The loathsome like-based contests

Just yesterday a friend of mine lost a Facebook based contest, while another is about to win a free IPhone 5 (yes an IPhone 5 :O)for simply getting likes on his submissions. It has led me to question whether they are fair and effective as a promotional tactic in the first place.

So here is how these Facebook like based contests work:

  1. A fan is asked to submit some data usually a photo or few sentences
  2. The submission is either screened by the page owner/ or directly put up in a gallery of submissions
  3. The fan has to get votes or likes on his submission until a certain time period
  4. The one with the maximum likes gets to win the prize/reward

So, first things first if the brand page doesn’t have clear submission guidelines how would you maintain a flow legit entries? Because through my experience I have come to learn that a lot of people just Google up images/profound quotes, as there are too much a of couch potato, at times they don’t have a camera, or a single functional brain cell to come up with any thing original.

Second, most of the brands do not have set criteria for the submissions, you can search for similar images using Google  and use keyword analysis to screen plagiarism but how to do so if they have manipulated them slightly using the trusted  Photoshop or just paraphrased words?

Thirdly how do you judge abstract concepts like creativity, inspiration, and beauty? Because it is a relative what I think is beautiful or inspiring mayn’t be the same for someone else.Moreover the mechanism of a like-based contests primarily gauges the popularity of the submission and congeniality of the fan who has made the submission (we always have those friends who beg us for favours). If something gets popular it doesn’t mean its good too, take Himesh Reshammiya, Justin Beiber, Sahir Lodhi for that matter or those Salman Khan-Katrina films that are dime a dozen.Probably the reason why that friend of mine didn’t win.

Lastly, from a brand’s perspective we can always debate whether it is good to have such activities in the first place.It gives you a spike in the number of new likes and PTAT, because you get access to your fans’ friends list.  But what if the friends just like the page for the sake of contest and leave soon after its over, (its more of passive opt-in option) had they been really interested in brand’s communication they would have liked the page way before. Only thing is good for a brand, it is mostly free, it is user generated content and  there are negligible development costs.

Hence, I have never really been fascinated by such contest neither for the brands I have been working for nor as a participant. It is cost saving tactic, but I don’t buy the fancy effectivness claims by its proponents. I just don’t!

So how many like based contests have you participated in?


2 responses to “The loathsome like-based contests

  1. Have not participated in any but I’ve been pressing the ‘like’ button when my desperate-to-win friends post the link on my wall. But I agree with you. This way, all those pages can get is an increased number of likes, not an increased number of fans.

    • That’s precisely the point. And the friend of mine that I mentioned failing, finally won that contest because I created a lot of buzz about it being unfair on twitter.

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