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There have been a rash of free point social media campaigns lately and many have come to an ugly or disgraceful end, so I feel it is my duty to write a letter to anyone who is considering a free points social media campaign.
Dear hotels, airlines and other companies who want to give out free points via Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet,
People love free stuff – especially points. If you offer free points, they will come … in masses. Please don’t be surprised! While you may want to only target a small population of loyal fans, doing so via Facebook or Twitter is inappropriate and delusional. If you want to target a small population, feel free to do so via a traditional mailing so you have complete control over who gets it. The entire point of social media is so people can share information. Please, please, please do not be surprised when people share your great promotion with their friends. And those people share with their friends and their friends share with bloggers. It’s the way things work these days.
Secondly, when your promotion inevitably gets out of control, don’t blame it on the people who responded. They acted how you wanted, so the only right thing to do is live up to your end of the bargain. It may be a hit on your bottom line, but your reputation is as risk. Bad things will spread about your brand just as quickly as word spread about your great promotion. People do not like their time to be wasted, so save yourself the hassle and frustration and pony up when you realize you made a boo-boo.
To sum it up, we want more free points and ways to interact with your brand via social media, however you need to become a little bit more strategic about execution. Don’t learn the hard way like the Hampton Inn Boston Raynham who was a pioneer in the art of bungled social media campaigns!
With that said, we still await the next opportunity to show you a little social media love for some free points!
In utter anticipation,
The Points Guy