Shopping destination Target has launched Bullseye Gives, a two-week-long giving campaign on its Facebook Page that will run from May 10 through May 25, 2009. It’s giving $3 million a week to support charities in the U.S. Other retailers are also active on Facebook. 

Target is asking all Facebook members to visit to make a choice and decide how 10 American charities will receive a portion of Target’s $3 million in weekly charitable giving.

The charities are American Red Cross. Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Feeding America, HandsOn Network/Points of Light, Institute Hospital, Kids In Need Foundation, National Park Foundation, Operation Gratitude, Parent Teacher Association, St. Jude Children’s Research, and The Salvation Army.

Today, many retailers are finding new ways to attract consumers because traditional ads on social networks have mostly failed to draw attention.  Pizza Hut, for example, is using Facebook Platform for selling food while others like Best Buy and Wal-Mart have started Facebook pages to woo buyers. A Rosetta social media study said in January that 59 of 100 leading retailers have a fan page on Facebook.

As most social networks are struggling to make some meaningful money, it’s good for them to open their doors for such marketing campaigns. According to research firm IDC, ads on social networking services (SNS) have lower click-through rates than traditional online ads and they also lead to fewer purchases.

The research firm says that social network users are less receptive to advertising. According to its survey, advertising does not factor into consumer motivations. In fact, users are less tolerant of social networking advertising than the best tolerated forms of online advertising.

Ads on social networking services have lower click-through rates than traditional online ads (on the Web at large, 79% of all users clicked on at least one ad in the survey year, whereas only 57% of SNS users did), and they also lead to fewer purchases (Web: 23%; SNS 11%), says IDC.

Now, Target is using Facebook to promote its brand through this campaign. According to Target, the percentage of votes per charitable organization will correlate to the charities’ portion of the $3 million. All votes and dollars allocated will be updated in real time on the Target Facebook Page during the course of the contest. Site visitors can vote once per day, every day, throughout the contest. The final charitable donation allocations per charity will be announced on May 26.

As an additional service to participants through Bullseye Gives, Target will also help to connect voters with service and volunteer opportunities in their local communities. Through its partnership with VolunteerMatch, an organization that offers an array of programs to support community and civic service 365 days a year, voters will be able to find local causes that matter to them most.

“Bullseye Gives is an incredible opportunity for us to continue to engage Target guests and the online community,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “This is a unique way to help raise awareness of the important work these deserving charities do and increase localized volunteerism nationwide.”

Since 1946, Target says it has given 5% of the company’s income to support education, social services, the arts, and volunteerism. Today, that 5% adds up to more than $3 million a week, it says.


About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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