Winning online contests and sweepstakes is a lot different now that social media has gotten involved.
Gone are the days when online polls consisted of a few buttons on a website and users of the website selected the choice they wanted.
Nowadays, online contests and sweepstakes have shifted almost entirely for social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. This has two very big effects.
Leveraging the power of Social Media
Social media platforms make it very easy to share or promote an event within a group of people.
Contest holders and promoters usually work by releasing information about a competition or sweepstakes on social media and then deciding the results or winners via popular vote.
This creates a great scenario for promoting the contests further because then the administrators encourage participants to share the contest among their friends to vote on their entry.
The winner of these contests is won by popular vote and therefore, people whose entries receive the most votes, presumably from friends and followers, during the period of the contest’s running.
However many aspiring, contest participants often run into a problem gathering enough votes for their posts or entries.
Unlike a normal and arguably fair contest, voters are not shown all entries with equal priority. Voters always see posts from their friends first and might never even see a post from someone they do not know.
Therefore, the probability of winning these online contests and sweepstakes is a lot higher for people with longer lists of friends.
One very popular means of getting a lot of votes very quickly is by simply buying votes from a service provider.
Many companies exist that offer votes for a fee; larger the fee, greater the number of votes you get.
These companies offer these services like voting on online contests, signing up for services via email, answering surveys, etc.
These companies have come up with many interesting methodologies to sidestep the spam and fraud detection systems set up by many social media platforms to prevent foul play.
For instance, these service providers send votes from unique IP addresses and often process them in small batches or in bursts, which more closely resembles how things naturally go viral on the internet.
If say, 5000 votes were to be processed instantaneously, the server would be quite likely to flag it as spam and disqualify those votes. Also, many companies try to avoid whole round numbers like 5000 for the same reason.
There are very few means to win these online contests with pure luck and no other help.
Thankfully, if you are willing to pay for it, there are methods than can ensure a victory.
Obviously there are diminishing returns here, so make sure that the prize is worth the cost of winning, and that is something only you can decide for yourself.
If you do make that choice though, good luck on your prize! And maybe now is the time to send out some friend requests on Facebook?