You may not know, but I am a Feature Contributor to a business website called Maximize Social Business. Not only do I write a bi-monthly blog on social media sweepstakes marketing, but it’s one of my favorite resources to stay updated on all types of digital marketing trends.
Yesterday Leanne Peard wrote Watch Facebook, It Is Changing and Not For The Better. What she had to say is pertinent to all companies using Facebook as a marketing tool and, in my opinion, sweepstakers. I had to create a video to discuss my views and how, depending on which changes to it’s algorithm Facebook decides to roll out globally, whether or not Facebook sweepstakes will continue.
Behind The Scenes
A brief timeline of sweepstakes:
Back in the day there were contests. If you haven’t yet read or watched The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio make it a priority during the holiday season. TIP: Keep tissues beside you.
In the 70s, sweepstakes began to take over contests. All marketing decisions are financially driven. It was far cheaper to run a random draw sweepstakes versus a 25-words or less judged contest.
Searching for Original Entry Blanks (OEB) to mail-in continued as the main way to enter until computers and the Internet became a staple in everyone’s home. Then the shift went from OEB to online entry form. Note again it was financially driven. It was far cheaper to run an online sweepstakes than a mail-in one.
Remember, companies do not run sweepstakes out of the goodness of their hearts. There is always a purpose: brand awareness, growing newsletter subscribers, coupon redemption, etc.
Once social media took over it was a fantastic way to reach millions of people free. Of course, I know Facebook wouldn’t be free forever. Several years ago they rolled out a ‘Pay to Play’ model in which companies had to pay Facebook to have their users see their posts. It’s why we saw an explosion of Facebook Timeline contests. The computer algorithm sees Likes, Comments and Shares as important and organically shows the post to more of the company’s followers. Now Facebook is looking to move all business pages to a second Timeline. If they do, I expect we will see a mass exodus of sponsors on that social media channel.
What is next? Who knows. Even the experts aren’t sure what’s down the pipe. A new way social media platform? Going ‘old school’? All I know is, it will be what ever is the most fiscally responsible for contest sponsors for them to reach their marketing goals.
Would you be happy or sad if Facebook giveaways disappeared?