Is giving a prize to celebrate follower numbers really silly?

I’ve got a social media question for you this evening.

Have a read of this tweet from MotoMobile:

We’re nearing the 20,000 follower mark! To thank you for your support, we’re giving a Moto device to our 20,000th follower!

Now the chaps behind the Moto twitter service are really smart. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying what they and the MotoDev team over the months.

But here’s my problem… How does that tweet help me?

How does it incentivise me? How does it help me beyond clearly stating that I’m entirely irrelevant because I’m already a follower?

If anything, it renders my position to mute acceptance.

Unless, of course, I decide to unfollow them and try to actively become the 200,000th follower. I suppose there is some small merit there.

Shouldn’t these kind of prizes — and I’ve seen them used by many, many companies — be changed around to make it a celebration of Moto’s success by giving a prize to a random existing follower?

I wonder what Mr Whatley thinks. James Whatley is Engagement Strategy Director for 1000 Heads. I’ll ask him and see what he reckons.

What’s your view?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

5 replies on “Is giving a prize to celebrate follower numbers really silly?”

@RJacquez from Adobe did similar a few times. But he recorded a live random draw. Totally fair. Any one of his followers could have won. Only rewarding a specific numbered follower is a slap to everyone else. Especially the first, most loyal followers.

Too bad Twitter doesn't keep track of (at least I don't think it does) when someone starts following you. Early adopters should be weighted more heavily for having supported the site/user for a longer period of time.

I actually just responded to them via Twitter on this very subject. You're quite right – what an insult to their followers previous to this gimmick! “We want to thank you for your support by giving away a great prize to someone that's only following us cause they heard we were giving away free stuff!” Even if there is a temporary boost in followers for them, the majority of those new followers will disappear once the prize isn't given to them.

I'm all for rewarding the loyal for their loyalty, but it should be just that.

(subtext: Man, I want a free phone! But I was a follower pre-1000th, I think.)

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