Lessing Flynn

Ad Mavericks

December 19, 2012

Silly Marketers, Carrots are for Rabbits

CarrotLike this for a chance to win X,Y,Z. Share this and we'll give you X,Y,Z. Follow us and we'll give you X,Y,Z.

Ever finish a transaction online and get that "share this" opportunity?

As marketers it is our job to provide easy ways for people to share our content. I get that. But timing is everything and how you encourage someone to share something is, well, more than everything.

Usually I am prompted by a company to share when the transaction is over. I have just purchased a Groupon (that I haven't used yet) or just ordered Omaha Steaks (that I haven't tasted) and I am being prompted to share my transaction? I haven't had the experience yet, how can I possibly endorse something I know nothing about?

In a perfect world, I would use that Groupon and Groupon would ask me, "How was your Groupon experience? Share it here..."

In a perfect world, I would take that first bite of steak and the cow would come back to life and ask, "Am I something to moo about? Share it here..."

But this is not a perfect world, and unfortunately, cows don't speak, especially after they've been converted to steaks.

I digress.

The latest trend is to offer a carrot or some incentive to share something. Please. Social bribery? Is that how desperate our marketing brethren has become? Financial incentives for sharing your content? That's even worse than giving me a chance to win something if I like your page.

There's a company in Chicago called "FanFueled" that has patented the referral / affiliate process for ticketing. Share your purchase and get money back. This concept, like others that have failed, makes consumers feel dirty and cheap. And if I am really that hard up for the 50 cents I'll get back, I probably wouldn't have dropped $75 on a Justin Bieber ticket. (Baby...Baby...Baby... NO!)


So please, save your carrots for the rabbits, and create true brand advocacy and sharing by crushing your customer experience, your product line and the kind of content that makes me say, "Yeah, that's pretty word, I'd like to share that."

And let me come to this decision on my own.

I'm a much bigger fan of people wanting to share for love of brand (apologies to Mitt Romney) than offering a carrot to push content. If the experience you provide customers is worth sharing, they will share. And "a chance to win / receive... " is only a chance to attract people who are more interested in winning or getting paid and less interested in you.



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