open to any Facebook Page Admin that wanted to increase their Facebook Likes. We were co-hosts.

We designed the Pre-Holiday Facebook: Game Of Like to help Facebook Page owners gain more likes. Our secondary goal was to prepare Pages for the upcoming Christmas holiday season.

Here are the highlights of how we set it up:

  • It was FREE, FUN & EASY!
  • Blog posts were written with all Game Of Like guidelines and circulated to both of our networks.
  • We used a Facebook event page as our home page.
  • Co-hosts invited participants Any participant could invite friends too.
  • Mainly, all participants liked each others' Facebook Pages. (Co-hosts too).
  • Like Achievements could be completed at any time during the game.
  • We did NOT make a list of participating pages on purpose.
  • Winners would be announced at the end of 10 days based on accumulated points from the game components.
  • The Grand Prize was a feature blog post out to more than 2 Million people, a month feature on both Idea Girl Media and More In Media Facebook pages, and follow-up interview posts highlighting winners business operations. Two prizes; two winners.

Dorien and I quickly heard from a considerable number of nay-sayers that reacted with, This type of tactic does not work. Those speaking may have been among those that had participated in previous similar projects where the primary focus was increasing the number of Likes.

Others actually read through our plan, and with raised eyebrows commented, Not your typical drive for likes.

A little sneaky, Dorien and I included educational components to the game, called Like Achievements, which would give participants hands-on experience creating a thriving Facebook community.

Was it really all about the Like?

So we set off on a wild 10-day ride with small business owners, nonprofit stakeholders, independent consultants, artists, well-trafficked websites, and public figures!

Co-hosts got little sleep chasing participants around Facebook, but it was exciting to see what our Game Of Like-ers were willing to do to win. In addition, our connections increased or were strengthened, and we saw our new friends experiencing the same. New friends, potential collaborative partnerships, and techniques learned.

How was the Pre-Holiday Facebook: Game Of Like won?

Our two winners tackled Like Achievements early and often. They accumulated points that set them ahead of the pack. Very cool that both ladies were developing new businesses and we were able to help propel them into their niche!

The result of the Pre-Holiday Facebook: Game Of Like was spread far and wide.

Some Likeable Numbers:

  • 224 people signed up for the Facebook event.
  • 25 people invited their friends to join the game.
  • 16 people referred others that also played along!
  • 24 people carved pumpkins.
  • 23 people reached 250,215 tweeters with 151 tweets on Twitter.
  • 11 blog posts by others were written about the Game Of Like experience.

There are now 73 players interacting in a private Facebook Group to learn more advanced techniques on turning new fans into active fans and keeping fans engaged. Studies show they have about 30 days. Exploring other social networks may be part of future plans for the group.

Evaluating & Looking Forward

Those that have tried similar projects would tell you something like this is a lot of work. Each would consider if it is worth it.

I think it is, as linking with like-minded people always brings mileage. However, there are some helpful hints to offer

12 Ways To Optimize A Facebook Game Of Like

1. Be organized well in advance.

If something is hyped as FREE, FUN & EASY, to a large network, chances are people will hop on fast and furious. While we did have a plan and finished some things in advance, both co-hosts were also running their own business. So there were times we were completing something just before it was needed.

Here are items that can be prepared a few weeks ahead of time:

  • Customized tabs on co-host Facebook Pages.
  • Freebies (Tools/Lists promised to participants).
  • Email address for communication specific to the game.
  • Tracking sheet for points.
  • Skeleton blog posts ready to post.
  • Crafted tweets & posts ready to go.

Preparing these even two weeks ahead would assure smooth sailing.

2. Create a logo and images for frequently discussed game topics.

A specific image for the Facebook Event page began to serve as a logo. It could then be adapted and similar graphics used – for frequently mentioned topics throughout the game. Such as: Housekeeping, Success Tips, Like-Checks to see that everyone is on track, and conversation on Like Achievements.

In total, we used 9 images to signal players throughout the Game Of Like. Creation of these could also be added to the list of things to do beforehand.

Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media discusses 12 ways to optimize a Facebook Game Of Like

Pre-Holiday Facebook: Game Of Like Logo [Original image inspired by Milton Bradley

3. Provide all the details up front.

Both Co-hosts published lengthy blog posts for readership to make sure all information was shared before the beginning of the game. While it was a lot for people to read and digest, this provided all guidelines to reference for anyone interested.

Sub-topics to consider:

  • Basics.
  • How to win.
  • Grand Prize specific details.
  • Describe how anyone wins just by playing.
  • Exact instructions on how to earn points.
  • Promotional Materials & acceptable ways to promote.
  • Fine Print.
  • Like Achievements & how to successfully complete.
  • Jump Start directions So they can correctly begin to play.
  • Links to free exclusive materials participants get just for playing.

A few of those were re-posted individually to make the information more clear.

4. Offer ways for players to promote the game.

We allowed several options to spread the word! Inviting from the event page, posting to other social networks, email, and blogging.

It is important to make sharing easy Sample tweets, posts, and email blurbs were provided so anyone could copy and paste without hassle. On Twitter, we used the hashtag, #gameoflike.

5. Use other social networks to attract participants and report/promote.

Very key. Chances are that those on other social networks are also on Facebook. Dorien and I posted, where appropriate, to spread the word to as many people as possible. On networks such as LinkedIn, we posted to groups only where permissible.

Observing etiquette and spam policies is vital, or you risk ruining your credibility.

Following up with results is a good idea, as long as you observe etiquette.

6. Find an assistant.

At least temporarily! For Game Of Like, co-hosts were playing along with participants to get to know them and lead by example. That alone is time consuming without considering day jobs and family.

If at all possible, find a trusted person to help with some administrative duties so that you can concentrate on socializing within the game. Suggested tasks for an assistant: Emailing freebies, tracking points, management of your Facebook page behind the scenes.

7. Be open to spontaneous activity!

"]Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media collaborated on a digital costume party for Pre-Holiday Facebook: Game Of Like

Pre-Holiday Facebook: Game Of Like Halloween Costume Party [Image inspired by Milton Bradley

Completely unplanned, we had a digital pumpkin carving party, and a costume party to celebrate Halloween. These activities drew people in for some fun, and helped us get to know each other better.

After all, its not only about the Like!!

8. Plan and announce a grand announcement Give details in advance.

People need to know what theyll win, and when they will know results. Have these details set in advance, and do not stray from what you promise. It is also true that people wont like you unless they trust you.

9. Post on the event page often to offer helpful hints to participants.

Once we reached 60+ players, it was important to make sure details on game specifics were easily findable for players tracking their own progress, and also players new to the game.

Details to post often: Reminders on how to post and tag, reminders of deadlines, encouragement to players, details on Like Achievements, answers to commonly asked questions.

10. Make helpful information & useful tools available.

Some of our originally posted details were not thorough enough for some participants very new to social media. We ended up making three video tutorials to help people be successful. We also posted links to helpful articles written by others across the Internet.

11. Set up a private Facebook Group before the end of the game.

This allows for some de-briefing, and a build on what was learned. This also strengthens ties made during such an endeavor and forms a strong circle for future projects.

12. Like Achievements front and center!

This is the most important Regardless of what you call these learning opportunities, its not all about the like! What comes after the like engagement is the real value here. And providing steps to help people connect is the real key to success.

We designed seven Like Achievements as the base of how the game would be won. These involved photo, video, branding, collaboration, specific interaction, and reading related published material after finding it on the Internet.

If we would have said, Go read Launch How To Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond The Competition, by Michael Stelzner, participants may not have done it. But we made it a fun challenge with high points value, and we found that people were attracted to completing it. The real kicker? They were lovin the book, and even kept the Launch Fan Page quite busy!

Honestly, as an organizer, I found myself envious of those working to complete Like Achievements, because they were fun, and made people smile.

Summing It Up

The final result was better than expected. Had more people played, we may not have seen quite the quality of relationships formed.

Many participants reported new Facebook Page likes between 65 and 100. Some were telling us lower numbers.

This endeavor would have run away without some help. Anyone that considers trying something like this should consider partnership to share the load!

Could we have centered the goal on the number of Facebook Likes achieved?

Yes. We may have even gotten more people to participate.

Do I recommend that as the main objective?

No. In the end, a successful Game of Like is best focused on the engagement – building relationships – and what happens AFTER a mouse clicks the Facebook Like Button! :)

Do you agree?

What else might we have considered during our project?

Keri Jaehnig

I am the Founder and CMO of Idea Girl Media - A Social Media Marketing Agency that works with business brands, non-profits & public figures to achieve social media success and positive online reputation. I am humbled to have received a 2013 Small Business Influencer Honorable Mention Award, and a commendation for Outstanding Attainment in Social Media from the State of Ohio Senate. My insight has also been featured at Social Media Today, SteamFeed, AOL Small Business, and I have been quoted by Business Insider and featured at Forbes. Non-fat lattes, travel & quick wit make me smile, and I am always enthused to meet new people!

ideagirlmedia.com

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18 Responses to “12 Ways To Optimize A Facebook Game Of Like [A Case Study]”

  1. Awesome Kerri! You and Dorien did a great job planning and implementing this. You too rock!

    • Keri says:

      Sherry,

      Thank you for your compliment! We were so happy to have YOU along for the ride.

      Only more good things in store… :)

      ~Keri

  2. I couldn't have summed it up better, Keri ;)

    It certainly was a WILD ride and a fun one, too. We planned ahead but also were surprised along the way. I guess my take-aways are similar to yours and I'd like to highlight the 'expect the unexpected' bit.

    We did not know ahead of time who would play, how many would play and where they came from.

    We ended up with players from all over the world and thus our well prepared posting schedule had to be adjusted to include some of those plays. We also had many more 'emerging' social media players than expected and thus we quickly had to take on a more active role in teaching than originally planned. This was no problem as Keri and I took turn making Screenr video with Twitter Tips, Facebook Tips and other how-to-Tips for those so very new to social media.

    This teaching part was fun and had provided each of us with some great material for future projects.

    Thanks you Keri, for being a great partner in the Game of Like.

    • Keri says:

      Dorien,

      A WILD ride indeed — I can't imagine taking it with anyone but you. :)

      Thank you for adding insight "expect the unexpected." You are right on point. Honestly, I think these surprise turns added to the fun and excitement of the experience.

      Icing on the cake to include people worldwide!

      Thank you, Dorien, for your collaboration, your enthusiasm, and your excitement to consider future similar projects.

      ~Keri

  3. Thanks for a great experience–I loved it!

    • Keri says:

      Sandra,

      Glad you enjoyed Game of Like! Enjoyed getting to know you better, and learning more about what you do.

      Hope you'll be up for future endeavors… :)

      ~Keri

  4. Joel Carter says:

    This was a very well organized event that exceeded expectations. Both hostesses, Dorien and Kiri were fantastic, helpful and provided active ro
    le modeking skills

    • Keri says:

      Joel,

      Thank you for your comment here, and for your nice compliments. Means a lot coming from you.

      We connected via the game. I so appreciated your interaction within the group, and enjoy seeing your smile each day now.

      For our connection, I am thankful!!

      ~Keri

  5. Keri and Dorien did a great job of engaging all of us. I learned so much more about social media than I thought when the game started. Best of all,through the Game of Like I connected with a woman in CA who introduced me to a local woman who was a great source of information for my online magazine. I still love to read their posts and curious about what is to come from those two!

    • Keri says:

      Sherrie,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Always great to hear when people gain new business connections as a result of social media! And also that you felt the game delivered more than you expected. Woohoo!

      I enjoy seeing you online each day now, and look forward to what is to come with your business.

      Dorien and I will certainly keep you posted…exciting things in the future for sure! :)

      Thanks again for playing,

      ~Keri

  6. Wonderful post Keri. I really appreciate you sharing the outline of what you did. Extremely helpful for those people who perhaps may be considering doing something similar.

    As far as your question; yes, I agree – engagement over numbers any day. You could have thousands of likers, however if no-one is engaging with you – doesn't that defeat the purpose?

    I have seen some business pages that have thousands of likers, all promoting their own wares and talking about themselves. I personally think this is like stepping into a room where everyone is shouting, yet no-one is listening. They're all too busy promoting their stuff and moving onto the next.

    Aim for quality content that you know your target market will appreciate and share, and of course come back to again and again, because you've build a solid reputation in your area of speciality and continue to provide that information on your page.

    Again, great food for thought Keri!

    • Keri says:

      Annemarie,

      Wonderful to see your smile!

      Thank you for your comment and feedback. Glad we are on the same page. I too have seen those Facebook Pages with tons of fans, but no interaction. I've also seen Pages with completely Twitter fed posts and no one paying attention because no one is there to respond to any conversation.

      The key is engagement, just as you've said — Free of constant commercials. From there, a wonderful organic growth occurs. :)

      Excellent advice above from a great friend,

      ~Keri

  7. Wow, Keri, what an innovative and fun way to get more Facebook Likes and to engage new readers. I have seen other schemes to increase Facebook Likes, but they weren't as involved and didn't have as innovative of an implementation as yours.

    Well done in creating and executing your brilliant idea, as well as sharing it with us!

    • Keri says:

      Carolyn,

      Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

      Yes, I too have seen other schemes – Very "like-only" oriented. As Dorien and I were both participants of other previous attempts, our thoughts were to provide value. Which is the engagement.

      The Like Achievements initially stumped some participants. They were very into the Like. But in the end, we all learned quite a bit from broadening the scope.

      Your compliments mean a lot! :)

      ~Keri

  8. Kerri,

    Thanks so much for not only sharing your experience, but what you've learned. This is really helpful.

    It's so easy to focus on QUANTITY when it comes to Facebook. Most of our clients are caught up in the idea that more "fans" and more leads is better.

    Your game is an excellent exercise in improving the QUALITY of community interaction, which will lead to warmer leads and naturally grow more high-quality likes and followers.

    I hope to participate next time around!

    • Keri says:

      Stephanie,

      Thank you for your kind words, and for taking time to share your thoughts!

      You've touched on something important: Quality over quantity. I too find that many are focused on *how many* total fans instead of how many are engaged, and the interaction on the page.

      The follow-up question: Which is better? 100,000 fans that don't pay attention or talk to you, or 1000 evangelists spreading your message like wildfire?

      If you are not already with us, there are now 79 members in a Facebook group talking about ways to improve interaction and gearing up for similar exercises in the future. We'd love to have you there, and I'd invite you with big pleasure! :)

      I'll look to connect with you on other channels to continue exchanging ideas.

      Nice meeting you here…

      ~Keri

  9. Kudos to you and Dorien for a job well done! The memories, friendship, knowledge and relationships built (personal & professional) are priceless!

  10. Keri says:

    Jocelyn,

    Thank you for your nice words!

    We certainly had a great time, and I'm so glad you were along for the ride.

    I can say too that I found fruitful friendships and now have marvelous memories. Thanks for bringing that out in our dialogue here.

    Looking forward to future activities with you…

    ~Keri