Cutthroat online competition among businesses has gone “viral.” Enterprises are now fighting head-on with each other not just in physical sales but even in online promotions. One of the common methods companies employ to garner a following in social networks is the online contest, wherein the winner is usually selected via public voting.
According to a blog post in the Easypromos website, however, voting contests can be the source of complaints and negative publicity. It explains:
[…] an environment as heterogeneous and viral as that of the social networks some users have a great deal of drawing power and, in addition, they may use forums for exchanging votes or multiple Facebook accounts in order to gain more votes. When the number of votes suddenly shoots up users get suspicious and question what is happening. Comments, made by users who are not happy with the way voting is going, appear and quickly spread across the wall, and thus a promotion that should generate a positive dynamic actually produces the opposite effect.
Voting contests are exciting and generate plenty of awareness and interest, making them an effective promotional tool. To avoid clouding a good marketing channel with bad feedback and negative publicity, there are a number of things contest organizers can do.
The first and most important is: voting results should not be the only criteria for winning the contest. Easypromos advises contest managers to formulate the rules such that the poll results will just be the initial qualifier. Contest entries that gain a minimum number of votes get the chance to move to the next level of elimination.
Another suggestion is that a panel of judges will be given instructions to choose only the entries with the highest number of votes (say, the top five) when they begin judging. For contests done on Facebook, the website recommends that only Facebook-registered users will be allowed to vote and only once. Facebook’s authentication system will be able to verify the voter.
Certain contest management software systems allow the contest administrator to see who voted for an entry. The administrator is also furnished the details of the voter, such as the voter’s name, profile picture, time and date the vote was made, and the IP address of the voter. In some cases, administrators opt to accept only the vote of fans.
Whatever your decision is in filtering votes for your contest to smoothen the process and to avoid complaints, have an efficient and reliable contest application backing you up. Some contest software providers, such as Skild, can customize competition solutions to fit your unique requirements. Its automated software factors in every step of contest administration like registration, entry handling, and awarding of prizes.
(Article Information and Image from How to manage competitions: public voting, Easypromos)