Westfield Facebook Campaign: What the...

Westfield recently started a Facebook campaign. (Or did they?)

To summarise the online chatter about the campaign here are a few typical snippets of conversation:

  • Tweet 1: 12,349 Westfield mentions in statuses. 67,423 Westfield mentions in comments. Westfield top of mind in xmas season. Job done.

  • Tweet 2: Westfield Facebook Promotion a Hoax? http://bit.ly/5tYKXY

  • Tweet 3: Angry about the Westfield spam on facebook. Support local traders this Christmas! Make the big guys pay for their own ads

  • Facebook Status Update: I joined the group All I Want For Christmas Is To Shove That Westfield Giftcard Up Your A***.

  • A Google search for "westfield facebook campaign" reveals only 8 or so mentions and that includes the duplicates.

I can’t comment about the actual campaign. But it raises some interesting points/questions about social media marketing generally.

Thought #1

Is ‘being mentioned on the websites’ the same as achieving top-of-mind?

Thought #2

Despite the campaign being simple and clear (as far as the marketers go) there is always subsequent ambiguity in the mind of the customer. Even when we are conducting ‘old media’ campaigns we should anticipate this and plan for it.

Thought #3

If you embark on a social media campaign, there will be negative feedback – even to the extent of campaign sabotage.  Being prepared isn’t all that much help, because what can you really do about it if anonymous people snipe from the sidelines?
Social Media has made this negative feedback loop visible. It has always been there – social media has simply made it visible – as unpleasant as that may seem. Not everyone loves your brand the way you do.

Thought #4

Twitter is more active and more immediate as a gauge of public response as opposed to Google which is a useful but quaint archive. Twitter almost plays a role of a meta-system that governs the conversations, which may or may not direct you to the ‘archives’ for a more detailed check.

Thought #5

But (to me) the most interesting question is:

Is achieving top-of-mind a meaningful measure of success? This goes to the age-old question: Is brand awareness an appropriate objective (of itself) or is a sales increase the only measure that counts?

It may surprise some people, but I am not a fan of brand advertising for the sake of brand advertising. Unless advertising also converts into sales (and sometimes that may take a while, I think there are better uses for your money.) Check out www.adcontrarian.com for a blog that expounds this philosophy better than I can.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this campaign.