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April 9, 2012 By

The Problem with Social Media Campaigns

The Problem with Social Media Campaigns

I usually write about social media on this blog, and if you're a regular reader you'll know that I think social media is a good thing that can lead to a lot of social good for companies and individuals, as well as being a great tool for communication, as long as you're clear about what you say, of course.

Social media is also good for social media campaigns, especially if they're centered around a particular date, event or holiday. As Easter has just passed, I spent this morning checking out the various instances of Easter social media campaigns and happenings, such as the Ryan Gosling Easter Egg Hunt in New York, and the various round ups of the best Easter Eggs both digital and chocolate versions.

As Easter, like many holidays has become increasingly commercialised, the site of the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs and various other delicious and sticky chocolatey gifts. So it's understandable that Kellogg's Krave cereal, an unbelievably sugary and very, very chocolatey breakfast cereal (it comes in milk chocolate, chocolate caramel and chocolate hazelnut flavours, which seem a little inappropriate for breakfast, but what do I know, I can devour a big jar of Nutella in one sitting, and with a teaspoon, I might add) would turn to social media at Easter in order to publicise their product and reward their fans.

Their campaign, the Great Krave Easter Egg Hunt, offered fans of their Facebook page the chance to win a number of prizes, from an Xbox 360 +Kinect, to a crate of Krave cereal, and other Krave merchandise, such as a hoodie and a cereal bowl. All fans of their page would have to do was join the Great Krave Easter Egg Hunt and then wait for one of the Krave Easter eggs to appear in their timeline - these eggs would appear on the left hand side of the timeline, amongst the sponsored adverts-and then click on the egg to see what was inside. However, judging by the comments that have and are still appearing on the official Krave cereal Facebook page, fans of the brand have been disappointed by the campaign, which has seen many users complain about opening several of these eggs only to find nothing inside, while others report seeing no eggs at all. While Krave have been very quick to respond to comments on their Facebook page, this competition seems to have suffered from a lack of preparation, as at the moment Krave has 246,814 fans on the social networking site and they offered less than 1,000 prizes (10 x Xbox 360s + Kinnect, 278 Krave crates, 250 hoodies and 250 bowls) and according to their terms and conditions, 32 of these prizes will run each day at a certain time.

I'm not great with numbers, and while I appreciate competitions and campaigns are based on chance and pure luck, this seems a little unfair to me, especially as some people reported finding more than ten, and in some cases 50+ empty eggs in a day, whilst other users said that they had found one of the winning eggs more than once. The issue, I feel, with the Great Krave Easter Egg Hunt is that they underestimated the popularity of the contest, and perhaps didn't explain the rules clearly enough for some, such as the release of the eggs being staggered across several days at different times.

I'm not saying social media campaigns are negative, far from it, but businesses have to be so careful when they conduct them, and while Krave should be applauded for creating this campaign, they should also take note of where it went wrong, or didn't live up to user's expectations, after all, how many empty eggs can one person open? One is disappointing, but more than ten is infuriating. Instead of offering users nothing for taking the time out of their day to watch for an egg and then open it could always be rewarded in a different way, such as with money off coupons for their next purchase of Krave or any other of Kellogg's breakfast cereals - perhaps they could get some free samples sent to their home? A little forethought can go a long way, especially in social media, and if brands use social properly, they can really use it to their advantage.

Did you see any good or bad examples of an Easter social media campaign this weekend? Get in touch and let me know!

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