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Lists are great…until you find yourself on the wrong end of the wrong one, as the contesting industry did recently when FastCompany published its list of social media “rules” for marketers.  They pulled together what was reading like a solid if common-sense collection of dos and don’ts until they blew out their credibility by publishing “Rule #26:  Contests And Sweepstakes Are Fine, If You Want Short Relationships.”.  That brought their whole piece into perspective…sound bites sans substance.

Obviously this is a ridiculous statement, as my family gathers to watch the twelfth season of American Idol, a franchise contest that has powered the Fox brand to the pinnacle of family entertainment and hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue.  “Oh, but that’s different” you say.  How so?

Shycast along with IKEA pioneered building communities around competition, bringing together the IKEA Fans with the company for the first time ever.  They went on to participate in media and promotional events featuring real IF members, a first.

What I’m assuming FC refers to is the sad fact that so many brands use low-brow tools to run one-off contests on FB, hire agencies that act as tech providers rather than guides, and are taught to look at their program as a short term, one-act throw away.  That is indeed a path to wasted relationship opportunities, money, employee time and resources.

Contests and even sweeps require planning and diligent execution.  It isn’t about the platform, and that’s coming from the team who built the first and best video contesting platform. It’s about the service, the partner, the knowledge and the dedication required to make your program sing not just once, but seasons into the future.