My first giveaway has just finished up and I have to say that I am very pleased with the results. In total I accrued over 1000 entries, far more than the 100 that I expected.

I realize that many of the people who entered the giveaway have no intention of ever revisiting my site, and many of my personal finance blogger followers will undoubtedly consider this giveaway as a waste of my time, effort and money (some have already emailed me telling me so).

My personal opinion is that this has been an excellent learning opportunity and a great way to expand my reach on the internet.

 

The Giveaway Winner

Let’s start off with the winner of the $100 giveaway – Stephanie Holloway. Congratulations Stephanie, I will be in contact with you shortly to discuss payment details.

 

Giveaways and Social Proof

I have recently been reading a fair bit about getting your blog noticed and being successful on the internet. One of the major factors that determines a blogs success is tied up in a concept called Social Proof.

From Wikipedia – Social Proof is psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation.

Example – If you decide to go out for a night on the town and you see two bars side by side, one is buzzing and has a line to get in, the other is nearly empty. Most people will decide to go to the busy bar.

Why?

Because humans are curious. We want to know why everyone else is lining up to get in – surely if that many people are waiting in line, then there must be something worthwhile to see inside.

From what I can ascertain, the same principal holds true whether it be a bar or a blog on the internet. Seeing as how everyone is now on social media, this was the obvious choice for me to test the social proof theory.

I guess time will tell if it makes a difference to my blogs success or not.

 

Running Your Own Giveaway

When I first started thinking about the giveaway, I was only going to offer a $50 prize, but after consulting with Chic Algene at i heart giveaways she convinced me to up the ante to $100. I’ll admit it now – I was a little hesitant to spend $100, but seeing as I am still very new to blogging and internet marketing, I thought it was best to trust the experts.

I got the idea of a giveaway from http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/08/10/how-to-promote-your-blog-with-a-giveaway. Apparently the guys over at ProBlogger are a big deal, so I am trying to read and emulate as much of their stuff as possible.

 

Facebook Giveaway

Something that I didn’t realize was that Facebook has some really strict rules when it comes to running giveaways. The main one that affected me was that a user cannot be entered into your competition simply by liking your page. Most websites recommend using a 3rd party application to run your giveaway, this way you can avoid violating the Facebook terms and conditions.

I found this website super helpful in understanding exactly what all the rules meant – http://www.bloggingbasics101.com/2011/07/running-a-successful-facebook-giveaway-or-contest. If you are considering running your own Facebook giveaway then you will want to check it out.

Seeing as I didn’t want to have my Facebook account closed for violating their terms of service, I decided to stick to the rules. I ran my giveaway through offerpop as they give users with less than 100 Facebook likes a free trial of their service. Truth be told, I found their service really easy to work with and I will likely use them again for any future promotions.

 

Best Giveaway Sites

In case any of my readers are interested in running their own giveaway, or if one of my newly subscribed Facebook fans wants some more giveaway websites to check out, then the following stats from my giveaway may be of interest to you.

Best Giveaway Sites

Referrals Hits
http://www.online-sweepstakes.com 641
http://www.sweepsadvantage.com 521
http://www.giveawaypromote.com 79
http://www.sweepstakesplus.com 44
http://www.twitter.com 35
http://www.contestlisting.com 18
http://www.iheartgiveaways.info 17
http://www.contestgirl.com 16
http://clairsfreebies.blogspot.com 10
http://www.prizey.net 6
http://moneysavingmom.com 5
http://www.contest-corner.com 4
12 Sites 1396

 

Unexpected Giveaway Benefits

The biggest unexpected benefit was the increase in the number of twitter followers I received. There was no bonus for following me on twitter, so I can only assume some people either didn’t read the competition rules very well, or they were genuinely interested in what I have to say (hopefully its the latter).

Another benefit has been the increase in traffic. Obviously this is to be expected during the giveaway, but even now that it has ended my traffic numbers are well over double what they were prior to the giveaway.

 

Giveaway Demographics

Perhaps the most intriguing part about this giveaway was the ratio or males to females. I always expected to have more female than male sign up’s, but I didn’t expect 86% of the signups to be female!

Women Like Giveaways

The other thing I noted was the huge amount of people that signed up from the US. I always knew the US would be my major source of sign ups, I only needed to look at my blog traffic prior to the giveaway to tell that.

 

What I would do differently next time

I think that next time I might change the prize to be more personal finance related rather than cash. This would have likely reduced the number of sign ups, but it is likely that those who did sign up would have been more targeted.

About the only other thing I might do differently next time is to not give people so many other ways of entering the competition. It has been very tedious matching up the entrants with their bonus entry options.

 

Question to my readers

  • Have you been a part of any giveaways/sweepstakes, either by running one or winning something?
  • Did you find this information useful?

 

Once last thing – If you haven’t subscribed to my website or liked me on Facebook / Twitter yet, then please feel free to do so. I would love to get more involved with others who share my interest in the personal finance space.

Thanks heaps and talk to you soon!