OnePiece Pop Up NYC launches #SocialCurrency store, gives you $1 credit per 500 social media followers. Can fake twitter followers bought on Fiverr bankrupt a retailer in the future?
This morning an article from Engadget.com caught my eye, ‘Pop-up store lets you pay for clothes using your social network clout‘. In a nutshell, OnePiece, an American retailer specialized in onesies, launched a pop-up store in NYC named #SocialCurrency where customers can ‘pay’ with their social media ‘influence’.
It sounds cool, hype and innovative, doesn’t it? Increasing brand awareness, generating media coverage an driving in-store purchases are surely all key objectives on OnePiece’s KPI list.
And I have no doubt the US retailer will drive a decent amount of share of voice online at least for a short while and essentially on twitter. But nothing as sustainable, transformational, value-driven and scalable as the fully integrated, friction-less American Express Sync programme.
How does OnePiece’s #SocialCurrency work
More on OnePiece’s 6-step #SoLoMo experiment:
1. You go visit the #SocialCurrency pop up store
2. You connect your social media accounts to the OnePiece Ambassdor system aka ‘Piecekeepers’
4. The number will be computed into a dollar amount ($1 for every 500 followers)
5. Customers can earn another $20 credit by sharing a picture from the store with the hashtag #SocialCurrency
6. Customers can redeem up to $500 of that virtual money towards their in-store purchases
The Holy Grail of Social Media
With this initiative, OnePiece is aiming to not only attract key social media influencers but also build a potentially extremely valuable database of customer insights. The Holy Grail of social media in terms of customer advocacy is to match the identity of your customers with their social and digital identities.
It’ll enable you to turn meaningless social conversations into valuable insights which will help you to infer a number of key customer characteristics and behaviours, improve your models/segmentation and make your communications more relevant.
The best way to reach this nirvana? Tapping into permission marketing and urging your customers to share those precious personal information proactively.
This is an outstanding challenge for most brands. The reward must be significant and the sharing process dead easy.
I invite you to watch this 2-year-old American Express video introducing their ‘Amex Sync on Twitter‘ programme to see how it can be achieved and generate value: customers are authenticated when they sync their account, and they are not rewarded for their level of ‘influence’ but for spreading the word on twitter and using their Amex card at a selection of preferred merchants.
Social influence vs. fake followers
If I always salute those social experiments aiming to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital world and drive loyalty on the back of it, the ones based essentially on quantity (number of followers, fans or subscribers) make me feel uneasy. Indeed, nowadays it’s far too easy to buy an enormous amount of fake, low quality followers on the cheap and quickly delivered.
To give you a better idea of the scale of the twitter underground economy, I invite you to check out an insightful piece of research published by Barracuda Labs last year.
Buy 30,000 twitter followers delivered in 24h on Fiverr
Now, please let me illustrate my point. To benefit from this special offer based on your #SocialCurrency, nothing prevent you from quickly creating a dummy email address and a brand new twitter account from scratch, incomplete and with poor quality information.
With this method, you’ve already successfully generated 30,000 / 500 = $60 worth of discount from a $5 investment.
So you think it’s impressive? Let’s not stop there.
Then, you’d be happy to invest 2mn of your precious time to take a picture of yourself in the store and share it with your fake followers (essentially bots based in Asia) to claim an additional $20 discount.
Total discount generated from your ‘huge’ social media follower base acquired over night: $80. Value to the brand: none.
I trust you got the gist of it: it’d be cheap, quick and easy to reach the $500 cap by simply replicating this method to Instagram, Facebook and any of the other social media channels covered.
But Don’t be a Fool
Not only those fake twitter followers won’t listen to you or generate any level of meaningful engagement, they are very likely to badly impact your brand. Indeed, it’s rather easy to spot the fakers.
And if the overall look of a profile, including poor and missing information, the appalling quality of its content, fully automated and in broken English, and the high ratio following/followers are not enough, I invite you to use an online service like the SociaBakers Fake Followers app.