The local business weekly paper in Louisville is called Business First. It’s one of the American City Business Journals publications that can be found at BizJournals.com. The parent company has announced a social media competition for businesses called Social Madness. The contest will pit like-sized companies against one another to see who can drive more growth in social connections during a period of time. The winner will get money to donate to its favorite charity.
Since they’re judging the contest on strictly quantitative data — how many more followers and fans each company can collect on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — the contest is probably going to be shat upon by many. I’m not sure which thought leader first said it’s the quality of your fans that matter, not the quantity (though I’m sure several take credit for it), but the general consensus of the social media industry is now following suit. Thus, this contest is seen as ill-conceived because collecting followers is so 2008.
I, for one, am thrilled they’re doing it. Social media marketing is an industry and a practice that is still fighting for legitimacy among traditional businesses. In Louisville, you’re not really a serious player unless for until Business First pays attention to you. (The publication has be very generous in its coverage of social media over the years, in my opinion.) Sure, the contest is superficial, but what’s the damage? You try to drive more followers for a couple months and might get to donate money to a charity?
Hopefully, the contest organizers and the rest of the American City Business Journals family understand that Twitter followers is a rather insignificant metric in the grand scheme of what your business is trying to accomplish with social media. But if they want to use that as an easy way to celebrate businesses who are doing it, I applaud them.
To enter your business (and there are divisions for small, medium and large one), jump over to SocialMadness.com and fill out an entry form. Jump in the comments below and tell us where to find you and maybe we’ll go help out with a follow, too!
And thanks for Spark Business from Capital One for getting behind this. Cool idea.