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2nd February 2019 Rebecca Moore

Facebook Competitions and Privacy Settings #DigiLab

Matt Walsh of Cheltenham Festivals discusses his first experiment on the Digital Lab

As someone who has only recently started working in digital marketing, my aims and objectives for taking part in AMA’s Digital Lab fellowship was to experiment different ideas, and to learn more techniques and skills going forward – primarily for the use of social media content and creating a podcast using audio from previous and upcoming festivals.

I will write about my experiences on introducing a podcast at a later date but this blog will detail my experience of using a Facebook competition as my first experiment and what followed.

After speaking to my mentor about my first experiment for Digital Lab, I wanted to create a competition giveaway via Facebook to give someone who was not aware of Cheltenham Festivals the chance to win a pair of tickets to David Attenborough’s talk at Cheltenham Literature Festival by liking our Facebook page and subscribe to our email newsletter – this experiment was given the go-ahead by my mentor. After a conversation with the Head of Marketing and the Box Office team, we agreed we would put aside two tickets to use for the competition giveaway, and would create this competition on Facebook Ads with a small investment of £50.

The objectives for this competition were to:

  • Create a landing page for the competition to include T&Cs
  • Increase our reach to a new audience
  • Gain more likes on our Facebook page
  • Increase our email subscribers.

I created the landing page for the competition using the Pages tool on WordFly, this landing page was set up to give details of how to win the tickets and the terms and conditions of the competition.

To increase reach to a new audience on Facebook Ads, I included people who matched interests such as Blue Planet (TV series), David Attenborough and Planet Earth (TV series). I also wanted to experiment using the connections tool and exclude people who already liked the Cheltenham Festivals Facebook page; hoping this would help in reaching a new audience, gain more likes and increase our email subscription, and to not target people who like our page.

I ran the competition (pictured below) for four days, and would notify the winner by direct message.

On the day of notifying the winner, I was disappointed that the total reach of the competition was 60,000 and had just a handful of comments from people entering the competition.

I used the ‘People and other Pages’ Facebook tool (pictured below) to search the users who had commented ‘IN’ for the competition, of which all users did not appear to like our page.

Confused at why the people who entered our competition were not showing in the tool above, I chose one person who commented in at random and contacted them via direct message to ask their details they had signed up to our eNews with.

The user stated her account was private, and acknowledged she liked our page earlier in the summer.

Upon reflection, this experiment did not turn out as well as I had hoped in terms of the objectives outlined above, however it did give me an insight on what to do differently next time. From my experience of using the Facebook connections tool to exclude people who already like the Cheltenham Festivals page, I have learned that it does not consider some aspects of the users privacy settings.

While this experiment didn’t turn out as I expected, speaking to my Digital Lab mentor in my first mentoring session about this experiment has helped with my approach for future social media competition giveaways and how to set more effective and reachable goals on all social media platforms. The mentoring session helped my knowledge with the next social media giveaway I conducted in September, and gave me confidence to test something different on Twitter with a return on investment which was more successful in terms of reach, impressions and followers.

Image courtesy of Sadlers Wells © Stephen White – LightSpace by Michael Hulls


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