A friend pointed me towards a Facebook contest that supermarket Lidl recently organised on their Belgian Facebook Page that went awry. The idea was simple: take a selfie incorporating Lidl, and send it to socialmedia@lidl.be. Lidl makes a selection of the most original ones, and afterwards it’s up to the fans of Lidl to vote for their favourite picture with a “Like”: the one with the most likes is the winner. The main winner wins an iPhone 5S, the runner up one minute of free shopping at Lidl, and the second runner up a voucher of € 100 to shop at Lidl. Nice prices, and easy game concept (they thought). However it backfired like hell once they announced the winners…

Lidl Belgium - Facebook Contest

The 3 winners are ladies that seem to win every like competition there is. When you check the likes they received you’ll see that the persons who liked their pictures are clearly fake accounts. How is this possible? Simple, everyone can easily buy likes online. Not only brands do this (remember the example of a Belgian hotel that buys fake Twitter followers), but also regular people that just want to win prices.

The people that played it fair are now all angry that Lidl didn’t check before selecting the winners. There are even people threatening with informing the press. Everyone is pointing out that those winners are clearly fake, and honest participants are clearly left feeling frustrated because they didn’t stand a chance against the cheaters. A big part of the frustration is caused by Lidl itself because there responses aren’t really helping: they are just buying time bysaying that they will look into it on Monday… Unfortunately a great example of how not to organize a Facebook Contest! Another lesson to draw from this is the following: never close a competition on a Friday if you are not working during the weekend;-)