Disclaimer: This post was not solicited in any way nor did I receive compensation from ESC IT or any of their affiliates for the views expressed herein.
What is the value of a ‘like’? I’ve seen every dollar amount under the sun attached to it, from $0.01 all the way up to $5.00. Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t answer the original question: what does a ‘like’ on Facebook mean to your business?
ESC-IT, a business out of Markham, ON focused their social efforts in an entirely different way, and it’s paying off. But first, a bit of background. ESC-IT is a real-life game, where your team has to navigate through difficult puzzles and challenges to your critical thinking, problem solving and brainstorming skills. It’s a fantastic exercise for teams, friends and family.
But this post doesn’t give praise for how great the experience was; this post is about their successful social strategy. You see, ESC-IT offers you a 20% discount if you check-in on Facebook. If a round costs you $20 then: $20 x 20% = $4.00 in discount. The value they expect to derive from your ‘check-in’ is $4.00. That’s roughly four times the amount most speculate a ‘like’ to be worth, and a ‘like’ is an ongoing subscription to page updates, in a way. How could a single post/interaction be worth four times as much?
1. Personal endorsements go further
It’s the truth. An endorsement, interaction or referral through your personal network is infinitely more effective than Facebook advertising. That’s why Facebook smartened up and offered businesses new and engaging ways to leverage your network in hopes that they can publish to your news feed, rather than your side panels. By making it a requirement to check-in on Facebook, ESC-IT is tapping into you, your party and your entire friends list.
2. Running social channels is timely
Have you ever maintained and grown a community on Facebook? It’s a full time job. I should know, it’s mine. If you’re a small business just starting out, you probably have a long list of business-related actions you need to take before you worry about marketing and promotion. Besides, as we just said from the previous example, it isn’t always effective. Developing content, scheduling updates, responding to customers – it’s very time-consuming. What’s a better use of social power? Getting others to post about your business for you. That’s exactly what ESC-IT is doing.
3. Every interaction you see is positive
Have you ever seen someone on your friends list check-in somewhere and say “not excited at all”? Probably not. People go where they want to go, and they share recommendations based on that with their friends. You’d be hard-pressed to find a social stream that has customers speak with a 100% positive sentiment. But this is pretty close.
4. It worked on me
As I was mulling over this post and talking about the social incentive last night, one of my group members informed me that the social check-in was exactly what gave her the idea to go. I had heard about it before and my interest was piqued, but that was definitely the nudge that got me to book. Having a close friend message me personally and propose this plan (any plan really), is tough to say no to, and that’s what ESC-IT is hoping happens further down the road of social engagement. I’d wager they’re doing a great job gaining leads through Facebook and have probably developed a few advocates organically.
To play devil’s advocate for just a moment, is the $4 incentive ESC-IT offers too much? Truth be told, if the business had offered me even a $1.00 discount to check in, I’d have done it. If they asked nicely, I’d have done it. Heck, if they didn’t even suggest it, there’s a chance I’d have checked in because I know it’s of interest to my network. As the younger demographic becomes more guarded with what we shell out ‘likes’ and tweets for, businesses have to sweeten the pot to ensure we’re still engaged. ESC-IT has set that price at $4.00 because they feel it’s lucrative enough to entice patrons, but not so much as to hurt their margin.
What do you think about a 20% discount to take some social action? Is there another business doing it as well or better? Tweet me @adamrodricks.