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Social Media Contests & Lessons Learned

We recently held a contest on Modern’s Facebook page. The premise was simple. As huge fans and supporters of the photography community, let’s have everyone post their best photo and give three people with the most votes a killer prize.

Well, everything went along swimmingly right until the end. There was something glaringly wrong with the votes. It didn’t take long to uncover the truth, and in doing so, it threw a huge wrench in the works. There were extensive reviews, unwanted delays, a flurry of emails, and some not so happy people.

It was a long, rough day of sorting things out. But in the end, we learned a few things:

  1. There’s a reason why contest rules are so extensive — there are a lot of details to cover.
  2. Before launching a contest, research all the cheats and tricks, then cover them in the rules.
  3. If you run a contest, review as you go, not at the end. Keep an eye out for funny business.
  4. Stand by your decision. Disqualifying people is not fun, but if it needs to be done, do it.

Most importantly, if things go awry, remember that the vast majority of your entrants will appreciate you taking action. Being able to send out prizes to deserving winners is worth all the drama!

By Modern Postcard

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