An article in the latest OMMA magazine from Mediapost caught my eye.
It's about how TGIF created a character Woody to drive fans of his Facebook page. Firs 500,000 by September 30th would get a free coupon for a burger.
The agency doing this seems to think this stunt was a huge success, judging by the article. Sure, when you look at the numbers: 976,000+ fans it looks to be doing well. Now I don't know about you, but using a fake character/model as a stunt to promote your brand seems like a very short sighted strategy to me. How sustainable is this?
Looking a little bit deeper on his facebook page the truth reveals itself: lots and lots of angry people that haven't received their coupons. AND most importantly fans joining just to get free stuff. Very little declaration of how much people love TGIF.
It appears that the agency not only felt that they needed to tick the Facebook box, but decided that they also needed to be on Twitter.
Over 1,000 followers and not following anyone??? Seriously is that the way to build a relationship with people?
I hope that creatives don't latch onto this example as a license to create fake characters on Twitter and Facebook.\
In my humble opinion I find that brands that have more transparency and authenticity are far more successful at building long term relationships with customers.
Have a look at Best Buy's page. They've created the ability to search for products inside their fan page. They initially had some media driving to their fan page and they saw an initial boost of over 100,000 fans. But the true growth came when they added the functionality for people to "Get advice" on a product from their friend's network.
They are actively listening, responding and trying to be useful and helpful. Oh and by the way... COD Modern Warfare 2 is awesome!!