A member of my Bloggin’ Mamas group was asking how to build a following for her Facebook page and one of the immediate thoughts that came to mind was to join one of those BlogHops or Multi-Blog Giveaways. Within minutes my thoughts were confirmed when other bloggers in the group suggested these as ways to build up the numbers.
I have found that for people who participate in them, they can be extremely effective in building up your following numbers. I, myself, used to participate in groups that did this but it got too overwhelming to make sure you visited everyone. With new developments in technology and the miracle giveaway app Rafflecopter, the process has been streamlined to be much quicker.
However, there are some concerns that I have about them:
- Are they (giveaways) legal? Well, there are ways to do them that stay within the legal lines, but many bloggers are breaking laws and may not even know it. For instance, you have to state eligibility like age and location. Also, when prizes are over $600, you have to send a 1099 to the winners at the end of the year. And also, when the prize value is more than $5K, it has to have an appraisal, usually has to be registered in advance for any state is is being run in, and in some cases you have to place a surety bond. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen giveaways duplicate in values to the thousands when moms “sponsor” a prize. Additionally, there needs to be a free way to enter, which means they are not required to do anything that would benefit you, even subscribing to your e-mail list.
- Giveaways can attract giveaway hoppers who just enter the contest to win and have no intentions on coming back or doing business with you or your sponsor. Or they attract people who are not within your target audience and will never be engaged.
- Giveaways and contests that require you to do things on Facebook break their guidelines and can cause your page to be booted off. You may also run into people complaining about a given contest and even reporting things to FB on you over jealousy of a contest.
- Not everyone in the chain delivers up their prize. Make sure that the participants who providing a prize don’t have a history of disappearing when the prize is due. I have won three items in the past that I never received and went through so much stress trying to claim.
- Make sure you are adhering to all laws. Seriously dot your i’s and cross your t’s. You don’t want to end up being sued.
- Offer a prize that would speak to your individual market, not just an ipad. You want to make sure you are attracting the right kind of following.
- Make sure you are adhering to the Facebook guidelines concerning promotion so your page isn’t shut down. This includes using a 3rd party app, like rafflecopter or wildfire apps, to run your giveaways.
- Choose to have people subscribe to your mailing list or blog rss via e-mail. When you have their e-mail, you can provide follow-up that encourages them to continue engaging and interacting with your brand or blog.
- Vet the participants to make sure everyone sticks to their word.
My point: Don’t just hop on a bandwagon without doing your homework first. Make sure that other participants have a similiar target audience without duplication. Make sure the contest or giveaway is adhering to the law. Have a follow-up plan to keep others engaged with you. Be smart!