A recent Facebook campaign in Norway brings up a few interesting questions:
- What is the value of a Facebook fan?
- Is engagement the only measurement that counts on Facebook?
Here’s the campaign in a nutshell.
Burger King Norway’s Facebook page had 38,000 fans, but low engagement. They also had some fans complaining about Burger King and others who were constantly begging for coupons and rebates. So they decided to blow up the page and create new one for real fans. But real fans had to pass a test. They were given one of two options: Like the new Burger King page as a “true fan” or become a “sell-out” and get a free Big Mac from Burger King’s biggest rival McDonald’s.
If a fan picked the free Big Mac they were banned for life from the new Burger King page. Burger King Norway even sent the sell-out a letter reprimanding them and reminding them they were banned for “eternity.”
- Burger King Norway lost 30,000 fans, despite only giving away a maximum of 1,000 Big Macs
- Engagement on the new page increased 5X
So was this a successful campaign?
Some of my colleagues give it a big thumb’s up. They argue that it was extremely smart and creative. That despite the diminished reach of the page they now have a more passionate and dedicated following on Facebook.
I hold a contrary view. I can’t imagine going to a client and saying: “We’re going to blow up 75% of your Facebook audience by having that community reject you in favor of your competitor and, oh by the way, we’re actually going to reward that rejection by giving them your competitor’s best product.”
Grounds for firing I’d say.
I think the campaign was ridiculous for several reasons:
- Burger King Norway was blaming its fans for poor engagement. It’s their job to provide better and more compelling content to give their fans a reason to engage. Banning your fans for your mistakes is not good customer service.
- Banning 30,000 fans, nearly 75% of your community – who all at one point opted in to like your page – is unnecessarily self-destructive. Is engagement the only measurement that counts? People like brand pages for many reasons: to get news and information, to bolster their own online identities, and, yes, to get free stuff. Not every fan is a “super” fan. But Burger King Norway seems to be saying only the super fans are worthy to communicate with.
- What kind of marketing campaign rewards a public rejection by giving away the competitor’s product? Not only that, the campaign has generated significant media coverage, which, of course, always includes your competitor and its best product.
- Kicking out fans for “eternity” creates enemies, not fans. So rather that work harder to make the 30,000 fans into super fans, Burger King Norway kicked them to curb and told them never to come back. Looks like a great way to make super fans for McDonald’s.
What do you think? Is the Burger King Norway campaign sheer genius? Or moronic? Or somewhere in the middle?
Would love to get your opinions.
Burger King Norway Whopper Sellout (via Creativity Online)