There are rewards and there are rewards
Today, Social Media Examiner explored how to create a viral sweepstakes with Social Media. Although this is useful information, what I have found is that these kinds of campaigns leave me feeling both resentful and foolish.
You know the kind of campaign I’m talking about: “Post about us on Twitter by saying, ‘I’m pandering for Major Corp!’ and you’ll be entered for our Grand Prize!” Sometimes if the prize is worth it, I’ll even do it, but it doesn’t leave me feeling better about myself–or any more connected to the company. Instead, I end up feeling like your company’s tool, and certainly not inclined to remain loyal. Why would I want to be loyal to a company that uses me? So if you are thinking about doing a sweepstakes, bear that in mind.
I have another suggestion for how to approach the sweepstakes: the surprise sweeps! Rather than require people to abase themselves to win your approval, why not reward those who are already singing your praises?
Here’s what I mean: suppose someone tweets about how great you are. Why not offer them a small prize for their comment? Tweet your thanks and ask them to DM you for a coupon or gift certificate. You’ll be rewarding genuine loyalty and real customers rather than ginning up comments from people who just want something from you.
Obviously, this is a very different marketing campaign than a sweepstakes, and a sweepstakes has its place. But as you monitor your social media channels from day to day, offer your thanks and reward your loyal customers. Their good word of mouth is worth more than a thousand cheap tweets any day.