Tens of thousands of shoppers have interacted with a Facebook page promising a $1500 Baby Bunting gift card, but the brand has warned its fans that it is not affiliated with the post.
The page was created yesterday with the name “BabyCare”, and features a number of images of children’s fashion, bedrooms, and inspirational quotes, along with the purported competition post.
In the post, Facebook users are asked to like and share the promotion and tag friends in the comments “who would love this”.
A link is also included for users to sign up to the “competition”, which leads to a form for a generic $500 gift card, but the Baby Bunting business has warned customers not to share their information via this link.
At the time of publication, the BabyCare post had been liked almost 20,000 times, shared 18,000 times, and had over 23,000 comments. The post has had over 60,000 interactions in total.
While some of these comments were sceptical, a number took the post at face value, with users tagging their friends in an attempt to get some “extra goodies”, as one comment writer put it.
However, Baby Bunting quickly informed its customers the competition was not affiliated with the brand, stating in a Facebook comment that users should “be cautious before providing your details via the link”.
In an additional post on its Facebook page, Baby Bunting said it is aware “there is a competition being run by BabyCare at the moment that we are in no way affiliated with. Thanks to all for reaching out”.
In response, a number of shoppers said they thought the competition was “a bit suss”, and many warned their friends of the competition’s illegitimacy.
“I was sceptical when my friends posted it. Thanks for the heads up,” said one commenter.
SmartCompany contacted Baby Bunting but the business did not wish to provide further comment.
SmartCompany also contacted the BabyCare Facebook page but did not receive a response prior to publication.
While it is not clear who is behind this gift card offer, there are numerous examples of big name brands that have been targeted by gift card giveaways run by third parties, including Coles and Woolworths.
Marketing expert at Marketing Angels Michelle Gamble believes while there’s not much businesses can do to prevent these competition attempts from occurring, when they do pop up, businesses should swiftly take action.
“Definitely put something out quickly and let people know the other post could be a scam, even put something out through your database,” Gamble told SmartCompany.
“If you’re running competitions on your page already, make sure you include other credibility factors, as these posts can make customers pretty distrusting of what they see on social media.
“One bad egg can easily spoil it for everyone else.”
She believes businesses should be quick to report pages to Facebook if they suspect wrongdoing, but acknowledges there’s not a whole lot SMEs can do outside of that action, with Facebook pages offering a “very low barrier to entry”.
Thankfully for businesses, Gamble thinks these sort of competition posts are unlikely to cause any long-lasting distrust or negative associations for businesses
“That’s the blessing and the curse of social media. Fame is fleeting, be it a good or bad thing,” she says.
“There’s so much fuzz and noise these days that people quickly move on.”