Monday, 10 May 2010

Social Media Contests: And the Winner Is...

Now I follow a few organisations on Facebook and Twitter. Why?

- I have an interest in them
-I have an interest in what they are selling
- I have an interest in the industry in which they operate
- I am looking for exclusive updates and offers

Now I have had the opportunity to win a prize via social media and that was great, but it's not my main motivation. I hardly have the time either. I joked with my cousin, who coincidentally won a prize from the community discussed in this post, that one had to almost live on the internet, stalking updates and tweets in order to get a chance to win, and then you're competing with hundreds of people who have the same idea at the same time. It's a bit much for me. But that's just me. Lots of people go looking for goodies and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. I think it can be a great way to engage your community and get them talking or participating.

But I have seen where communities are formed and built with no real brand focus.  There is a recent example of where a community (same one where my cousin won his prize) has exploded with daily trivia and the like, giving away product-related prizes. The product related prizes are great. Simple, not too flashy. Gets people wanting to come get them. The trivia I was not too enthused about though. It's some of the most random things, not even closely related to the brand, not to the company, not even to the industry. Just stuff you could probably go on any arbitrary "Party Games" site and pull down. I must say, this was a tad bit disappointing. Yes, it's a pretty strong brand we're talking about, so some may say they don't need to do much, but give away stuff. But where is the value in that? Whats the point then?

The prize I won was related to the brand, and got me to come in and see the place (though I have seen it many times), but HOW I got it was also creative and forced entrants to think, discuss and share about the brand itself.  They focused the contest around an event they were having, and the trivia was about the event, the origins of the event in its native format and cool facts one never knew about the event. So one had to go searching out the info and in effect, one learnt about the event with the end result being the opportunity to win something related to it. So I was more informed, more interested and ultimately better positioned to make a purchasing decision based on the whole contest experience.

This current contest experience does a lot to build the following, but not much to build value. The other content being shared as well is soooo random. No product updates, specials, company updates. There are a few photos from brand events which are great but when I saw the random YouTube videos, quite like the ones you may share with your friends on your profile page, I was a bit astonished.  I am hoping that maybe the first objective was to build the following and then engage them once they had them. But seeing that they are now in the tens of thousands with the following, can we start the value-add?

I know we love numbers and big numbers at that, and that's fine, but social media should not just be about numbers but a meaningful community. I love getting feedback from my community on things related to what we're peddling and on the general financial matters, which I think help them and help us as well. And while we may not have flashy stuff to give away, I think there is a greater value in hearing what customers like, don't like, want, don't want and empowering them to voice their opinions. Not saying we don't give stuff away. We do, though not as much as others. But what we do give everyday is something which focuses on the brand and the helping the customer. I think that's worth a whole lot, but again...that's just me.

What do you think? Great strategy or could be better? Who's the winner here?

5 Tips for Creating a Successful Social Media Contest


I think this is a great point Avi. Online contests need to be focused on an objective and the prize should be something worth winning and something related to the business... and u shouldn't have to jump through a ring of fire to get it either, especially as there is so much competition. I'm thinking of running one on my blog in the near future so I'll def. keep you posted :)

Social media contests are such a great way to get people engaged with your what your brand stands for and to learn about your products or services. I would have one if I had something to give away. lol. Such a shame that people just want to get maximum amount of followers and in the end, they will always just be looking for goodies and not be that interested in anything else.

I look forward to your promotion, Natalia.

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