DON’T Like & WON’T Share!

Today I’m ranting about ‘LIKE and SHARE’ competitions and contests on Facebook. You know the drill: Click LIKE on the photo, then click SHARE on the Public setting. Similar to online voting competitions, ‘Like & Share’ promotions are badly organised, encourage cheating and spam, and offer an unfair advantage to full-time compers. And here’s why:

They break Facebook rules

By hosting a competition on a Timeline rather than using an App, promoters are violating Facebook Terms and risk getting their page shut down. Facebook Terms also state that a promoter CANNOT notify a winner with a post or message – yet with a Like & Share competition, these are the only methods of contact!

They rarely have Terms & Conditions

When does the promotion end? Is it open to UK residents only, and can under-18s enter? Can people enter more than once? All competitions and prize draws should have clear rules to avoid confusion and to explain how to enter!

It’s impossible to choose a random winner
Click on the ‘Shares’ button (here’s a good example) and take a look at the list – try and scroll through the names. Facebook offers page owners no way of copying/extracting all the Sharers’ names in order to choose a random winner (the same applies to page Likers). The only way to select a winner is to choose a name from the screen at random – the promoter might scroll down a few times so it’s not the most recent Sharers that win, but that’s definitely not a fair draw – particularly as some names will pop up more frequently as multiple sharers! Some promoters have even admitted to me that they choose a name from the ‘Comments’ as it’s quicker – hardly fair on those that have shared but not commented!

Promoters can only see ‘Public’ shares
Again, click the ‘Shares’ button under a post and you see the message ‘You can see only shares that are public or from friends’. The problem is, lots of Facebook users (those that don’t comp regularly!) don’t realise that if they restrict their Share to Friends, or a certain friends list, then the promoter WON’T see that Share. The Share HAS to be set to ‘Public’ to be seen by the promoter. So even though an entrant may be sharing the competition with 1000 friends, they don’t realise they’re not even in the draw – not really fair, is it?

They generate spam
Shares MUST be on the ‘Public’ setting, but is it appropriate for us to fill friends’ Newsfeeds with photo after photo of party dresses, underwear, handbags and make-up – does your boss/grandma/ex-boyfriend really want to see all that when they log in? Using an App, an entrant can choose whether or not to share (and can restrict the Share to certain friends). If we want to win a ‘Like and Share’ competition, we’re forced to share with all our friends and subscribers, spamming their Newsfeed with photos of things most of them would probably NEVER be interested in. Sure, we can ask our friends to Unsubscribe from our posts, but why should we have to do that just because promoters can’t follow the Facebook rules?

They won’t attract new fans
Facebook users can comment, Like and Share without ever clicking the LIKE button on a page – so the winner of a Like & Share comp does not even have to be a fan! A more effective method of gaining fans is to promise the launch of a competition at 1000 Likes, for example – compers will eagerly share the status!

The promoter doesn’t get contact details
By running a Facebook wall/Timeline giveaway, a promoter is missing out on the opportunity to add fans to their database. By using a free App like Woobox’s Static iFrame Tab along with a simple Google Form, they can Fangate the promotion (so only fans can access the entry form, forcing them to LIKE the page) and also add a box to allow them to opt in/out of further marketing communications. Even better, promoters will have the winner’s email address so don’t need to muck about trying to contact them via Facebook! If using an App, a promoter can still post the prize as a photo on their Timeline and encourage fans to Share, so the viral aspect of the promotion will still work. If a promoter doesn’t want to use an App, they could ask entrants to email their entry – and still encourage fans to share the photo too (see how Tesco have cheekily done this). If there IS some form of budget, then using the Offerpop or Woobox platforms can be very effective in spreading the word about a promotion. The entrant could get an extra entry in the draw for every friend that enters using their link, or they could refer two or three friends to unlock their entry into the draw.

Multiple account holders are likely to win
Even though it’s against Facebook Terms to set up more than one account/profile, many compers set up a second account for the sole purpose of entering prize promotions. They will ONLY add comping friends to that account (that’s if they bother adding any friends at all!) and as a result they can Like and Share to their heart’s content without ever worrying that they’re annoying their family, colleagues and friends, or spamming everyone’s Newsfeed. So although they’re breaking Facebook rules with two accounts, they’re more likely to win a Like and Share comp – again, not very fair is it?

Cheats are also likely to win
Some cheating compers set up multiple accounts for their family, friends, children, pets and imaginary friends. They will share repeatedly from all these accounts to increase their chances of winning. I’ve seen the same person pick up multiple prizes in the same Share competition, using different identities!

Contacting the winner may be impossible
The promoter’s first point of call should be a Facebook Message, but what if the winner has disabled messages from non-friends? If they DO successfully send a message, the winner might not know that it will arrive in their ‘Other’ inbox, which they don’t get notifications for and is tricky to find. The promoter might then chase them up with a wall post, but there’s no guarantee the winner will see it in their Newsfeed. What then? Well, the promoter doesn’t have the winner’s email address – so can’t do anything more. And a rightful winner misses out on their prize because the promoter didn’t follow Facebook rules and use an App to collect email addresses. Again, hardly fair is it?

The winner will almost always be a comper
Read through the above and you’ll see that the winners of Like & Share comps are people who know all the tricks of the trade: leave a comment, share on the Public setting, share multiple times, check their ‘Other’ inbox regularly and have lots of comping friends who will ‘tag’ to notify of a win! Now all this is fine if a promoter wants compers to win all their giveaways, but wouldn’t it be nice to reward those fans that DON’T sit on Facebook all day long, and DON’T want to spam all their friends? With Like & Share comps the same names crop up as winners time and time again …wouldn’t it be nice for promoters to try something different?

♥•✰•♥•✰•♥ and THAT’S why I DON’T Like & WON’T Share! ♥•✰•♥•✰•♥

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