Reasons why hacking Facebook for more customers goes wrong for so many

I don’t have endless years of experience in online marketing, but believe me I have already seen a lot. I have carefully monitored thousands of our users; some are very successful whilst others are less so.

I want all of you to deliver. Hence, I decided to write this post so that you all excel in customer acquisition.

Thinking it through I can differentiate between four types of marketers… that I have been talking and selling to so far. They may be grouped based on the depth of their knowledge and willingness to care. SO WHERE DO YOU BELONG? The following chart helps you to decide:

The type of marketers I have come across to date.

The type of marketers I have come across to date.

Well, I like group #1. Where knowledge meets care. I am very happy to talk to them and also frequently ask them for a favor – to share their wisdom.

Once I met this guy (online of course), who was a marketer by heart. All his steps were conscious and well planned as part of a longer-term strategy. He was a good customer and up for the challenge. With his first contest on Facebook he gained 15k new Page likes. How? Well, he did his homework, played around with the product and came up with a small hack:

  • He hid the number of votes on the photos submitted and regularly updated the fans with a post listing the name of the top 10 entrants only.
  • This was a killer strategy; the entrants became obsessed and tripled the buzz around their submissions, compared to a regular campaign.

With a little care and thinking he found a silver bullet. Something that others often fail to achieve.

He knew that contests and giveaways work well, if used wisely. According to research published on eMarketer, 70% of Facebook marketers consider like-gated giveaways to be the most effective marketing tactic. Then why are only 39% using them?…Because only less than half of the marketers are ambitious enough to figure out how a contest works and actually build one.

Promotion campaigns are effective marketing tactics on Facebook

Promotion campaigns are effective marketing tactics on Facebook

Let’s take a look at group #4. Professionals, who don’t seem to care and actually lack marketing knowledge. I know from experience that 99% of them will never become a customer (this may not be completely accurate, but at least it reflects my feelings having wasted a lot of time on them).

They are rather lazy, and instead of utilizing the comprehensive content on our website (we do it for YOU to read), they turn immediately to our support team and ask “How can I build a giveaway?” Arghhh…

However there are some knowledgeable marketers out there too, who are either too comfortable or simply busy to deliver. They constitute category #3. In the majority of cases, they are overwhelmed micro-agencies that are experienced, but lack the time to give their customers a better service, even when they theoretically could. (btw. they should increase their prices.)

This group typically makes the same mistakes as the less experienced ones.

So this takes us to group #2, the marketers with care but without skills. I personally like them too. They respect our time and efforts. They ask considered questions, they point out real problems and they learn from our training materials and personal advice. Actually, they develop with us; this makes them good customers. And we are happy to encourage them with our smile (see below).

Our knowledge base is at your service.

Our knowledge base is at your service.

No marketer is perfect though, and as the cliché goes “business is more an art than a science”.

At the end of the day, there is no difference between mistakes – printing more money for your company is the matter of care and openness. Tweet this.

Following on from this, I will now detail the typical mistakes that our clients make, irrespective of their category. I will also present the right solutions to help you acquire the skills you need for what 70% of the marketers aim to do, but only less than half actually achieve.

Mistake #1. You build non-engaging contests that address a general audience.

This is one of the biggest mistakes. It’s like organizing a boring party without sending invitations and then wondering why nobody shows up.

First, build engaging promotions to collect thousands of email addresses. Some tips:

  • Choose your grand prize wisely to avoid prize hunters and to find long-term customers. Remember, large traffic may not necessarily be quality traffic.
  • Ask relevant information from your subscribers. Do you run a camera store? Ask about their camera type then! The key is to get to know your customers and tailored questions help you to filter out unwanted leads!
  • Use like-gate and permission dialog. Why? For the same reasons. If one is declining any of these requests, he is possibly not interested in your service and so you will just waste your resources in trying to convert him later on.
  • Incentivize your subscribers to spread the word about your campaign. Make it viral; show them that sharing is for their own benefit.


To sum up, run well-structured promotions to engage and attract the right audience. If you are successful in this, free visibility will soon follow and it is possible to double your audience, with as little as a single campaign.

Mistake #2. You don’t use smart, paid traffic to support the viral loop.

Once your engaging campaign is up and running, free attention may be granted through virality. However this may not be enough to reach your goals. Support it with targeted ads. Don’t just advertise, but shoot accurately.

Using a ‘Sponsored Post’ on Facebook is easy. But ask this question to yourself: “Am I reaching the right audience?” Likely not, because it’s for mass traffic and you actually waste money on clicks that will never convert. This is not a smart strategy and even your content may be misleading. For instance: “Win the best present for X-mas, ever.” Then subsequently directing them to a Christmas napkin giveaway, may come with a lot of disappointment from your fans.

Read some tips here on how to drive traffic to your promotion. It talks about smart postings, cross-promotions and PPC advertising. The latter can be used for either targeting or retargeting.

  • Retargeting means advertising to subscribers, who have already entered one of your earlier promotions. They know you already and can stimulate initial traffic by entering and inviting friends again.
  • Targeting works in a contrary fashion. Just exclude those who have already participated, before allowing you to spend your whole budget on new acquisitions only.
  • Also, it is pivotal to measure the effectiveness of your ads. Constantly re-evaluate and test, Facebook pixel IDs can be a good start. Once you have figured out what works, it is then possible to take the benefit of increasing conversions.


In conclusion, don’t rely only on the viral loop, but be proactive and supplement it with paid traffic. Whether you focus on re-targeting or only on new acquisitions is entirely up to you, but what is important is that you keep focus, as that will achieve the right results. Measuring and testing the achievements is also essential for high conversions.

Mistake #3. You don’t understand your customers, hence you can’t differentiate them.

Imagine that you know everything about your leads. You are aware of their social interactions, engagement level, product preferences and even their demographical data. Do you believe you can effectively sell to them now? Well, YES.

As pointed out before come up first with some clever entry form fields in your campaign. We used the example of the camera type above. The more you know about your subscribers, the higher your chance of converting them into customers.

Build subscriber profiles and segment them by similar taste. This allows you to communicate with them effectively and targetedly. Also, identify your earlier brand advocates, so you have the option to turn them into real super-fans.


Key takeaway: Aim to supplement your marketing weaponry with deep customer insights. It helps you in understanding your customer base and identifying your evangelists. This can act as fertile soil for converting communication.

Mistake #4. You don’t talk to your customers, and even if you do, it’s identical content.

Email works. Period. If you have any doubts about this then just read the post of Francisco Rosales or take a look at some hard metrics published by eMarketer. The real question is do you use it and if so, can you make it better?

If you have avoided all 3 of the previous mistakes described then you should already have a large email database, with specific client information. It’s now time to communicate with them targetedly.

Trust me, they would appreciate relevant content and will be waiting for your regular offers, if it’s tailored to them. Just send them deals that they actually care about and then you will undoubtedly smile the next time you see your bank account.


So, I strongly advise that you communicate with your leads. Sign up to a newsletter system and sync your segments with it to send personalized content. Email is still one of the most effective communication channels and tailored offers help you to turn your leads into repeat customers and keep the buzz going.

Do you remember when I talked about group #1? The marketers I really like? Well, all their wisdom is in the new tool we have just released.

We built a marketing super-tank by combining social and email campaigns. It allows deadly accurate targeting for those marketers who care. And you should care…care for the sake of your own business, reputation and clients. Sign up here, or read more about the new features.

Reasons why hacking Facebook for more customers goes wrong for so many by
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Andras Bencsik

Entrepreneur with varied banking and business development experience. Co-founded Antavo Limited and working on global scaling.
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  • Juan Felix

    Hi Andras, first of all I want to congratulate you with your new tool to create effective campaigns. As Gary Vaynerchuk demonstrates in his new book “Jab Jab Jab Right Hook”, social media marketing is a science and it takes hard work to learn all the skills to be effective. I’m looking forward to learn more about your new tool to refine the science of building highly effective campaigns to generate solid business results!

    • Andras Bencsik

      Hi Juan,

      Thanks for the compliments. We built this tool for you guys, a concept that is based on industry analysis, customer feedback and know-how of reputed marketing professionals. Enjoy our live demo and please help to spread the word.

      • Juan Felix

        Thanks, Andras! Today I talked with Zsuzsa Szabo via Skype. She has demonstrated all the new cool features and I’m very impressed! I’ll be spreading the word :)

        • Andras Bencsik

          Great to hear:) And trust me, this is just the start. We have a clear vision where the product should be heading to in the next year. You will love it.

          • Juan Felix

            Awesome. Looking forward to learn more :)

  • Germer

    This is a well-written article that makes a case for the “email renaissance” that is being driven primarily by social media. I am encouraging the members of my social media team to think of email as a new requirement in the overall social strategy.

    • Andras Bencsik

      Appreciate your feedback. We see that emails convert very-well, so definitely something worth to consider for your marketing toolkit. Also, personalizing them significantly increases the probability of high ROIs on your campaigns. Look forward to hearing on your results!

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