From live-tweets to clever replies, brands strive everyday to drive as much engagement on social media as possible. However, in an attempt to do so, many brands have found that some strategies simply don’t work, or worse yet, some backfire.
In the most recent case with Kellogg’s Feed the Hungry controversy, one of the twitter engagement strategies that has proven difficult and dangerous is the incentive-based campaign strategy. In other words, anytime a brand tries to drive social media engagement and shares by offering rewards.
The online community has a very strong distaste for ingenuine gestures. Some of the most successful commercials and advertising campaigns have been ones that genuinely stick to the benefits their product is supposed to provide. A good example would be the short story of a unique friendship that Skype was able to create and help flourish with their product.
However, when a brand tries to capitalize on a "corporate good deed" as a means to generate social media engagement and traffic, it can lead to meaningless interactions and controversy. When Kellogg’s U.K. tried to gain traction on twitter by offering to feed a hungry child for every retweet, the online community did not hesitate to voice their distaste for this kind of incentivized campaign.
Additionally, even if an incentive is strong enough to get consumers to engage with the brand, one must question how meaningful those kinds of interactions are. When a brand offers a coupon for each new follower, retweet, or use of a specific hashtag, do consumers really buy into the brand? Do consumers who see their friends retweet a brand, knowing that they only did so to receive some sort of reward, really change their original convictions?
Let us know if there have been incentive-based campaigns that have worked. We would love to hear it below!