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Over the #moonfruit July 8, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Social media.
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By Matt H

If you’ve used Twitter in the last week, chances are you’ve heard of Moonfruit – whether you wanted to or not. For that reason, congratulations go out to Moonfruit and its PR agency Bite for undeniably raising the website’s profile (they build websites by the way).

They’re giving away 10 MacBooks across 10 days through Twitter to celebrate the 10th birthday of Moonfruit.

Similar campaigns have been run by squarespace in the past, so it’s not quite original, but has certainly be successful – pick up at Mashable, BBC and TechCrunch are testament to that. The reason behind its success seems clear – people, or Tweeple, love free stuff – who doesn’t? Any chance to grab a free Apple product is bound to grab interest and a very simple competition dynamic that only requires you to tweet #moonfruit once for a chance to be drawn at random has attracted thousands and thousands of entrants. #moonfruit topped the trending topics at Twitter for 3 days solid, with tweets peaking at 300 a minute! It even knocked #michaeljackson off the number one spot!

The contest has certainly has gone massively viral – globally – creative (but very very random) entries include a video of a woman creating a moon on her face then eating fruit, moonfruit oil paintings and even a ransom note!

But what, hypothetically, is stopping Moonvegetable.com from offering 10 Macs a day to Twitter users for the next year, or Jupiterfruit.com giving away an iPhone a day for the rest of eternity. It would surely be guaranteed the top trend spot and the return on investment in terms of publicity is immense.

The competition has got people talking – many interesting points have been raised. In a blog post, BBC technology correspondent Rory has criticized Bite’s (though he hasn’t named ‘em) self congratulory actions after sending a press release out bragging about the competition’s success on Twitter. He alludes that the competition exploits Twitter and questions if it is becoming ‘too corporate’.

Credit to Moonfruit founder Wendy White though for responding and posting comments on Rory’s blog and over at The World’s Leading, the brand is only going to receive more credit for that – particularly as it has now been made clear that Moonfruit came up with the competition internally.

But has the credibility of Twitter suffered – #Moonfruit has been censored from trending topics as a response – will this happen to all competitions? Mischievous and foolish antics from Habitat have already raised the issue of Twitter Spam. But whilst Twitter is yet to find a way to make money and an offer from Google is apparently on the horizon – it’s clear that other brands have found ways to profit from the opportunities that Twitter offers.

The joy of social media is that is about consumers interacting with each other and whilst this can be very scary for a brand – just make sure you’ve got nothing to hide. Do not be afraid, embrace it and use social media to spark conversations about your brand. Evidently the way Twitter users have responded, at a peak rate of 300 #moonfruit tweets per minute, the competition hasn’t offended anyone – least of all the winners.

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