My wife and I, on most days, carpool to her office, where I hop out of the car and cross the street to the subway station that takes me to work.
It’s a crowded, busy four-way intersection, with a dozen lanes of traffic converging and thousands of pedestrians looking to cross every which way.
But there is a button! A button, you say?
Yes – a magic button where one push sends a signal to the worker bees that control the stop lights so you can cross safely.
Someone pushes that button every day.
And you know what it does?
The lights still rotate as they are programmed to do.
So much for those worker bees, huh?
When you run a social media campaign based on voting and customer feedback, it’s easy to not use the results they provide. It’s so easy to just do what you want to do anyway.
But don’t do that. Don’t make your customers feel like they are pushing a meaningless button hoping you’ll let their voice be heard.
“But,” you say, “there is so much time and money and whathaveyou invested in this brand/event/project. How can we leave so much up to chance?”
1. Set Expectations Up Front. Make sure your fans know that what they are voting for/supporting/etc. has a set scope. Tell them in advance that they will have “X” input on the matter.
2. Limit the Influence. While setting the expectations, put clear parameters. Fans will get to do X and only X and nothing but X. My client, California Tortilla, ran a great Facebook campaign wear fans got to name menu items. They didn’t get to CREATE the items, just the names.
3. Show Results. One of the most frustrating aspects of audience-voting shows like “American Idol” is that they never reveal the actual results. Even a moderate skeptic would say, “Hey, now, that ain’t right.” Social media allows for tremendous transparency. If you run a hashtag voting campaign, show us what the percentages were. One of my favorite social media marketers, WWE, does a great job of this with their new “RAW-active” voting, where fans an determine segments of their live shows.
How else can marketers give their social media campaigns meaning?