I participated in a social media experiment promoting a competition for ING Direct Fee Fighters on Facebook.
One of key measures for the client was the speed to gain entries and facebook fans for the application. In this regard my client was not happy with that growth rate, hoping for thousands of fans quickly. While the most successful viral campaigns do this, I think it is an unrealistic expectation of most social media growth plans. I’d expect a compelling campaign to increase steadily for the first 2-4 weeks and then exponentially if it was sticky. A competition is not sticky because there is an incentive to keep the details to yourself in order maximise your chances to win. More entries mean longer odds to win. Now if every person you referred earned you an extra entry in the draw – that might have been sticky.
The other difficulty was that three of us were promoting the competition to our networks. This meant tripping over each other in reaching key influencers who overlapped our networks. So even with URL tracking it becomes hard to determine which promotional action was the most effective.
So the lessons
- Ensure end users have compelling incentives to pass the information on.
- Ensure the content is compelling as entertainment, education, information or community value.
- Ensure tracking for campaign can measure results adequately.
- Ensure your initial promoters are working in separate areas with no overlap.
- Define success in advance. What is a “hit” and what is a “good outcome”.