There have been a few brilliant campaigns lately that revolve around giving away something for free;
The first one that struck me was the TOMS shoes campaign on Facebook. TOMS have committed to giving away one pair of shoes for each pair sold – but not to their customers…they give a pair to someone in need in the third world. They report their progress through their Facebook page that has almost 1000 000 fans. The amount of fans has nothing to do with the amount of free stock given away but it does give them a massive base to advertise to. They feature a new shoe every day and are effectively building a great following.
You must have heard of (if not actually played) Farmville on facebook. It’s basically a social gaming app within a social network. So when Lady Gaga announced that she was starting her own farm Gagaville in order to promote the launch of her new album; Born this way – and for 2 weeks Lady Gaga seemed to actually own Farmville. The platform was used to release songs days before the release of the album on an exclusive basis and…well – the following sales of the album speak for them selves.
The ploy was so successful that Zynga’s phone (The creators of Farmville) has been ringing of the hook as other promoters queue up to do something similar.
You could also build a competition on your own website to get people involved. Compare the market .com did this by offering a dream job to the winner of their competition. £40 000 for 6 months work as their ambassador. For people to win they had to promote themselves across the social media in order to get the most votes. In doing so they obviously also drove up product awareness as well.
The results of the viral campaign were very impressive.