The Amazon Giveaway Experiment

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boxAmazon recently launched an Amazon Giveaway service allowing website owners to host their own contest giveaway via social media (not all platforms supported), potentially increasing your user/follower base. The service takes the hassle out of having to maintain and monitor your own contest once the initial setup is complete, and they take care of delivering the selected prize to the lucky winner.

But who’s really winning? First, contest entrants must have an Amazon account in order to participate, but that’s a large percentage of people, so don’t consider that a hurdle in deciding whether or not to launch your campaign. Secondly, the number of platforms supported with which to share your contest are limited at this time. No word on whether or not more will be added in the future, but keep this in mind.

There are three current contest setups: 1) Random prize award of number of prizes vs odds. 2) Lucky number for selected number of winners vs number of winners, and 3) First come first served. This last selection severely limits the number of participants if you have a low number of prizes to give away and they’re all awarded in the first 5 minutes. The contest is over and no one has a reason to give your or your website a second look.

Choose your contest scenario.

Choose your contest scenario.

My observations thus far, having I recently set up a contest giveaway to try out the features: I set up a Twitter follower contest in which contestants were also required to follow me on Twitter. In retrospect I would’ve been better off inserting a link into a blog post utilizing the same requirements so that potential followers would have made their way to my blog first and possibly had a look around. Fair warning: even if you do the blog post/link your contest can still make it to the uninterested masses looking to score freebies due to other websites harvesting contest links from Amazon and the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag and making them readily available to their followers. Read on.

The sad truth.

The sad truth.

I’ve had a decent uptick in Twitter followers, but upon closer inspection a large percentage of them are contest bloggers and Twitter users specifically interested in contests. An alarming amount of the followers have new Twitter accounts with no posts and no profile pics, so I can only suspect that there are also prize harvesters out there looking to scoop up your prize and resell it on Ebay. Such is the way of the world. In the overall scheme of things I may have gained a small handful of legitimate followers, but there’s no real way to tell. After the contest ends most, if not all, of my new followers will unsubscribe. Furthermore, because of the way Amazon hosts the contest, you will never know who the winner of your great prize was, or even if they have an interest in your topic.

So back to the original question asked. Who wins? It appears that only Amazon does, particularly in the category of shipping charges.┬áNeither hosts’ nor winners’ Prime FREE Two-Day Shipping benefits apply to giveaway prizes. Hopefully in the future Amazon will add more features that actually benefit website owners instead of the just the contest followers.

And if you’ve made it this far, and it’s still the week of Feb 28-March 4th (and no one’s won yet), please feel free to enter my contest experiment. Coldcreek Trekking Poles

About Beverly Hill

Beverly is a deputy clerk with the Florida court system and is an experienced writer in her free time. Her love of adventure and the outdoors is what fuels her desire to seek out new and exciting things.
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