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Leave it to Chrysler to have another social media flare up. After enlisting mommy bloggers to write about occupying children while road tripping, Chrysler’s efforts resulted in a botched attempt at a social media contest. But where did they go wrong? Let’s take a look at four key areas to consider when putting together a social media contest and what we can learn from Chrysler’s mistakes:
What is the purpose of your contest? Is it to capture leads, drive traffic, or make connections? There are dozens of reasons you might want to have a contest, but be sure the calls to action are sufficient. Whatever their original goals were, Chrysler’s “click-for-attention-for-an-iPad-for-a-trip” premise, as stated by Jalopnik, fell short on the social media scale. Define the purpose of your contest and ensure the calls to action are appropriate and effective.
For Heaven’s sake, understand your own contest rules! The confusion created by the lack of knowledge on their own contest forced Chrysler to disqualify one of their contestants for participating outside of the box. Know your rules or have confidence that the company you are enlisting to drive the contest understands the implications and potential loopholes.
This is one domain that Chrysler had a good jump on. Contrary to Jalopnik’s oversimplified description of mommy bloggers as any mother with an Internet connection, mommy bloggers are over 50% more likely to have graduated college or received a post-graduate degree compared to their non-blogging counterparts. Selecting this type of audience that holds a majority of the purchase power in many families and “wields more influence than Twitter” was a good move. Know the audience you want to target and how effectively your contestants can disseminate your message to them.
It’s not enough to organize a contest, push play, and let it ride. Even if you have another company organizing the effort for you, you must maintain a level of interaction or know-how throughout the contest. Bottom line: you can’t have people calling your contestants skanks. Following up and getting involved in the process will help you participate in your brand, manage outbursts, and step in or even block inappropriate content when necessary. After all, it’s your name on the line.
Social Media contests are awesome and highly useful in engaging your community, but simply jumping into it can be detrimental to its operation and effectiveness. Make sure you have a strategy that touches on each of these areas and that your brand is prepared for the contest launch as well as the follow through.