I recently posted about the trend of organizations channeling contest participants into ‘liking’ their fan page in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Here is my take. You may as well go back to the beach when you were in First grade and agree to share your shovel and pail with a friend if they agree to do exactly what you say. I recall that many of those experiences ended in tears. Somebody breaks the verbal agreement by suggesting another way to construct the sand castle and the loaned item is repossessed and the offender banished from the project. The idea that we can control other people’s behavior is one that has proven daunting over thousands of years. However, when we loaned our extra shovel to a friend and explained the outcome we were trying to achieve, “building the super fortress of the most powerful king of planet Zum,” but allowed for autonomy, the experience is wholly different. Rarely did your friends invite their friends when management was prescriptive. However, when the building project was collaborative then other people wanted to be involved and invitations were extended.
Why not offer bystanders the chance to sign-up for your contest without being forced into ‘liking’ the enterprise? Even better yet, why not have a contest that actually benefits somebody that has a need? During our interactions surrounding the contest one can decide to ‘like’ your organization or continue on their journey. Lastly, remember that the tide will eventually come in and wash your creation back into the ocean, just like the prize for the contest eventually needs to be awarded. Those that were present just for the sand castle or the prize will depart if they have not already. Those that were inspired will already be planning to build a bigger castle tomorrow.
Who are you trying to attract? How are they arriving and once they do, how do they engage?