Vote-Based Competitions: Friend or Foe?
Ever since vote-based competitions like Pepsi Refresh and Chase on Facebook, many other similar competitions have been created for both non-profits and for-profit ventures. These campaigns for votes can be quite exciting and invigorating for those participating. Some great organizations have benefited much from these vote-based competitions. Nevertheless, many others have had negative impact on their work as a result of their participation.
If you are an organization or business considering participation in one of these vote-based campaigns, you might want to consider some of the following thoughts and questions before signing on:
- Does the effort required to win such a campaign worth the prize it could offer? You will most likely have to tap into your relational bank to win a competition with your supporters.
- Is the campaign a good “ask” for your supporters or would it be better to save the ask for something in the future? For example, if the prize is only a few thousand dollars, why not spend the energy on a fundraising campaign on your own?
- What is the competition hosts trying to accomplish through the campaign? Do they want marketing for their company? Do they want voter info? Keep in mind that you’re asking your supporters to share their personal information in some of these competitions. Be sure to find out what information or objectives they’re seeking and what they plan to do with any information received. I’ve voted for some of my friends on competitions only to have the hosts spam me for months after. Boo!
- What is expected by the company or organization hosting the competition if you actually do win? There are usually expectations for the winners.
- If you do decide to participate, work on a viable strategy to staff and market your participation in a way that doesn’t burn out your staff and/or supporters. They may love your work but become quickly irritated by your constant barrage of “Help Us Win” emails and updates.
I’m definitely not saying that you should never participate. Rather, I’m hoping these thoughts and questions will help you decide navigate towards a smart choice for your organization or company.
What has been your own personal experience with vote-based competitions (whether as staff or a voter)?