The NCAA Tournament always brings interesting campaigns from major brands and this year Wendy’s has decided to focus their efforts on social media. Check out their SM plan here, in an article from BrandWeek. The plan is to giveaway 103 (100 on FB & 3 on Twitter) $50 gift cards, which are intended to create real-life parties during the NCAA tournament.
My first instinct is that most people won’t spend the $50 gift card on their friends, but will keep it for themselves and go to Wendy’s in multiple trips. But this is kind of beside the point.
Anyway, back to the idea. On Twitter they are going to have followers fill in the blanks on questions like – “If taste buds could talk, they’d say: ‘Boneless Wings (finish this from a quirky perspective).” – I personally like this idea because it creates interaction between the brand and the consumer, as well as allows the consumer to be creative. People love to come up with little fun ideas for brands and bringing it to Twitter makes it even more social. I’m not sure how they’re going to judge who wins, but taking one step further and allowing fans/followers to vote on the winner would allow for even more interaction and adds another simple layer to the idea.
On Facebook they have designed a simple app that asks people to fan their page and invite friends to a semi-finals / finals party, and they are instantly entered to win. I like the idea because it’s very simple for the fan to enter and it gives a $1 coupon for signing up (doesn’t sound like much, but you can get a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with that!!)
Wendy’s currently has about 321,000 fans on Facebook, and 2,818 followers on Twitter.
But, after all of this being said, is this what social media has become? Big brands giving away gift cards to gain fans / followers? YES, this is helpful in the short term, but social media is a 24/7 job. Personally I don’t mind the giveaways, because everyone likes free stuff. Just make sure you are constantly interacting and that you’re always there for your fans / followers and that you’re doing good things in social media.
What do you think? Do you think gift card giveaways are a cheap way to gain fans/followers, or is it simply a nice thing for the brand to do?