In this case, however, I was pleasantly surprised, both by the quality of the campaign, and the amount of interaction.
The concept is that staff have made their own adverts and the public vote for a winner to be aired on national tv. Not an entirely original premise (I'm pretty sure I remember a few campaigns like this using YouTube as a platform) however it is well executed and with a couple of nice extra touches.
The videos are good - bit arty but still with a homemade feel so not pretentious - and have sparked a few hundred comments on each one. There are also nearly a thousand votes or 'likes' for each video too.
An appealing feature of the page is the box on the right hand side - people will be more inclined to do something if they know their actions will cause some good, however small. And everyone likes fluffy little bees!
The next appealing feature is an offer of a free pot of honey. Freebies are always welcome. The only slight hitch is that it's not very obvious where on the page you can sign up for a free pot, unless you spot this bit in the menu under the 'save the bees' feature:
They may not want to give honey away to all and sundry (in fact, the page now says they have run out), but making it less obvious will frustrate the user, and may lead to comments like this:
However although Rowse haven't dealt with the comment above yet, there are some good official responses on the discussion pages. The first one is a nice example of how companies can emphasise their social goals and allay claims of pure commercialism:
And this one below is a good demonstration of how brands can instil trust by being truly knowledgeable about their product and issues surrounding it, in this case nature:
In conclusion, the Rowse Facebook campaign is a good example of how to use social media to encourage interaction from the consumer, asking for their input on a decision, offering them freebies, and adding an element of charity. It does have usability flaws, yet the friendly transparent nature of the company communications goes some way to mitigate any frustrations.