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Our look at the most - and least - engaging social media

Southwest Airlines gave away 12 $1,000 gift cards for travel on the airline in a “12 Days of Luv” December Twitter contest. Southwest asked its followers to tweet different holiday-themed photos each day of the contest, such as a brand-themed snowman. Participants had to tweet back using the #12daysofluv hashtag, giving the airline pages upon pages of free branded tweets. Southwest's incentive — $1,000 in free travel — was strong enough to motivate even the most weary holiday shopper.

Honda added a cheeky social component to its annual end-of-year holiday campaign, “Happy Honda Days.” The Honda NaughtyOrNice-a-tron Facebook app scrolls through a user's 2010 status posts, giving a “naughty” or “nice” rating. It also tallies “likes” and invitation acceptances to find out whether you have “been a good Facebook boy or girl.” In under a week, 22,000 Facebook users opted in to the app — not a complete viral hit but three weeks remained in the Happy Honda Days sale.

Helzberg Diamonds launched an ad campaign supported by social media to revive its decades-old “I am loved” slogan. The brand grew its Twitter and Facebook followings through giveaways and invitations for consumers to post their own stories. The brand's YouTube channel also hosted viewer-created videos as well as its TV commercials. Future plans include a “Facebook Collect” tool that enables consumers to sign up for weekly e-mails through the social networking website.

Philips Electronics' strategy to promote its ChargeOn phone charger pokes fun at pharma advertising by highlighting “Dead Battery Anxiety,” a made-up ailment. Its playful microsite elements include “treatment options” which recommend a purchase. It's supported by a Facebook page and Twitter feed. Phillips is promoting it through online advertising, contests and radio ads in select markets. Kudos to Phillips for enlivening a dry topic and supporting social with additional media, but 242 likes and 183 followers is ho-hum, and its repeated tweets are ill-advised.

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