Yesterday I came across another Social Media campaign that displayed all the hallmarks of simply “not getting it”. This time the culprit is Kayak, the travel site. I’m slightly disappointed in Kayak, firstly because I am actually a regular user of their website, secondly because their TV commercials which started running late last year have actually been quite fun. I’m not sure if their Ad agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners are responsible for their Social Media campaign (I sincerely hope not).
Here is how the campaign works. They are offering free travel with some of their partners, this week happens to be Jet Blue, for you and up to 3 friends. All find and dandy so far. To enter you have to “connect” with them with Facebook – ok, so that means that they then have access to all my Facebook data, as does any other application I allow access. Then I have to “like” them – ok so they want “fans” for their Fan page and they want me to promote them via my wall and they want to be able to send me updates via Facebook, well I guess if they believe that will prompt me to action then that is their loss. Lastly, to actually enter the competition I am required to spam up to 20 of my friends from the competition Facebook application, Kayak will then select 3 of them to be invited to enter the competition (read spam).
So here are my issues with this competition:
- Kayak, or their agency is still in the land of fake Social Media numbers, e.g. Lets get 100′s of “likes” on our Facebook page because that is a tangible number we can show to the C-Suite and prove that our promo is working
- Social Media is all about getting people to spread the word for us. So if we get them to spam 20 of their “friends” on Facebook for us, the word will get out about our competition and more people will enter and we will build an awesome database of people we can email and message on Facebook with our latest offers
- Facebook users are dumb enough to fall for this because after all they are the ones who are most likely to have very low privacy fears, after all they use the most public Social Media platform
This type of Social Media wasn’t working particularly well in 2008, it certainly isn’t working in 2010. Marketers stop being lazy. Stop expecting that word of mouth means spamming friends/networks with your message and start understanding what Word Of Mouth Marketing/Social Media really means. Which at the very least is compelling content.
What say you? Smart Marketing or Dumb Marketing?