As you might have noticed, the majority of my posts are reviews for products I get for free via various campaigns.
I take these campaigns very seriously. In my perspective, they're my job, and the companies have every right to have certain expectations, and to either reward or decline depending on whether those expectations are met. I keep a close eye on my conduct on social media, because I feel I'm acting as their representative, even when I'm not "on the clock".
In my opinion, some people consider the items they get in exchange for review or testing to be free gifts, and that they have no responsibility whatsoever to the company that gave them. This is unfortunately perpetuated by a lot of "freebie" sites posting them as such, rather than barter for services rendered.
The behavior of some of the others who also belong to these companies is, frankly, disturbing. The primary issue I see is people complaining about not getting enough campaigns. So I compiled a list of the reasons I've observed that might be the problem.
1. When doing the social sharing, you put out posts that are poorly worded, misspelled, or lacking punctuation. The point of these projects is to be creative and put your own spin on it, and that you are a representative of the brand. How you come across affects the brand, and the company that gave you the campaign. It takes a couple of seconds to check your work. Do it.
WORST EXAMPLE: I've seen a member who consistently misspells the company name in every post she makes, and she's had several campaigns. I fail to see why she wouldn't at least check to make sure that was right.
2. You rant on social media about how the company is unfair, and you never get campaigns. Usually in the kind of awkward prose I mention in Example 1. We're supposedly taught as children that screaming and throwing fits do not get us what they want...in fact, it's the opposite. Logically speaking, if you're spewing rancor in poorly expressed prose, a company certainly does not want you acting as a representative for your brand.
If you feel the process is unfair or biased, take your concerns, in a polite and adult manner, to the proper areas...PRIVATELY. These companies have thousands of people wanting campaigns, and they are hobbled by what the brand wants, factors like region, gender, and age group. No amount of whining, screaming, ranting, or passive-aggressive muttering will change that. It might keep you in your current position of nothing, however. I've dealt with the customer service of several companies, and all were both cordial and helpful, even when I made mistakes or had concerns.
A. I saw a woman complaining on the company's Facebook page that not only was she angry about not getting a particular campaign, but the brand would suffer from not having her involved. Beyond arrogant, right?
B. On another company's Facebook page, not only did the woman rant rather nastily to the company, when a well-meaning colleague tried to help, she was told, "STFU, this doesn't concern you." Would ANYONE want this person representing them?
But what should you do?
Support your colleagues and the company by sharing, retweeting and commenting. Show up to company events like Twitter parties and actively participate. Make sure any activities the company requires is up to date. Number one: When you do get a campaign, do it up right. Which leads me to the third issue.
3. When you do get a campaign, you slack off and do the bare minimum, or you don't take care with the activities. In most cases, it's not quantity, it's quality. You can whip right through a list of activities in five minutes, sure. But the idea is that you're trying to drum up interest in the brand. If you don't think it through, take your time and do your best, you might not get another campaign. Yes, you did all the requirements, but poorly and without any real effort. Less is often more in these situations...most companies prefer you do a few things very well than everything poorly.
WORST EXAMPLE: I've seen people posting images to fulfill a challenge that they stole off of Google images. Not just once. MANY times.
4. You don't follow the rules. Two ways this can hurt you. First, the company often gives you lots of leeway, but there can be certain activities they want done a certain way. Read your instructions, and do it right. You don't know better than them what should be done, no matter what your experience or skill set is. Second, there are rules with each company that require certain phrases in postings when you are acting as a brand ambassador. THEY ARE LEGALLY REQUIRED. It's not just to torture you. If you consistently forget, you might move down the ranks. I know, we all goof...I've done it. The occasional mistake won't hurt you. In my experience, the company just lets you know it needs to be redone. But if you blow it off, it'll hurt you.
WORST EXAMPLE: I've seen many posts that didn't do what the brand requested at all, but it was still submitted. They then complained about it on social media as if it was the company's fault when it was rejected.
5. You're coming off as greedy or desperate. If you don't get a campaign, congratulate the ones who do. If you get one, don't beg for another one. If you attend a Twitter or Facebook event, don't beg for prizes, be sociable. If you win, say thank you. If you don't congratulate the winners. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Oh, cool, what a great campaign," or even "I love it!", but avoid things like "I wish I'd gotten that one", "Why didn't I get that one", or "Please give me that one". It's okay to compliment the brand, like "My son loves Transformers", or "We always drink TruMoo and love it!", and it might even make you a more attractive candidate. Being polite never hurt anyone.
WORST EXAMPLE: So many. To sum it up, people can really get nasty when free stuff is involved.
This is my personal opinion, based on my observations and what has always seemed to work for me. Comments, questions and differing opinions are welcome.