Special thanks to Mashable for pointing me to Target's newest Facebook campaign that asks users to vote on their favorite charities to receive Target's donations. Target gives 5% of its income to charity each year, and over the next few weeks, they are going to be allocating these funds based on Facebook users' votes through the application on their page here. The voting system is designed so that all charities will receive a percentage of the contributions based on how many users cast their votes for each.
Additionally, whenever a Facebook user casts their vote (which you can do once a day through May 25th), they'll be given the option to post a story about it to their feed for their friends to see. Overall, it's a really smart campaign from Target because it encourages daily participation with the brand in addition to having built-in virality, and it's a rare example of a worthwhile custom Facebook application. My one problem with it is that it in no way requires or even encourages participants to become fans of the page. On the one hand, it certainly makes it easy to participate - but that being said, it isn't exactly asking much for a user to become a fan in order to vote when all it takes is a click on the "Become A Fan" link at the top of the page. Why wouldn't Target want to draw in as many new fans as possible to make it easier to reach them in the future? I'd be interested to see a study on the extent to which requiring users to fan a page turns them away from participating in something like this. What do you think? Was Target right to leave the application open to fans and non-fans alike, or was this a somewhat wasted opportunity?
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