The Australian summer stonefruit industry has had a blow to its social media with its Facebook competition suspended due to hijacking and cheats.
Voting competitions are not always the best option for brands these days as the change in technology and consumer behaviour can allow people to “cheat the system”, Thinktank Social’s Sam Mutimer explains.
In celebration of summer and stonefruit season, the industry had asked its Facebook fans to post a creative image incorporating home-grown peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots.
The top prize? A diamond worth $10k.
Ten platters filled with summer fruits were other prizes up for grabs.
The winner was supposed to be decided from the image that garnered the most number of ‘likes’.
However, due to the popularity of the prizes, many of the entries were ambushed by a high number of votes coming from invalid sources, causing these entries to be disqualified.
In order to avoid blunders such as this, Mutimer recommends brands “look for other options”.
“Voting comps in 2014 are not always the best option due to the change in consumer behaviour and constantly new technology updates to cheat the system," she explains.
“Voting comps can bring out negative social behaviour. The receiver tends to be hassled by their friends to vote for them, which in a busy and distracting news feed these days can be annoying."
Brands also need to ensure they cover their Ts and Cs and “be strict and tight with these”.
To enable the fairness of the competition, Australia summer stonefruits has announced brand ambassado,r Rachael Finch, will now judge the competition.
“On behalf of our summer stonefruit growers who work hard all year round to produce my favourite fruits in the world, we thank all those who got involved in good faith and showed so much amazing creativity,” Finch said.
Sally-Ann Haw was one such entrant who’s entry as sabotaged by hijackers mid-February.
Other entrants have also taken to venting their feelings about the competition and the way it was handled on the company’s Facebook wall.
Aussie summer stonefruit continuously posted updates to inform its fans what was going on.
"COMPETITION UPDATE: To all competition entrants, thank you for your comments and feedback.We value your input. Please bear with us as we investigate this matter further. We will have an update as soon as possible," Aussie summer stonefruit posted on February 14.
"We just wanted to update our competition entrants to let you all know that we are continuing our investigation and we thank you for your patience. We are working as quickly as possible to try and get to the bottom of this," another post read on February 17.