Money can’t buy me love…

7 04 2009

australian-moneyA little while ago a community that I am managing decided to run a competition on the site.

The basic premise was that the best idea of the week would receive a gift card, with one winner being chosen each week, for several weeks.

The response was significant, hundreds of ideas poured through the site – while many were similar to each other, other were original and insightful.

It can be a difficult task engaging your audience and encouraging them to participate in this site, whether it be by leaving a comment or idea, taking a survey or simply voting.

Are competitions the best way to rally up your audience?

Does a competition encourage quantity rather than quality, and while a prize can persuade participation, how can you ensure that your members will remain after the contest has finished?



3 responses

14 04 2009
Tamir Berkman

Hi Emma, I believe a “quality encouraging” prize has to be a “money cant buy experience” and involving participation of some sort with the brand. I also like the “prize as a service” idea like the Kidspot Makeover Mondays, that gives a well deserved day of relaxing and beauty to hard working mums. The prizes like gift vouchers, ipods etc. for best post/idea/participation works very well for quantity. How about if you make it a weekly comp? will this change to quality as the same people try to enter every week? would love to hear about your experience.

15 04 2009

Hi Tamir – I also agree, money can rarely buy quality participation and by offering a “quality encouraging” prize, I believe that you will be successful in appealing to the truely engaged members of your community. A weekly competition also encourage the quantity of the entries, but it is also a fine line between the number of ideas and the quality.

On another community we are just about to launch a weekly comp, but we aren’t broadcasting this to all members – instead we are doing a “surprise and delight”, where the winning member will be notified personally by email with a small gift of gratitude for their contribution.

While it won’t encourage a greater numbers of entries, I think it will create a greater sense of community, and encourage members to continue to contribute. I will let you know how it goes!

17 04 2009
Gavin Heaton

Lots of different ways to run promotions. The challenge is to know what your goal for the promotion is (not just tactical, but a strategic goal). Once you are clear about your strategic goal, you marry that to the understanding of the aspirations of your community members. But here is the trick – rather than simply “providing” a prize which people can compete for, provide them a shared goal for which they can ALL strive.

This is where good causes win out. Of course, you need to identify a charity whose aims match the aspirations of your community, but that’s not so difficult. Then, rather than providing $100 gift voucher to 10 people, what happens if you rally your community to do something tangible (eg add 10 friends each to their network)? When that happens, you donate $1000 to the charity.

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