How do you all feel about giveaways? Do you feel they are essential to keeping new traffic coming to your blog? Or Instagram account?
I have very mixed feelings about giveaways.
First of all, to answer my own question, yes, I think they’re pretty much expected on some platforms. Instagram is a big one – there are a lot of milestone giveaways on Instagram. In fact, I’m running one right now because it seems like a good way to grow followers and therefore influence. I’d love to be a rep or influencer for one of the bookish candle companies I love, but unless you can reach enough people, you won’t be chosen.
Which, by the way, is totally fair. Why should a company choose you to be a rep and give you free (or highly discounted) products if it doesn’t think it’s going to get a return. It’s just basic business sense.
But on the other hand. CONFLICTED FEELINGS.
There are lovely people who do giveaways BECAUSE they’re lovely people. And there are lovely people who enter giveaways because they’re really excited about the product and love your content and are grateful for the opportunity. I love people like that.
There are people who enter giveaways to run their own giveaways.
Or enter giveaways to sell the book if they win.
Or they create dummy accounts or use bots to increase their odds.
Or feel personally cheated if they don’t win.
There are people who are good and kind and deserve to be rewarded, and there are people who are just trolling for free stuff. People who will unfollow you the moment they win. Who will complain about how long the gift takes to arrive. People who believe that free stuff is their entitlement. Like… “Okay, you hit 1000 followers WHERE IS YOUR GIVEAWAY.”
People like that make my soul weep. It’s a little disheartening, don’t you think? And of course, if you’re running a fair giveaway (which I assume we all are, ya?) then you use a randomizer. So you don’t have any control over who wins.
I will say, because I think this is important, everyone I’ve interacted with in the course of running my own giveaway SO FAR has been lovely.
That’s a chance you take, though, when you do a giveaway. You might get 10k entries. You might get 2. You might build a relationship with your winner. OR they may turn out to be a troll who is going to turn around and do a giveaway with your item EVEN THOUGH you just said no giveaway accounts. You really have to go into it and be grateful for your people. Do it with the right frame of mind and love in your heart.
For those entering giveaways as well, please remember:
- The money for most of these giveaways is coming out of someone’s pocket.
- A normal someone, just like you.
- Shipping internationally is expensive, so it’s not exclusion, it’s just not affordable for someone.
- Small giveaways are just as lovely, because not everyone has $$$$$ to burn, but people want to say thank you.
- Don’t enter if you’re not really planning to agree to the giveaway conditions (i.e. unfollowing immediately).
- Your giveaway host loves their followers, so be kind.
This week’s Book Blogger Hop asks:
Do you have celebrations for your blog’s anniversary such as a giveaway?
Short answer: Full disclosure – I have no intention of EVER running a giveaway on my blog. But I’m trying one on Instagram and we’ll see how it goes. I’m super worried it will bring a lot of grief when the winners are chosen, but I hope I’m wrong. To quote Samwise Gamgee: “There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” (paraphrased).