Gaming Social Media Contests
For years now there have been groups of people, who more or less have become professional online-sweepstakes-enterers.
And now, it seems that this gaming of the system is spreading over to the social media contest space as well.
I was poking around Toyota’s Shareathon contest, and it struck me that most of the activity Toyota is trying to drive, appears to be junk.
The contest essentially tracks a user’s ability to generate retweets of a stock message, and then eslcalates rewards based on volume of re-tweets.
If you get a new Toyota during Toyotathon, you can receive a prepaid debit card just by tweeting our Shareathon message. It starts at $500 and goes up $50 with each retweet, up to $1000. Those who retweet can also enter for a chance to win a Prius.
But when you click into the re-tweeters from the leader-board, the activity seems to be coming from lots of dummy accounts, created solely for purpose of recording a re-tweet for the contest.
Now obviously this contest is really predicated on users BUYING a car in order to claim some of these prizes, so the looseness of this behavior should be put into the proper context. But once again, it isn’t just about generating noise and volume. It’s about generating actual quality and something of value in the space, to the brand, and to the users.