A common promotional tactic for bloggers, influencers, and many companies all over the world is to use giveaways to gain followers and sell more products.
There are pros and cons to giveaways, which I will get in to in a later blog post this month, but I personally am not a big fan of them.
They often don’t lead to long-term growth in followers and engagement, but many people do see some growth in their channels while the event is running.
My question is…are giveaways old and boring now? Are they still as interesting and exciting as they once were?
I would argue they are outdated and no longer exciting….hear me out.
Giveaways Don’t Equal Growth
Giveaways, like I mentioned, go for more of an immediate reward — followers, shares, likes, etc. They involve people sharing the post on their social media feeds in order to spread the word and company name to more and more organizations.
Obviously this will lead to some growth. Not all of the followers you gain from the giveaway will stick around long term, but a good number will for a while.
But this approach doesn’t necessarily lead to the engagement you want. With more followers there will be more engagement, but if you gain followers that were only interested in the giveaway, they may not be interested in anything more that you have to say.
This could lead to them unfollowing you, or never interacting with your content which may not be worth your time after all.
Giveaways are Mindless
Hosting a giveaway isn’t that difficult. All you need to do is find a prize or prizes that people will want to win, write up a few basic social media posts, and then let nature take its course.
Most of the time, assuming your organization is semi-competent at social media and picking a prize, this will lead to a good number of participants.
Obviously the bigger your following before the giveaway the more people you’ll likely reach.
But competing in a giveaway is also mindless. I could scroll though my social media apps right now and find five giveaways with no problem.
Of those five, four of them will only require me to like and share the post to be entered. The fifth might ask me to leave a comment.
It really is not that difficult, and that’s the point. They’re designed to be as simple and mindless as possible so that more people can enter them just by moving their fingers half an inch to the left.
They’re not designed to be a brilliant way to gain thousands of followers, they are designed to cost you a bit of money for the prize, but the followers and the increase in sales you get at the end will make the small investment worth it.
Giveaways are Getting Old
I see giveaways almost daily, and I enter a good number of them just for the one in a million chance that I actually win.
I’ve entered giveaways for companies that I didn’t even know existed before seeing someone share their content.
I don’t give a damn about half of these organizations, but who wouldn’t want the chance of winning a prize?
Because of how easy it is to compete in giveaways, I have found myself ignoring them lately. I find that I just don’t care anymore. I have become numb to the thrill of a contest, because my world is bombarded by them day in and day out.
What’s the Alternative?
I haven’t seen it often, but instead of hosting a giveaway, I have seen some success when people hold contests on their platforms.
They create a challenge, or a project, or anything for their followers to compete in, and then a winner is chosen.
YouTuber and Photographer, Peter McKinnon has hosted a few competitions for his followers to make short videos, and he gets tremendous success from it.
A contest won’t give you the reach that a giveaway, because it is more targeted to your followers, but reports show that it does still lead to some growth.
What contests are great at is getting more likes and comments, which leads to a more loyal following.
There are benefits to a giveaway, and there are benefits to contests. Each blog, company, influencer, etc. will have a preference and a better idea of what their followers will interact with more.
I am not saying giveaways are bad, and contests are the way of the future. What I am saying is that giveaways are old news. They’re overdone and mindless. They don’t interrupt my usual scroll through the apps on my phone. They take no thinking and require no second thought.
A contest is much more beneficial to creators and followers in the sense that it creates a connection between the two parties.
The creators make a challenge, and the followers submits something to be reviewed by the creator. A relationship is built and this will lead to more of a loyal following in the future.
Do you know of any good or bad examples of a giveaway or a contest in your area? Maybe this is more of a North American trend than a European one. Let’s hear what you think in the comments below!