How Do Y’all Feel About Giveaways? (Disclaimer: This is not a giveaway)

Posted February 8, 2019 by Amber in Memes / 11 Comments

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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.

Then.

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.

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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).

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Have you every hosted a giveaway?

How often do you enter giveaways?

What types of giveaways do you like?
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11 responses to “How Do Y’all Feel About Giveaways? (Disclaimer: This is not a giveaway)

  1. I’ve hosted 2 giveaways on my blog. The first one nobody entered and the second one I had 1 person enter. The first 1 was US only because I couldn’t afford to ship internationally and the second one was US/Canada only because that was the stipulation from the publisher. While neither giveaway was very successful with how many entries I got I still want to do more giveaways. My goal is to be able to do an international giveaway.

  2. I’ve never done giveaways before, because they seem like they’re mostly intended to gain followers, which isn’t really a big deal to me. But I’m probably going to have to do one now, and I’m kind of floundering like, WHAT DO I DO AND I AM SO BROKE AND HOW SHOULD I DO IT AND WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO GIVE AWAY???

    • Amber

      Book Depository seems to be a common choice – at least that’s what I’m using on Instagram! There’s free shipping to almost anyone in the world, and people basically can pick their own prize. But I hear ya – most giveaways come out of pocket for the blogger!

  3. I hosted two when I had my old Instagram account and while I had fun, gaining followers through giveaways is not always beneficial (if that’s the main purpose of the giveaway besides celebrating an accomplishment). I had about 2000+ followers which at the end of the day if they don’t interact with you through your posts or stories, then what’s the point in having them? I’m not saying is like this for everyone, just sharing my personal experience. Like everything in life, it has its pros and cons. (and like you mentioned above, there are always those who don’t understand that money comes from our own pockets or why they don’t win).

    • Amber

      Yeah, I’m more or less expecting people to unfollow pretty quickly, so what’s the point? Other than to say thank you because holy crap 500 people like my pictures enough to keep an eye on this account…. I don’t know if I’ll run another one unless it’s something very special, but everyone feels differently about them!

  4. I’ve seen a lot of drama surrounding giveaways online lately which is so unfortunate. I have mixed feelings about them too- I see how they are useful for helping to gain a following/influence but it sometimes depresses me that giveaways seem to trump content in terms of gaining followers, especially on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

    Cristina (Girl in the Pages) recently posted: January 2019 Month in Review
    • Amber

      As a follower myself, I tend to ignore giveaways. I don’t really like having to promote someone else’s content for the dream of free stuff, but I will happily and excitedly promote other people’s content when it is amazing. As an instagrammer, if you want the chance to be an influencer or a rep, it’s like… don’t bother under 1k followers. The system doesn’t really work very well unless you’re in it for love and love alone.

  5. Great post!! I hate trolls like that. Luckily all my giveaway winners have been amazing too <3 But I wonder if that is because my giveaways are just too small time to attract notice of trolls yet? I think giveaways are great but its people like the ones that mentioned that ruin them for everyone 🙁

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    • Amber

      Aaahhh, I’m so glad to hear about a good experience! My Instagram giveaway ends tonight, then tomorrow night I hope to round up ALL the entries. I’m hoping my people are awesome, too! … I’ve had SO many people ask me to use their affiliate code on Book Depository though. I kind of feel like a jerk about it because I don’t want to say “no I won’t support you” but… it doesn’t feel right to use one and put out all the others. 🙂

    • Amber

      The financial resources are challenging. I think that’s why a lot of blogs join tours; I see ebook giveaway on blog tours all the time. But it does turn your blog into an advertising machine and can take some of the soul out of it. It’s difficult.