Facebook voting contests are among the most frequently used actions by brands and companies. This is thanks to the many benefits provided by these types of contests: energizing the online community, raising brand awareness, extending the reach of communications and/or obtaining more fans. However, before you organize a voting contest, we recommend you learn more about the benefits and challenges involved. This article will tell you what you need to know to make your experience more positive and satisfying.
1. Some users engage in bad practices in order to obtain votes
One good way of preparing a voting contest is to begin from a position of healthy paranoia by assuming that some participants will try to cheat. When you encourage users to compete against one another to try and obtain the most votes, it’s likely that some individuals will be tempted to cheat to try and get their hands on the prize. The key is to be prepared to deal with this.
2. Decide how to select the winner
There are many ways of using votes in contests, although the tendency is for organizers to establish that “whoever obtains the most votes wins”. Bear in mind that if you award the prize to the most-voted participant this does not necessarily mean that the best photo, video or text will win. It means that the prize will go to the participant who does best at viralizing their entry among friends and followers in the online community.
Prize goes to the most-voted participant
If you choose this option, bear in mind that there will probably be a percentage of participants who will be willing to use unethical methods to try and win the prize. This is the source of many fraudulent practices. All Easypromos voting contests come with a Fraud Control System which detects, records and counts fraudulent vote alerts. Also, organizers have access to the Fraud Index for each participant. This indicates whether the votes they’ve obtained show evidence of fraud. If the index exceeds 100%, Easypromos considers this participant to be involved in fraud.
Filter finalists by votes and select the winner via a jury
Another option is to use votes to viralize and dynamize your contest by choosing the finalists, but then select the prizewinner via a jury. If you decide to go this route it’s a good idea to indicate in the Terms and Conditions – and in the contest description – the number of votes a participant needs to become a finalist. You should also explain that the prizewinner will be selected by jury. And don’t forget to tell participants what the jury will be looking for when picking the winning entry.
Award additional entries for votes obtained and then run a sweepstakes
You can also reward participants by providing “additional entries” for each vote, or for every five votes obtained, etc. This means all participants can enter the final random sweepstakes, but they’ll have a greater chance of winning if they’ve obtained more points.
3. Watch your back
You should also consider your plans for managing fraudulent voting when you prepare the Terms and Conditions of your promotion. In any voting contest – even if you don’t award the prize to the most-voted entry – there may be fraudulent behavior. For this reason, the Fraud Control System is enabled in all voting contests. Before starting your action, we recommend you use your Terms and Conditions to inform participants that you’ll be using the Easypromos Fraud Index to manage fraudulent participants once the contest is finalized.
4. Configure the voting system
All Easypromos voting contests come with the voting system preconfigured, but you can modify some options to adapt them to your contest. For example, you can decide the maximum number of votes that can be cast by a single user, how voters should identify themselves (Facebook or email), whether you want to display bookmarks with the votes, and so on.
Before beginning the contest, customize the voting system to fit your needs. Use your Terms and Conditions and the description to clearly explain the voting system to participants.
5. Use the Fraud Index when managing the contest
In order to manage the contest, both while it’s active and once it’s over, we recommend you read these tips and recommendations. In general, you should keep in mind the following key points:
- Don’t disqualify a user until the voting period is over.
- Don’t believe all the accusations made by users. Place your trust in objective data such as the Fraud Index.
- If you’re faced with complaints, once the voting period is over, use the Validity Report to demonstrate to the participant his/her fraudulent act and justify whatever action you’ve taken. This report certifies the value of the Fraud Index, calculated for each participant.
Silvia Marti Ferrer
Marketing and Customer care Easypromos’ team