For reasons of discretion I can’t use the name of the company involved or the competition’s name and features. Though, I will be referring the the company that created it and promoted it as “Company” and similarly the competition as “Competition”. Also I would like to inform anyone reading the article, that in Cyprus there are numeral companies ignoring Facebook’s policy on promotional campaigns which is a simple 24 lines text understandable by anyone who just managed to pass highschool and can easily be found here http://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php
THE CASE STUDY involves a kind of online competition based on online Facebook’s like button voting as which one is the best, in order to make it go viral. Being in the competition’s winner nomination of the gifts, I took some data from them, in order to check how can Cypriots even in an illegal competition (as likes are not allowed to be used in any way of competition or promotional activity by companies). My main reason to ask the winners on how they earned their prices was the First Winner which managed to take about 90 000 votes.
BUT LETS START from the beginning with the details. The Company created a kind of mini-site in which competitors could login using Facebook connect and add some personal info such as phone number and email. The users could create and customize an item which was kind of a promotion of the Company’s services. The users could share a personal link which could be used to promote the item created by the user in order to “collect” likes and get a higher place in the rankings.
ASKING THE COMPETITORS who win most of the higher places I got a pattern of “winners” and a pattern of lower places of winners. Most of the persons near and below the 10nth place were using their profiles and asking their friends to promote their “item”. The most successful of them managed to earn 10-20 thousands of likes giving them the small price of the competition (the 1st earned a big price and the next 15 a small but quite good price). But the higher level of “winners” wich got around 20-50 thousands of likes except the smarter one which was the 1st winner that got 90 thousands.
THE “WINNERS” PROMOTED their “item” with 2 ways with an exception of the first one who did something different. I have to admit it, I had it in mind where they got their likes, but I could never guess the topics. The 20-50 winners that means about the places near 2-8 were using Facebook pages and groups with mostly technological or football interest both in english and greek language to promote their “item” and earn their votes. As this is viral and each like is automatically share through the “likers'” profile news feed, the results of 20-50 K likes are to be expected when promoting to groups and pages of thousands of people. However, some other people (when we are talking mostly for young people) had a small website or had a friend with a small website attracting maybe a few hundreds of visitors. Using a kind of ad in that website linking or asking to like the “item” the users got their votes to more than 20K. Of course all the winners were promoting the “item” to their own facebook profile feed.
THE NUMBER ONE WINNER did something that was to be expected seeing the number 90 000. I will explain why. Cyprus has a population of about 1 million people in which Cypriots number near the 700 000 – 800 000 with the rest cypriot citizens temporary or with roots to other countries. I do not believe that more than half of us have a facebook account and a person cant possibly reach the 1/5 of the accounts even with the best viral and posting to big groups. He had to use an external website, probably a forum or blog if he/she is young promoting it. And I got it right it was a forum. But what I expected was to be something like warez. I was wrong here. It was a funny picture forum in which the person winning the first price was a high ranking member, which that means with high reach cause of many posts and comments and good ones too. A kind of “respected feature” in his “world”. Asking in an international forum in which he was an active person with maybe hundreds of thousands of people to reply as a thanks to him in voting “like” to his “item” he managed to collect 90 000 likes.
THE MISTAKE OF THE COMPANY, was that too. The best person which reached that goal was not limited in Cyprus and Greece in which the Company has business in which it will promote its name. With the reasoning of Media exposure over large numbers, it let the winner collect likes from several other countries than the targeted audience, rewarding as 1st price the person who did less work for them than maybe the other 15. I do not say that this person did not earned his price, but that the Company made a major mistake in not locking the site and controlling where the exposure was coming from and from which sites it was forwarded, in order to know where to focus its next attempt.
IF YOU TAKE out the countries involved and the illegality of the like button voting, it was a first try and quite successful that if designed a little better could offer the Company greater insight in its audience as well as exposure. There are a few other mistakes, such as only advertising its products in the stage of creation of the “item” and not also of the viewing (there was only branding there), but the rest was quite good even if it was simple. That is because of the inexperience with social media that the Company has and the Cyprus’ advertising and promotional companies’ non experience.
If you have a similar case study/subject I would like to read it. Or you could share your opinions with me and we can discuss it. Thank you for reading!!!