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I recently held a very successful Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 Giveaway contest, with it gaining very close to 25,000 entries.
But this pales in comparison to some of the mass contest collaborations I see happening with popular coupon and mommy bloggers. There is one for a Dyson vacuum that has over 500,000 entries for example and they know how to run massive contest collaborations.
The trick is in the collaboration and in what is called "micro-sponsorship" this is where a collection of 30-60 bloggers get together all chipping in $5 – $10 and it pools to be able to purchase larger prize in the $199 – $300 range. So everyone contributes a little, in exchange they get 2 or 3 social media accounts listed in the Rafflecopter widget.
To prevent bogging down 1 widget with hundreds of entries to scroll through 1 at a time, they instead create pages on their blog and list 10-20 facebook pages to like on a single page, you do all the follows on a single page and you get a pool of entries in Rafflecopter.
Like all pages on this link = 25 points for example.
This creates a mass amount of entries and somewhat simplifies the process, but it doesn’t really allow the contestant to be choosy at an entry by entry level as much. With a Facebook like limit of 5,000 I think, you join too much of these and you can max out your FB likes pretty quick if you go off and like brands often.
The other thing I find with Rafflecopter is validation is very difficult, I only run contests with a few sponsors because it is hard to validate every entry. You can fake Rafflecopter entries and claim the entries without liking the fanpages you are supposed to. The only way to validate is see if you actually liked the fanpage (if that entry is the winning entry) but if you don’t own the fanpage you don’t have access to see all who like it, so you have to contact the fanpage owner and ask them to confirm.
I imagine if these type of co-hosted blogging contests do validation, they must deal with a lot of manual entry validation before finding a valid winner in many cases.
Though this frustration pales to the amount of traffic and entries, when you have 60 blogs cohosting the contest, and they get a follow link for cohosting you now have 60x the number of articles online promoting the same contest with 60x the number of social media profiles pushing the contest. This can add up to some huge traffic and visibility.
I am going to further investigate on gaining more visibility and entries to upcoming contests, in particular my Laptop giveaway needs to have a return on investment that is worth the cost of the prize and all the work involved.