How to lose fans and allienate supporters

Lately some sort of flu is going around the social media community that ticks me off. It causes community managers (or the intern or volunteer people put in charge of Facebook and Twitter) to host a giveaway and announce that the X number liker or follower will win a prize. I have been know to unlike and unfollow brands that do this.

Seriously?

You want to get more supporters and gain a larger social audience… I follow you so far. But giving away a gift card to the 2,000th (or whatever) person who likes your page, follows you, etc. is a slap in the face from those who have been with you from the beginning… you know before you started giving away free stuff?

Follower/fan drives, can be an effective way to get more visibility online… but not at the expense of losing the people who actually stand behind your brand.

So shift your focus off the exact numerical “supporter” and instead do a drawing… the fair way, that your supporters can all get excited about.

Your message should be, “We’re excited to reach X number of fans/followers soon. Once we hit X number, we’ll draw the name of one (or more!) of our supporters to win a prize!”

It seems so incredibly simple and fair to me.

Don’t forget to say thanks to the people who make (or break) your brand online.

Who out there is doing this well?