Follow-up: Silly Twitter competitions by mobile companies

Yesterday, I was distinctly unimpressed at witnessing how Motorola were executing their social media competition and posted this note as a result: Is giving a prize to celebrate follower numbers really silly?

In the post, I wondered what noted social media expert James Whatley made of it. James is Engagement Strategy Director for 1000heads. He was kind enough to send me an email with his viewpoint. If you’re supervising or managing your company’s social media strategy, take note.

Here’s James….

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Ewan,

In short; you’re spot on.

This really isn’t of any benefit to you, the devoted twitter follower of old or really to anyone else who makes up the sub-20,000 follower list. This competition is quite meaningless. I mean, what about the folk who have been with them since the start?

MotoMobile (I would imagine) has probably been through some tough old times in the past… *cough* motorola razr *cough* …and pre-android at least, one would imagine that they were pretty close to the brink. Building up a following of 20k+ followers is no easy feat, admittedly. To have got this far they must have had at least some kind of engagement strategy to build this up, right?

This strategy, with the right PR behind it, may well raise the profile of the presence significantly (as those who care not for the brand or the conversation sign up and race to be that 20,000th follower) but the quality of engagement will surely dip.

A better idea would be to offer a free device – at random – to any one of their 20,000 followers once they’d hit the magic number.

This competition doesn’t incentivise me as much as it doesn’t you… and I don’t even follow them.

There is no engagement here. No long term plan. This is simple carrot and stick. But the carrot isn’t for you, for all your hard work and support – it’s for the next donkey that turns up (who hasn’t done a damn thing).

MotoMobile’s tweet is poorly worded, it may as well say – “To thank YOU for YOUR support, we’re going to give a Moto device to SOMEONE ELSE!”

I could go to town on the lack of personalisation, the poor use of the Twitter B/G, the lack of intent to make their presence work that little bit harder… but that’d be too easy.

At the time of writing there are eight of your followers who have called you on this MotoMobile (and that’s not including Ewan and his post) -

http://twitter.com/mariobutter/statuses/20157994452
http://twitter.com/kartracer3886/statuses/20157541502
http://twitter.com/mobilevation/statuses/20157137867
http://twitter.com/MuslimGirl11/statuses/20157137552
http://twitter.com/agousetis/statuses/20156944877
http://twitter.com/fonixmunkee/statuses/20156939441
http://twitter.com/keyboardxbully/statuses/20156887935
http://twitter.com/mosherjm/statuses/20156882005

– Will you respond?

A recommendation:

Fair enough, it is quite difficult to retract a competition once it’s out in the public domain. So I would advise MotoMobile should stick with it but, once complete – open a new competition/giveaway to the participants of your MotoPic Monday entrants. Creating content AND raising the profile of one your weekly features.

Or maybe even (as one of Ewan’s commenters suggested) give a new (and maybe even better) prize out for free to one of your followers at random. Do this live, using Qik. Not only demonstrating your honesty and transparency but also showing off one of the best apps available for your device.

That wouldn’t be too hard… would it?

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Nice recommendation James and thanks for taking the time.

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