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People don't always need a shiny trophy but a little incentive goes a long way

I stumbled across another blog and they have a post on  a bad social media contest to raise money. Here’s a link to their blog.

The post analyzed Head and Shoulder’s competition. People were asked to tweet “hats off” to a hash tag every time their baseball team did well. At the end of the season, Head and Shoulders would donate $50,000 to the city with the most tweets. The poster checked how the competition was coming a long and after 5 days, there were only 15 tweets. Yikes. Why was this such a flop? Here are the major points from the blog:

  1. Motivate people – people enjoy giving to good causes but people want to get something out of it. A personal thank you, reward or credit will suffice in most cases.
  2. Make it fun!
  3. Have a thrill factor – people like mystery, challenge or anything to get their attention. The author of the blog posted how he worked with a radio show and even though people didn’t have any idea what the tenth caller would receive, the phone would ring off the hook. However, tweeting “hats off” isn’t very exciting.
  4. Make the competition title relevant but simple – Hats Off Movement was the title. Kind of vague but after you know the basics it make sense.
  5. Make it easy to enter – tweeting is easy but people having to create hash tags can get messy.

What they did do right was open to different media channels. The author gives Head and Shoulders credit for trying to attract new followers by doing so.

On the flip side, companies have successful created a competition for a good cause. Example, Coca Cola. Coke had a recycling challenge. It’s best explained with this video. To sum it up, Coke opened 10,000 recycling drop offs in Israel and asked Facebook followers to post photos of themselves recycling. The most active user would be crowned the Recycling King. The competition was a huge success! People all over were submitting photos. How does it compare to the Head and Shoulders points?

  1. Motivating people – people  are contributing to a good cause but still have the incentive to be crowned the recycling king when it’s over
  2. Make it fun – colorful sun flower bins + Facebook. Not the definition of fun but it’s a more attractive way of bringing awareness to recycling
  3. Have a thrill – they turned it into a way of getting noticed in combination with competition.
  4. Make the competition title relevant but simple – Recycling King, check.
  5. Make it easy to enter – thousands of marked recycling points all across Israel is pretty easy. From there just have someone snap a photo of you with and cell and post. Pretty simple.

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