How Much Should you Donate to Gain a “Fan”


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A significant factor for any successful Facebook strategy is the process of “fan recruitment”. This is especially true in less glamorous industries such as insurance. Without fans, nobody is listening, engaging or passing your messages to their network.

New Price for a “like”

But, let’s be honest, who wants to be a fan of the insurance company? Does n’t this threaten to make you a social pariah. You can imagine the incredulity from friends, all of whom are helpfully notified by Facebook of your adulation of an insurance company.

This is not to say that insurers are not interesting people or don’t engage in interesting topics, but they tend to start fairly low on the entertainment scale.

Despite this millstone around their necks, insurers have been relatively successful and one good and safe method has been “cause based marketing”. Insurers generally have strong philanthropic interests and combining this with social media fan recruitment is a natural move. This avoids difficult product discussions and provides “cover” for fans as they are seen publically supporting a cause they support.

The “going rate” has been $1 per “like” and this has been consistent for well over 18 months. The Hartford recently donated this amount to US Paralympics fund, as did American Family Insurance to Toys for Tots and 21st-century Insurance to the March of Dimes. Other causes to benefit from insurers by the same amount have included the Japanese earthquake fund, St. Jude’s Hospital, World Relief Fund, and breast cancer research.

Recently Northwestern Mutual raised the stakes offering a donation of $10 per “like” as part of their “Click for Kids” promotion. Will this change the acceptable donation or will insurers continue to maintain the dollar scale? A higher donation level might actually hurt some campaigns as cause-based marketing raises many questions not least, whether recruited fans really are, and will remain, fans. At $1, the cost and risk has been relatively low and the practice has extended to agencies. If the price inflates to $10, this will require more difficult internal justification and analysis, which might hamper a valuable income stream for charities.

Do you use cause based marketing? Does it work and what is your view on the donation level? We will examine the issue in greater depth in an upcoming issue of SocialEyes, our industry newsletter and value your input.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Golesworthy
As the president of The Customer Respect Group for 7 years, I focus on the online experience of consumers. Online experience has always been bigger than the company website, from the response to email to integration to other offline channels. It has now grown to include social media.


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