Trolls, Boggarts and Social Media, Oh My!

Online marketing promotions are everywhere and I must admit, often times when I am making a purchase online, I will Google search the brand and the keyword ‘coupon’ to see if anything comes up.  Even if it is a smaller company, I take a quick look to see if they have a free shipping or $5 off promo going on.

A Boggart

Boggarts Hunt Down Online Marketing Promotions and Never Share

I don’t consider myself one of those people “always looking for a deal”, nor do I spend time coupon cutting or searching for the latest online marketing promotion or contest.  In fact, I usually get mad at myself for forgetting to bring the coupon to the store and then I go, “oh well” and make the purchase anyway.  And forget about contests, they usually take too long and want too much information for me to take the time.  But for some, getting a deal or winning something through an online marketing contest can be addictive in nature.   So much so in fact, that people make it part of their everyday lives.


At DragonSearch, when it comes to the “free stuff addicts”, the “coupon fanatics”, the “sweepstakes junkies”, we like to refer to them as Boggarts.  We think this term is as equally befitting as the term Troll, a popular designation for individuals who love to stoke the fire and post inflammatory or off-topic messages. Boggarts are little creatures originating in folklore.  They typically appear as shape-shifter fairies that can cause things to disappear.  Boggarting is defined as the act of not sharing something meant to be shared, over-using or consuming things that belong to someone else, hogging things that don’t belong to you, or taking more than your share.  What Boggarts do goes against the very essence of what social media marketing embraces… sharing.  They don’t do it, and that’s not good for your promotion.

Internet Marketing Promotions: The Smell of Success

Online marketing contests, promotions and giveaways can be very successful in building brand awareness, leveraging brand ambassadors and gaining new fans.  Often times, companies make the mistake of thinking they can just throw something up and get miracles.  Like any other action you do in the social media realm, you want to do it with meaning and purpose.

When running online marketing promotions, the idea is to build quality, not quantity.  You want to have as few Boggarts as possible signing-up for your contest or sweepstakes.  You want real people that have real potential to convert, real potential to be actual customers and real potential to tell their friends and family about how great your brand is.

Creating Great Online Marketing Promotions, i.e. Avoiding the Boggarts

Start with a plan. Promotions are time consuming endeavors so you need a plan in place.  Create a timeline of what the campaign will look like.  When it my start date, when is my end date, what is the content, what images am I using, etc.

Determine which audience you are targeting. Chances are you won’t be able to target all your audience segments with one online promotion, so you need to prioritize and decide which audience best suits this promotion.

Once the above is in place, you can do the next and very important step… figure out what you are giving away.  This is key in avoiding excessive Boggarts and is pretty simple… give something away that relates to what you do.  But I want to give away an iPad.  Is your brand name Apple?  Okay, then it makes sense to give away an iPad.  If not, why are you giving away something that has nothing to do with your company?  Well, it’s a cool product, it’s trending and people want them.  Yes, all these things may be true, but people want your products and services too.  And the people that want your products and services are the people you want to attract to your Fan page or website.

When you start thinking about what you are giving away, ask yourself this, does it relate to my business? Is there value in what I am giving away?  If the answer is yes, you are on the right track.  Are you a restaurant? Give away a package deal like dinner and movie or theater tickets.  Are you a lawyer? Offer your services free for one month.  Are you an interior designer?  Hold a design contest for students and offer an apprenticeship for the winner.   Think about how you can attract attention with your promotion and do something different than what others are doing.

If you keep your online marketing promotions as focused as you keep the rest of your social media marketing plan, you will see greater benefit and better outcomes.  When you run through the list of your newly acquired fans, you will be happy to see real people and not those pesky Boggarts.

Has a Boggart affected a recent campaign of yours?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 and is filed under Integrated Marketing.

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