It’s been a while since we dipped a toe into the murky waters of Facebook voting competitions but we thought it was high time to revisit them and see how things are fairing. First a brief recap! Voting competitions on Facebook (and in fact now anywhere online) have become a bone of contention amongst compers due to the fact that fake accounts, buying votes and swapping votes can and does happen (How Do People Get Votes to Win Voting Competitions?.
A number of competitions have had problems including Flip UK, Ryvita, Ask Jeeves and Next’s Baby Boutique competition. Many more can be added to this – but some good news is that a number of promoters have listed to comper’s concerns (and kindly read some of the blogs here on Loquax) and changed the way their competitions run.
But have things really changed or improved?
There are a number of good competitions running at the moment that have voting elements. What’s good about them and what could be done better?
1. Fairtrade Fortnight!
As part of Fairtrade Fortnight people are being asked to Show Off Their Label and take up challenges on Facebook for the chance to win some pretty decent prizes. These include holidays and once in a lifetime experiences such as a day of baking with the queen of cupcakes and baker to the stars, Lily Vanilli. There’s a new challenge each day.
From the terms and conditions “the winners of each daily challenge will be the valid entries which receive the most votes (in the form of “Facebook likes”) by the closing date for the individual challenge.
Comments about voting competitions have been made to Fairtrade, but they’re happy with the way things are. The saving grace is that perhaps the competition will limit entries. The challenges require entrants to make an effort in an unusual way in a short space of time.
Having eventually found the entries, voting does seem to be reasonable. One leader has a mere 27 votes for example, another just 43. The best thing about this competition is that there are runners up prizes for each one (usually 20) so even if you don’t win the top prize you could get something with just a vote or two from your a couple of friends.
2. Absolute Radio
Also on Facebook are Absolute Radio who are looking for faces for radio. There’s £5000 on offer – you just need to upload a photo of you looking grotty in the morning to enter. The person with the most votes will win!
There are already a number of entries for this competition but again the voting levels are reasonable, especially considering the prize on offer. Maybe people don’t want to post pictures of themselves looking rough in the morning to Facebook?
I do think that there should be a judged element in this competition as well as perhaps a participation prize draw. Half the problem with voting competitions is that there’s just one big prize and nothing else. If you find it late on there’s usually little incentive to take part unless you have a large social media following willing to vote for you or you know how to buy your way to the top of the leaderboard.
Corsa are giving away a Vauxhall Corsa in a Street Style competition. You need to get artistic and create a bit of graffiti art and then get your friends to like it. The top six that are most liked will then be judged to determine the winner in May this year.
The top six entries will win prizes, with as mentioned judges picking the car winner. A quick look at the current leaders and you have to say that they look pretty good. Again the voting levels seem “sensible” and there are some nice entries. Whether that will be maintained for the duration of the promotion remains to be seen.
There are currently 360ish entries so if you have a bit of artistic flair then maybe it’s worth a try? Of course it’d be better if Corsa judged the winner from a wider selection of entries. It currently will take you 25 votes or so to break the top 6.
Looking Good Then?
We have three competitions offering a car, a big cash prize and a number of holiday prizes around – and so far not much controversy. Could it be that Fairtrade, Absolute Radio and Vauxhall have managed to do the impossible and created fair voting competitions?
Well, no – because no voting competition is ever 100% fair. Someone will always have an advantage whether it be a large social media following or knowledge how to get/buy votes or involved in a vote sharing community. Promoters need to be aware of this! Perhaps the key is to allow this kind of behaviour but instead distribute the prizes differently?
Prizes for participation, prizes as determined by the judges and prizes for most votes turn a promotion around a bit. The biggest prize should always be for the judged entry – whilst the most votes and participation should be less attractive.
Fairtrade may have also hit upon a winning formula with their challenges. Short term, requires a bit of creativity and plenty of prizes. The person with most likes still wins, but with a name like Fairtrade you can only hope that their voting part of the competition is done equally as fair.
As ever we’ll keep an eye on these and other Facebook voting competitions – if you have any problems or spot a competition that has issues then let us know.